- An important component of process risk management is the management and control processes during emergencies. The purpose is to control all relevant processes such that consequences are minimized. There are two parts to this component: (1) management of the particular process that had experienced the emergency incident and (2) management of other processes that interact with, or are near to, that particular process.
- Organizing for emergency response must occur long before an emergency situation arises. Emergency response planning should indicate who will be responsible for process management during emergencies. Process control rooms should be designed to offer protection from process hazards or remote process control locations should be provided. Emergency plans should be practiced through periodic drills.
- In some situations, a response team may have to take corrective action, such as manually shutting valves. Members of the team, including the team leader and emergency coordinator, should be knowledgeable of the various processes in the facility. In large facilities, this responsibility can be spread among several individuals who must be kept informed of significant process changes through management of change procedures.
- Implementation of emergency process management programs requires more that just staff preparedness. Early detection and assessment of an impending emergency can contribute to successful control and mitigation. Process control systems should be designed to provide rapid feedback of key information on the cause of each emergency and operators should be knowledgeable and training in emergency response procedures. Such procedures should be fully documented and readily available for reference. Appropriate shutdown switches or kill buttons should be provided, but it is also important that staff know when other courses of action may be more suitable. In computer controlled processes, emergency shutdown sequences should be programmed-in; however, operators should also know how to respond in case of computer failure.
- Reference: CCPS(1989) Guidelines for Technical Management of Chemical Process Safety