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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Renew, Sustain, Disrupt and Advance – discussing the challenges faced by chemical engineers. #Chemeca

Chemical engineers create innovative technologies and solutions, adapt to disruption, and make processes more efficient and sustainable to benefit society.

But when the world is faced by unexpected challenges such as COVID-19, how do we create, maintain and improve upon safe, sustainable and cost effective solutions?

Despite the disruption of the pandemic, the organising committee for our Chemeca conference – made up of volunteer members and hosted by IChemE, Engineers Australia, The Royal Australian Chemical Institute and Engineering New Zealand – were keen to ensure sharing knowledge on these challenges still took place.

So our physical conference has been reshaped into a series of one-hour to 90 minute webinar sessions across four weeks and renamed Bite-Sized Chemeca. Under the theme ‘renew, sustain, disrupt and advance’, our expert engineer plenary speakers and panellists will discuss and present upon the hot topics affecting both industry and academia, including on COVID-19, industry 4.0, circular economy and energy efficiency.

Ahead of the event in two weeks’ time (29 September), we caught up with Dr Bronwyn Evans, Chief Executive of Engineers Australia, and our Deputy President, Jane Cutler who will be delivering plenary sessions in week one and two, respectively. Read their thoughts on how engineers might need to adapt to address these challenges and gain an insight into their plenaries below.

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GUEST BLOG: Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (ED&I) and IChemE

In this blog, IChemE Trustee Macsene Isles-Ahite shares her vision for ED&I in IChemE and across the chemical engineering community.

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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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A learned society with international reach

In this blog, Sam Wilkinson, committee member and communications lead on the Learned Society Committee, discusses IChemE’s ongoing learned society activity that is contributing to achieving Aim 2 of Strategy 2024.

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