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History of Process Safety and Loss Prevention in the American Institute of Chemical Engineers

Dennis C. Hendershot, Chilworth Technology Inc., 930 Greenhouse Dr, Bethlehem, PA 18017

Process safety has always been an important consideration in chemical engineering, and the activities of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) have expanded over the years to more formally focus on this critical aspect of chemical engineering practice. Early initiatives included the annual symposia on Safety in Ammonia and Related Plants, dating back to the early 1950s, and the Loss Prevention Symposium, first held in 1967. These activities led to the formation of the AIChE's Safety and Health Division in 1969, and the division assumed responsibility for these existing programming activities. Following the Bhopal tragedy in India in 1985, AIChE formed the Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS) as an industry alliance to share and enhance process safety expertise in the industry. One of the early CCPS activities was the creation of the Safety and Chemical Engineering Education (SACHE) program to enhance teaching of process safety in the university chemical engineering curriculum. This paper will review the history of these ongoing activities, including many observations from interviews and contributions from people who help to organize them.