How is COVID-19 impacting process safety management? #Hazards30

COVID-19 has turned the world upside down, posing so many challenges for society.

Now it’s more important than ever for us to share good practice and process safety learnings gained so far during this unprecedented time to ensure together we maintain the safety of our businesses and our communities working within, and living by, them.

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Keeping sight of process safety in these challenging times

In today’s blog, IChemE Safety Centre Director Trish Kerin talks about the importance of continuing to raise awareness of managing major hazards during the pandemic.

Name: Trish Kerin

Job title: Director IChemE Safety Centre

As process safety professionals we know that process safety never takes a holiday, and it certainly doesn’t take sick leave for a global pandemic either. We continue to see incidents occur each week and it is unfortunate to note that the circumstances we find ourselves in because of the pandemic contributed to the cause in some cases. Incidents have taken place on restarting after inadequately planned shut-downs and after handling higher quantities of flammable substances, for example when retooling to manufacture alcohol-based hand sanitisers. We have also seen incidents caused by equipment failure that wasn’t adequately maintained due to the restrictions and due to the inappropriate storage of oxidizing agents.

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Chemical Engineering Education in the Age of Disruption

Chemical engineering educators had already been trying to adapt to and manage the impact of the rapid development of new technologies and advances are having upon education.

Industry 4.0 has prompted the chemical engineering education community to engage with, and adapt to, the digital transformation agenda. But when the COVID-19 pandemic hit global communities, it caused huge disruption to learning, and saw remarkable efforts to take learning fully virtual.

Despite online learning playing a strong role in many chemical engineering education establishments across the world, the disruption COVID-19 has caused saw Esther Ventura-Medina, Chair of IChemE’s Education Special Interest Group (EdSIG), to reflect on what still needs to be done for the virtual future in an article in The Chemical Engineer.

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