Petrofac News 1700X397
22 October 2012

A new approach to process safety

In the world of process plant, one thing matters above all else: safety. This year, a senior Petrofac employee has been helping to raise process safety standards further by launching an important new qualification.

History has shown us time and again the catastrophic consequences of unsafe actions. This is why Petrofac strives to ensure that safety is always fully integrated at the initial front end engineering and design stage, and that plant operations are managed with excellence in process safety as a priority.

Of course, there is always room for improvement, and the shortage of professionals qualified in the field of technical process safety is a significant challenge. What’s more, many people tend to confuse ‘occupational safety’ with ‘process safety’ when, in reality, the two are very different – with each demanding its own skills and knowledge.

To address this issue, a senior Petrofac employee has been closely involved in creating a new safety qualification, specifically for the field of process plant. Helen Fennell, Risk Safety Environment Manager, Engineering & Consulting Services, worked with the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) to develop and launch the ‘Professional Engineer (PEng) Process Safety’: “This initiative could have a huge impact across the industry. I hope that by achieving this qualification engineers will be able to gain international recognition as competent practitioners in the field of process safety and be able to demonstrate to customers and peers that they are competent safety engineers and committed to high standards of professional conduct.”

With a long established pedigree in operating peer review based qualifications, the IChemE is uniquely positioned to provide the qualification. The institution has a long track record of leading the way in process safety. It also has members all around the world which provides an excellent opportunity to encourage large numbers of process safety professionals, with at least four to six years direct professional experience, to put themselves forward for qualification.

Applications will initially be limited to those already holding professional qualifications recognised by IChemE as equivalent in level to Chartered Chemical Engineer, for example Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and other international reciprocal qualifications.