Security leads discussions at CCPS conference

Jacksonville, FL—Risk management professionals met Oct. 8-11, 2002, at the Center for Chemical Process Safety's (CCPS) 17th annual international conference and workshops. Past conferences included sharing of best practices in risk, reliability and security of chemical processes, but this year's event focused on what is required to manage risk from intentional criminal and terrorist attacks.


Jacksonville, FL— Risk management professionals met Oct. 8-11, 2002, at the Center for Chemical Process Safety 's (CCPS) 17th annual international conference and workshops. Past conferences included sharing of best practices in risk, reliability and security of chemical processes, but this year's event focused on what is required to manage risk from intentional criminal and terrorist attacks.

One well-attended, all-day workshop, entitled 'Bomb Countermeasures and Plant Security,' was conducted by Craig Gundry of Critical Intervention Services (Hillsborough, Pinellas, FL). Having this type of title as part of the CCPS event is a major departure from previous years, and proof that the chemical industry is serious about protecting its assets from being used as weapons.

Chemical plants will no doubt use more law enforcement methods to deter criminal and terrorist attacks. However, it's not the only thing they can do. Now is a good time for chemical processors to research whether different chemical technology and/or different processing methods might create safer, less likely targets for criminal or terrorist attacks.

Assessing vulnerability
Even before Sept. 11, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE, New York, NY) CCPS division and Sandia National Laboratories were developing industry vulnerability assessment methods. Following Sept. 11, both organizations accelerated efforts to complete these assessment methods to help industries and sites determine their vulnerability to criminal or terrorist attacks.

The methods of both organizations have similarities. CCPS' Security Vulnerability Analysis (SVA) is based on the CCPS book, 'Guidelines for Managing and Analyzing the Security Vulnerabilities of Fixed Chemical Sites,' which is available from AIChE's online bookstore.

CCPS recognizes that many companies don't have or aren't in a position to hire, train, and keep retraining individuals knowledgeable in addressing site vulnerability. Thus, CCPS is launching a Certified Security Vulnerability Analyst (CSVA) training process. The course is for individuals responsible for conducing security vulnerability analysis and managing chemical security at fixed facilities. Areas covered in the CSVA training program include:

  • New paradigm of chemical process security;

  • Security strategies;

  • Definitions of terms for SVA;

  • Commonly used assessment techniques; and

  • SVA limitations.

To learn more about the CCPS CSVA program, visit .

Sandia's assessment process is entitled 'Vulnerability Assessment Methodology for Chemical Facilities (VAM-CF).' Steps included in VAM-CF are:

  • Screening;

  • Project definition;

  • Planning;

  • Site survey;

  • Analysis;

  • Risk reduction;

  • Impacts; and

  • Final report.

To learn more about the Sandia VAM-CF, visit .

Meanwhile, an unrelated, but interesting presentation by lawyer Mark Dreux discussed the benefits of evaluating safety and health issues as part of the due diligence in mergers and acquisitions. Mr. Dreux stated that many mergers and acquisitions never consider potential safety and health liabilities; past and pending regulatory violation citations; or overall attitudes toward health and safety. Mr. Dreux cited one merger he helped facilitate in which the due diligence process changed the purchase price by $18 million because of safety and health-related issues.

Charles Jeffress, new coo of the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board , delivered the CCPS keynote address, which really was a down-to-earth explanation of the difference between government regulatory agencies and government boards. Regulatory agencies deal with previously recognized incidents, and then establish and enforce minimum compliance standards that are attainable by all regulated industries.

Boards are proactive in nature, working within assigned industries to assist companies of varying sizes and sophistication to investigate incidents in order to identify root-causes, and then develop and communicate appropriate best practices to avoid similar incidents in the future. Boards also make recommendations to regulating agencies on possible changes and additions to improve regulatory effectiveness.

In conclusion, Mr. Jeffress encouraged workers in the chemical industry to send the U.S. Chemical Board their thoughts on the following questions:

  • 1) Where does the U.S. Chemical Board need to strengthen its positions and focus its efforts? For example, investigation of near misses provided more education and increased small business assistance.

  • 2) What would be industry's suggestion for areas of broader studies?

  • 3) Where and how would it be best to expand education resources?

PSID project
A project CCPS undertook several years ago was the development of a Process Safety Incident Database (PSID). The latest version of PSID is still in beta testing, but plans are to release the latest version within the next month or so.

Since its inception PSID has undergone a number of design changes, mostly addressing technology issues. This latest upgrade migrated the standalone version to a web-based version.

The goal of PSID is twofold. First, it helps member chemical producer companies meet OSHA PSM requirements to share incident information, including root causes. Second, PSID enables member companies to learn from peers, without revealing the source. This is extremely valuable information when conducting HAZOP audits and/or planning equipment and/or process changes.

Using an online database, PSID provides flexible, easy-to-use, and yet powerful search tools to identify and rank results. PSID reports can be created using 2D graphs, Paretto charts and crosstabs. Report results are easily pasted into Microsoft Word or Excel applications.

Annual membership to use the PSID database requires two things, a commitment to contribute a negotiated number of incidents each year and a relatively small amount of money. Operated by CCPS at cost, annual membership fees divides the previous year's administration costs by the number of members. Currently, PSID has 23 member companies, and annual membership fees run about $6,000. .

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Dave Harrold, senior editor

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