Research & Development facility comprises of pilot plants & laboratories which are designed & constructed to perform new experiments/advancement processes to investigate the critical aspects of process, which will be replicated into the commercial Processes/plants. There may be a general perception that the R & D facilities are less hazardous, safer than the commercial plant & they don’t require the same precautions/safety management systems as commercial plants. However with the new, unknown & changing technology, numerous unknown chemicals, less information about the material & processes, frequent modifications for experiments, lack of waste characterization, limited automatic safety interlocks make R & D, a complex system. This complexity & Flexibility in R & D leads to significant hazard potential that can cause injuries, fatalities, property damages & environment excursions. Therefore it is a very challenging task for R & D organizations to develop a comprehensive & standardized set of Process safety program covering all potential scenarios which may lead to process safety incidents.
This paper attempts to provide a risk based process safety program for R & D facilities based on its four pillars which certainly helps to understand the potential Hazards & their identification, assessment & mitigation pathway in R & D Facility which are mentioned below,
- Commitment to Process safety.
- Management commitment towards Process Safety
- Operation consistent with Standards & Procedures
- Employee involvement
- Understanding of Hazard & Risk.
- Design safety Review
- Hazard Identification & Assessment
- Process Information/knowledge
- Managing risk.
- Safe Work Practices & Operating Procedures
- Management of Change
- Emergency Response Planning & Management
- Training & Performance Assurance
- Learning from the past incidents.
- Incident Investigations
- Learning from past incidents
- Management review
Risk Based Process Safety Program is providing the structured, strategic, Functional & Technical baseline to R & D Facility to achieve sustainable safety.