Home > Articles

This chapter is from the book


1-1. Engineering ethics: Write an essay on why you think safety (and process safety) is an important part of any engineering ethics statement.

1-2. Classify the following from 0 to 5 based on the hierarchy of safety programs provided in Table 1-3. Explain why.

  1. The company and plant executive teams are very receptive to any safety suggestions and the suggestions are reviewed and implemented on a timely basis.

  2. A change is made in a laboratory apparatus after a valve has leaked.

  3. A change is made in a laboratory apparatus after a JSA review is completed.

  4. The faculty member in charge of a laboratory has very little knowledge about safety.

  5. The faculty member in charge of a laboratory states that “Safety is very important!” but does nothing after a small accident.

  6. The company uses several leading safety metrics to assess its safety program.

  7. The laboratory meets all the rules in the safety manual.

  8. The faculty member in charge of a laboratory states that the safety program is interfering with the research efforts.

  9. The laboratory is a mess.

1-3. Safety culture: Classify the following activities as either strengthening or weakening process safety culture. Explain why.

  1. The plant manager schedules an important safety meeting that everyone must attend. At the meeting, the plant manager introduces a person from corporate safety and then excuses himself, stating that he has a more important meeting to attend elsewhere.

  2. The faculty member in charge of a research lab states that not everyone in the laboratory needs to wear safety glasses—only people who are doing hazardous operations. Visitors also do not need to wear safety glasses.

  3. The faculty member in charge of a research laboratory states that “No work is ever done in a clean lab!”

  4. The faculty member in charge of a research laboratory states that his students—not him—are in charge of the safety program and does little else.

  5. The plant manager institutes a suggestion box for safety ideas, and these ideas are discussed and resolved at the required safety meeting.

  6. A suggestion box for safety ideas is implemented, but it takes the plant management many months to respond to the suggestions.

  7. A research laboratory requires safety glasses, but the workers in the lab must purchase their own safety glasses.

  8. A research laboratory requires safety glasses. The safety glasses are provided but are available only in a room down the hallway.

  9. The laboratory safety manual has not been reviewed or updated in many years.

  10. The faculty member in charge of a teaching lab tells the students that they have primary responsibility for safety, and the faculty member provides the training, resources, management and continuous auditing to ensure that the students are successful.

1-4. Individual and societal risk: For the following cases, identify the primary risk population, classify the case as involving individual risk and/or societal risk, and identify the risk as voluntary or involuntary.

  1. A worker does not wear the required personal protective equipment for the chemicals being used.

  2. A large butane storage facility is built next to a congested neighborhood.

  3. A person drives a car from New York to Los Angeles.

  4. A person drives a car without wearing the seat belt.

  5. A person drives a car while intoxicated.

  6. An airplane is produced with a manufacturing defect.

  7. A tank truck containing gasoline is driven from the refinery to the gas station for unloading.

  8. An underground pipeline is routed through a residential area.

  9. A person climbs a cliff face solo.

1-5. Safety metrics: Classify the following as either leading or lagging safety metrics. Explain why.

  1. Number of reports of unsafe activities in a plant

  2. Number of near-miss incidents

  3. Money spent on insurance claims

  4. Number of visits to the plant first aid facility

  5. Number of process alarms that were managed without incident

  6. Time duration to complete maintenance

1-6. Accident and loss statistics: Return to Example 1-1. For parts (b) and (c), the length of time for both the hours-based fatal injury rate and the recordable incidence rate was 1 year. What time period is required for the hours-based fatal injury rate and the recordable incidence rate to be equal to the chemical manufacturing rates?

1-7. Accident and loss statistics: If the U.S. population in 2014 was 325 million people, calculate the deaths per 100,000 people from lightning strikes using the total fatalities from lightning in Table 1-13. Also calculate the fatality rate.

1-8. Use the risk matrix in Table 1-14 to determine the risk level for the Bhopal incident. Estimate the severity category, the safety severity level, the likelihood, and the risk level.

1-9. Codes, standards, and regulations: Go to the www.osha.gov web site and look up the OSHA regulation CFR 1910.119: Process Safety Management of Highly Hazardous Chemicals. Use Appendix A to determine the threshold quantities for the following chemicals. If your plant site exceeds this threshold quantity, then this standard applies.

  1. Ammonia, anhydrous

  2. Chlorine

  3. Hydrogen fluoride

  4. Propylene oxide

1-10. Safeguards: Classify the following safeguards as either preventive or mitigative.

  1. A safety instrumented system to shut down a process if an unsafe operating condition occurs.

  2. A foam system to reduce evaporation from a pool of leaked hydrocarbon.

  3. A dike around a storage vessel.

  4. A flow limiter is installed on a feed line to a chemical reactor to ensure that the reaction rate does not exceed a maximum value.

  5. Covers are placed over pipe flanges to prevent liquid spraying.

  6. A containment pond is built to collect any liquid runoff from a plant.

  7. A relief device is installed on a chemical reactor to protect the reactor vessel from the damaging effects of high pressure.

  8. A containment system is installed to collect the effluent from a relief device.

  9. The basic process control system.

  10. An emergency alarm system.

  11. An alarm system to notify the operator of out-of-limits process conditions.

  12. A gas chromatograph is installed to confirm chemical concentrations in a process.

  13. All plant operations personnel are given yearly emergency response training.

1-11. CCPS elements: Classify the following activities as being most directly related to one of the 20 elements of RBPS. Although many elements may be involved, list only the single most applicable element. An element may be used more than once.

  1. The plant has an open house for the local community.

  2. A plant-wide emergency response drill is completed once each quarter.

  3. A wide selection of courses on process safety are made available to the employees, and they are given the time and the motivation to enroll and complete the courses.

  4. The plant manager demonstrates a shared responsibility for the plant safety.

  5. All contractors on site are required to watch a video with an overview of the plant process safety and may be required to complete additional safety training depending on the type of work.

  6. Participation in monthly safety meetings is required of all workers.

  7. A small incident is investigated by the safety committee, with a final report being issued with recommendations and follow-through.

  8. A permit system is developed to ensure that no welding or open flames are present when flammable liquids are handled.

  9. Critical safety instrumentation is calibrated on a regular basis by the instrumentation personnel.

  10. The plant site is audited on a regular basis by the corporate safety personnel.

  11. Plant operating procedures are reviewed and updated to ensure that they conform to actual practice.

  12. A management system is developed to ensure that all replacement equipment is identical in function to the original equipment.

  13. When the electrical code changes, the plant staff reviews the changes to ensure that the plant meets the revised codes.

  14. A hazard identification procedure is implemented for all existing processes.

  15. Technical documents, engineering drawings and calculations, and equipment specifications are placed online for all workers to use.

  16. A shutdown process is verified to be in a safe condition for restart.

  17. A documented operations program is established to maintain reliable worker performance.

  18. Leading and lagging metrics are established to gauge process safety performance.

  19. An annual evaluation is developed to determine if management systems are performing as intended.

  20. Appropriate information is made available to people who need it.

1-12. Inherently safer design: Which inherently safer design strategy applies to each of the following?

  1. A flammable solvent is used to control the temperature in a reactor. The solvent is replaced by a nonflammable solvent.

  2. A valve that requires 10 turns to close is replaced by a quarter-turn valve.

  3. The equipment in a process can withstand 10 bar gauge (barg) of pressure even though the actual process operates normally at 5 barg. The pressure relief valve opening pressure is reduced from 10 barg to 8 barg.

  4. A plant stores a large quantity of a hazardous intermediate chemical to keep the plant operating during upsets in the upstream process. The intermediate storage is eliminated and the process reliability is improved to prevent upsets and downtime.

  5. An alternative reaction pathway is used that involves less hazardous raw materials.

  6. The trays on a distillation column are replaced by structured packing, which operates over a wider range of operating conditions.

Additional homework problems are available in the Pearson Instructor Resource Center.

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020