BakerRisk featured on cover of Process Safety Progress’ September 2020 Edition

BakerRisk is proud to be featured on the cover of the September 2020 edition of the Process Safety Progress (PSP) journal! This issue features four BakerRisk articles providing perspective on best practice for consequence and risk-based facility siting studies as well as how they can be refined and leveraged into risk mitigation programs.  To appreciate the context of current best practice, BakerRisk discusses the historical context and vision for the future of facility siting.  These articles are written by some of the world’s leading facility siting specialists who are supported by BakerRisk’s 35+ years of Incident Investigation and Research & Development programs. These programs and services allow us to provide you with a proven understanding of hazards and mitigation strategies to keep you and your facilities safe.  We hope you enjoy this issue of Process Safety Progress and find the articles interesting and informative.

Articles by BakerRisk featured in this issue are shown below along with the technical abstracts. To get to know our expert authors, visit the  “Meet Our Experts” page.

BakerRisk featured on cover of Process Safety Progress September 2020 issue
Top Left Image:
BakerRisk Wilfred E. Baker Test Facility
, Patented Large Shock Tube
Top Right Image:
BakerRisk Wilfred E Baker Test Facility, Low velocity C3H6 jet fire with rainout
The largest BakerRisk Shock Tube facilitates blast testing of components over loaded areas up to 16’ x 10’; this capability allows full scale systems to be efficiently tested with excellent repeatability. In addition to component testing, research using the BakerRisk Shock Tubes has provided a cost-effective blast load and target interaction research and development platform for use in industry safety studies, traumatic brain injury characterization, and other blast-related and shock phenomena research.The objective of this BakerRisk Internal Research Project was to measure thermal radiation from jet fires with low discharge velocities. The data collected from the C3H6 tests was part of a program comprised of tests using gasoline, diesel, and methane. Thermal radiation was measured at a variety of distances from jet and pool fires to refine BR’s proprietary thermal radiation code as implemented in the consequence modeling software SafeSite3G©.
Bottom Left Image:
BakerRisk Box Canyon Test Facility, PEMB Response Testing for the Explosion Research Cooperative (ERC)
Bottom Right Image:
BakerRisk Box Canyon Test Facility, Large Vapor Cloud Explosion for ERC
A standard construction PEMB was exposed to blast loads resulting in low and medium structural responses. The structure was then upgraded by BR to comprise heavier walls & “beefier” components before being exposed to an even higher blast load. The structural upgrades were sufficient to limit the building response to an acceptable level of damage.
Results showed that blast wave transmission into the PEMB can decrease the differential load across the structure which may increase occupant vulnerability due to direct personnel exposure and failure of non-structural items. However, not accounting for this phenomenon can result in predicting higher damage levels than reality.
BakerRisk performed a series of tests for the ERC involving dispersion of a flammable cloud into a congested volume. For the first set of tests, the flammable cloud was limited to the congested volume of the test rig. The second set allowed the flammable cloud to extend to 10x the congested volume.
Results of the tests showed that during a deflagration explosion, the portion of the flammable cloud outside of congestion had a negligible impact on blast load (no contribution to peak pressure, modest contribution to impulse).

Historical overview of facility siting

Cheryl Grounds, Mike Moosemiller, and J. Kelly Thomas

Over the years, the term “facility siting” has had many meanings, has been conducted for varying, but related purposes, and has been performed with ever‐increasing degrees of sophistication following the advancement in computing capabilities. This paper describes the history of facility siting in terms of the industry events, resulting regulations and standards, improvements in modeling techniques, and expansion of computing power that have driven the changes.


Current state of the practice for facility siting studies

Thomas J. Mander, Anthony Sarrack, Peter Diakow, and Joshua Bruce‐Black

Facilities that handle hazardous materials above threshold quantities are required to assess the impacts due to postulated accidents involving releases of these materials, and to ensure that people are adequately protected from the associated fire, explosion, and toxic hazards. An analysis of these hazards can be based solely on consequences from maximum credible events or can incorporate the likelihood of the events to characterize results in terms of risk. The methods of performing these analyses may vary, but, regardless of the specific techniques used, fundamental principles of thoroughness and defensibility should be achieved. This study describes best practices and basic requirements for consequence‐based and risk‐based facility siting studies (FSSs), also commonly referred to as quantitative risk analyses, consistent with industry guidance. The fundamental objective of a consequence‐based or risk‐based FSS is to ensure that the consequences or risks posed by facility operations are minimized to the extent practical.


Leveraging facility siting to optimize mitigation decisions

Annette Ashiofu, Joshua Bruce‐Black, and John Dyer

Facility siting mitigation decisions should be made in a logical and defensible manner. This article provides a framework for making and justifying facility siting mitigation decisions beginning with presenting risk results in a clear manner prior to identifying practical risk mitigation strategies, highlighting potential source and location risk mitigation strategies, demonstrating how these strategies can be evaluated with examples, and ultimately to quantifying and optimizing the safety‐benefit of each mitigation strategy/combination of strategies. The outcome of this process provides a defensible basis for prioritization and practicality of risk mitigation strategies, or a combination of strategies that reduce facility risk to broadly acceptable levels or as low as reasonably practicable while minimizing expense.


A vision of facility siting possibilities

Karen R. Vilas,  Peter G. Hereña, and  Jatin N. Shah

Facility siting methods to optimize the layout of industrial facilities for risk reduction have been evolving for decades from subjective views, standards, and guidelines to quantitative numerical analysis. The authors of this paper have tossed out the past, moved beyond the present, and taken out their crystal balls to provide a discussion around the future of facility siting by focusing on technology driven enhancements associated with three main themes: mainstreaming of current advanced analysis techniques into the base case methodology, incorporating company and/or site specific data trending and analytics to operationalize the studies, and the potential transformational change to machine learning‐based predictive risk management. With technological advancements touching nearly every area of business, it is no surprise that it is also changing the landscape of consequence and risk‐based facility siting approaches. As with all markets, the customer will be a key driver for the advancements of technical safety studies to suit their adapting needs. However, as this article will show, personnel conducting facility siting studies are also using technological advancements to challenge the status quo by improving data fidelity, increasing the robustness and depth of analysis, and providing improved insights to aid decision making.


Contact us today for more information on these topics! Full access to these papers may be purchased on the vendor website, here.

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