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Process Safety IncidentsDiscussion of Hub Oil 1999 Accident
Jack Fraser, P.Eng.
Health & Safety Group
Cenovus Energy Inc.
Process Safety Management (PSM)
US OSHA: Purpose of the OSHA Standard enacted in 1992:
This section contains requirements for preventing or
minimizing the consequences of catastrophic releases of toxic,
reactive, flammable, or explosive chemicals. These releases
may result in toxic, fire or explosion hazards.1910.119(a)
Process Safety Management (PSM)
What are the “drivers” for PSM?
• History of Fires, Explosions, and Toxic Releases in the chemical, petrochemical and oil and
gas industries, particularly Refineries.
• US OSHA “PSM Rule” or PSM Standard, legislated in 1992
• No specific Canadian Regulations, but increasingly regulations are aligned with PSM.
Examples: ABSA urged Alberta companies to review their PSM programs after Tx City refinery
explosion in 2005; alignment of some parts of AB OHS 2009 Code with PSM.
• Associations promulgating PSM guidelines: API (Process Hazards Management), CCPS,
Canadian Society of Chemical Engineers.
• US Chemical Safety Board (CSB) investigations of PSM (outstanding knowledge and training
• Many companies adopt PSM or some elements of PSM as good operating practice.
• Recent events have resulted in damage to residential and commercial properties.
• Emergency Response is an element of all process safety management programs.
• Process Safety Management = Reduced risk to emergency responders who protect the
public, workers, environment and property.
What is a Process Safety Incident?
Process Safety Incidents (PSIs) are incidents caused
by the release of a chemical or a problem with a
chemical process. PSIs are significant events, as they
may include injury, overpressure, fire, explosion or a
large release/spill.
Process Safety Management (PSM)
Notable PSM Events Worldwide (partial list)
•Bhopal, India-1984-thousands of fatalities due to MIC
•Piper Alpha, UK North Sea-1988-platform explosions
and fire-167 fatalities.
Process Safety Management (PSM)
Notable PSM Events Worldwide (partial list)
•BP Texas City Refinery-2005-Isom. Unit Explosion- 15
•Deepwater Horizon Gulf of Mexico – 2010- Rig
explosion and fire – 11 fatalities
Process Safety Management (PSM)
Notable PSM Events - Local
Hub Oil, Calgary-1999-Explosion in used process
vessel-2 fatalities
Sunrise Propane, Toronto – 2008 – Explosion and fire
while transferring propane between tanks – 2 fatalities
Process Safety Incident – Hub Oil
Process Safety Incident – Veolia
Process Safety Management
Hub Oil is an example of the failure of many elements
of Process Safety Management, including:
•Management of Change
•Equipment Design
•Relief Valve Protection
•Hazard Assessment
•Safety in Maintenance
•Incident Analysis/Lessons Learned
Process Safety Management
•Hub Oil and other major US and Canadian events (BP
Texas City, Veoila) inevitably prompt a review of
regulations and regulatory regimes.
•There is an emerging trend of damage to
neighbouring properties and injuries/exposure to the
public in major PSM events. This in turn puts higher
demands on emergency responders.
Process Safety Management
Thank you for your attention!

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