Process Safety Management and Engineering Course

Request info

Process Safety Management Training Course

Course Description

The ‘Process Safety Management and Engineering’ course covers all the main elements of IChemE’s Process Safety Competency framework – culture, knowledge and competence, engineering and design, human factors, systems and procedures, and assurance.  Delegates will achieve at least the second level of competence ‘Basic Application’, which is defined as ‘Performs fundamental and routine tasks. Requires occasional supervision. Increased functional expertise and ability. Works with others.

It examines the interrelation of the various techniques of process safety for analysing and managing process hazards in the hydrocarbon and chemical processing industries. There is a particular emphasis on engineering design aspects with extensive participation in individual and group exercises, tutored exercises and video case studies throughout the course to underpin key learning points. The learning is consolidated in a comprehensive case study, which lasts a whole day, and requires collaboration between members of each syndicate.

Target Audience

The course is suitable for process industry professionals who need to acquire a comprehensive understanding of process safety, those moving into process safety positions or those who wish to broaden their process safety knowledge within their existing discipline. It is particularly suited for anyone involved in the design, operation, modification or maintenance of a major hazard installation, and will demonstrate a substantial understanding of process safety for those engaged in Continuous Professional Development or aiming for Chartered Engineer status.

  • Supervisors, operators and maintainers in oil & gas and chemical industries
  • Process, mechanical and chemical engineers and technicians
  • Design engineers, project engineers and HSE managers
  • Control, automation and instrumentation engineers

Learning Objectives

  • Acquire underpinning knowledge required to achieve process safety competency.
  • Understand the breadth of process safety subjects.
  • Understand the concept of the safety life cycle of a process plant from conceptual design onwards including operation, maintenance and modification.
  • Understand the hazard scenarios associated with a process plant.
  • Understand how risks can be controlled by hardware and procedural measures.
  • Identify and analyse hazard causes and consequences.
  • Recognise when specialist analytical expertise is required.
  • Generate effective and appropriate measures to reduce risk.
  • Justify and communicate practical solutions to non-technical personnel.
  • Explain the rationale for process safety measures to decision makers.

Learning Outcomes


Upon completion, delegates will acquire in-depth knowledge of :


  • Risk culture of an organisation.
  • Risk management and ALARP principles.
  • Different aspects of process design that influence process safety.
  • Approach to ‘inherently safer’ design.
  • Defence in depth using ‘layers of protection’.
  • Process for ensuring the technical integrity of safety-critical equipment.
  • Hazards associated with process materials.
  • Range of hazard identification and consequence modelling techniques.
  • Causes and mitigation of human error.
  • Cost – risk benefit analysis.
  • Reliability and availability of safety-critical protection equipment.
  • Role of engineered safety-critical equipment and systems.


Course Tutor

Alan Borrowman has 50 years’ experience in chemical and process safety engineering. His early career included 20 years in design and project engineering with various fine chemical and pharmaceutical companies, where he designed chemical processes, specified plant equipment and selected materials for highly corrosive and toxic processes, often where textbook data was not available. This was followed by 10 years in offshore oil and gas design projects, where he was responsible for setting up a Technical Safety group to change design safety practices in the aftermath of the 1988 Piper Alpha disaster. In recent years, Alan has been called upon to conduct various offshore and onshore incident investigations.

His career has given him experience of project engineering, project management, process design and operations, safety engineering and risk management. He is a Fellow of the UK Institution of Chemical Engineers; he served on the Scottish Branch committee, and was elected chairman for a two-year term in 1991.  He has also been chairman of the Safety and Reliability Society – North of Scotland Branch.

He has delivered training courses in Process Hazard Analysis (HAZOP and HAZID), Process Safety Management, Hazard Awareness, Risk Assessment, Root Cause Analysis, Failure Modes & Effect Analysis and has lectured on Reliability Analysis to the M.Sc. course in Process Safety and Loss Prevention at Sheffield University. In addition to delivering training courses, he currently facilitates HAZOP / HAZID / LOPA studies and undertakes expert witness roles advising lawyers engaged in contractual disputes, usually involving the design or construction of chemical plants or oil & gas production facilities, or criminal prosecutions.

Course Syllabus


MODULE 1                                                DURATION


13:00              WELCOME and INTRODUCTION                                         20 minutes


  • Remote training arrangements
  • Personal introductions
  • Course outline


13:20              PROCESS SAFETY                                                                  60 minutes


The course starts with a review of how modern PS has evolved in relation to industrial development and changes in society’s values, illustrated by reference to some major international disasters (Flixborough, Seveso, Bhopal, Longford, Texas City and Piper Alpha). Delegates will learn about the underlying causes of these accidents and how defence in depth is necessary to avoid them. Common terms used in PS will be defined.


  • Development of process safety
  • Historical incidents
  • Causes of accidents
  • Key definitions, e.g. hazard, risk


14:20              HAZARD AWARENESS                                                          40 minutes


Hazards can arise from the process materials, the equipment design, upset conditions and operational activities. Examples of each are described and measures to avoid or control them are discussed. The learning outcome will be a comprehensive knowledge of the range of possible hazards. Topics include:


  • Material safety data sheets
  • Material hazards, e.g. flammability, toxicity, reaction
  • Design hazards, e.g. layout, ergonomics, metallurgy
  • Process hazards, e.g. blockage, equipment failure
  • Maintenance hazards, e.g. isolations and gas-freeing
  • Operating hazards, e.g. sampling, human factors
  • Environmental/natural hazards, e.g. extreme weather, seismic


14:50              15 mins Break


15:05              OPERATIONAL SAFETY                                                        70 minutes


The similarities and differences between PS and personal safety will be explained. Delegates will be shown how to participate in the process of work-related risk assessments, recognising the physical and chemical properties of the materials that are being processed. They will understand the triggers for initiating risk assessments, the way process safety hazards are controlled, what those controls are and how effective they are.  The learning outcome will be the ability to conduct operational risk assessments.


  • Operational Risk Assessment
    • Level 1 & 2 risk assessments
    • Planning a risk assessment
    • Identifying hazards
    • Assessing risk
    • Implementing findings


15:40              Exercise :   Tank entry risk assessment


16:05              15 mins Break


  • Abnormal Operations
  • Start-up and shutdown
  • Maintenance hazards


16:30              Exercise:  Texas City explosion in 2005                             50 minutes

Delegates will study the CSB video of the Texas City explosion and complete a questionnaire, which probes the issues that should be addressed in an operational risk assessment, i.e.


17:20              Review Learning Outcomes                                                                                                 20 minutes


17:30              End Module 1





13:00              RISK MANAGEMENT                                                            180 minutes


Delegates will learn how process hazards are managed systematically throughout the life of an asset, with particular emphasis on the design stage, using the 5-step risk management approach. The concepts of individual risk, societal risk and risk criteria will be explained with reference to the ALARP Principle of risk tolerability. The use and limitations of semi-quantitative risk matrices to analyse risk, will be discussed. The application of QRA will consider escalation, sensitivity analysis and rulesets and discuss its limitations as an absolute measure of risk. The hierarchy of risk reduction measures will demonstrate their relative effectiveness and delegates will learn how to make decisions about which measures are justifiable on purely a cost-benefit basis or on a qualitative basis, taking account of a wide range of factors such as stakeholder values.


  • Risk management cycle
    • Hazard identification
    • Scenario development and preliminary risk assessment
      • Detailed risk analysis
      • Risk evaluation and ALARP demonstration
      • Implementation of risk reduction measures


      14:15              15 mins Break


      14:30              RISK ASSESSMENT

      • Individual risk and societal risk (FN curves)
      • Risk tolerance, risk criteria and ALARP
      • Qualitative and semi-quantitative risk analysis
      • Risk matrix and risk ranking
      • Uses and limitations of quantified risk analysis (QRA)
      • Hierarchy of risk reduction measures
      • Cost vs. risk benefit analysis


      • Risk-based decision making

      Tutored Exercise:

      A risk-based decision-making framework is used to examine the trade-offs between technological and value-based decision criteria in a case study concerning options for reducing benzene emissions during loading of gasoline onto a ship.


      16:15              15 mins Break


      16:30              Case Study:   Various failures in safety management leading to the Boeing 737 Max crashes in 2019 will be examined to illustrate similarities in risk management principles between the aviation and process industries.                                                                    50 minutes


      17:20              Review Learning Outcomes                                                                                                 10 minutes


      17:30              End Module 2



      MODULE 3


      13:00              HAZARD IDENTIFICATION                                                  200 minutes


      The purpose, resource requirements and methodology of each of the common techniques will be explained. Delegates will understand how HAZID and HAZOP are used at different stages of a project, and will undertake HAZOP exercises to illustrate its application to a continuous operation and a critical manual draining procedure.

      HAZID is used to identify general health, safety and environmental issues arising due to installation, construction and maintenance activities, and those arising from the environment in which the plant operates. 

      FMEA is similar to HAZOP but is used to identify the effect of equipment failures in mechanical and electrical systems. Delegates will learn how it can be applied to equipment functions as well as to equipment hardware.  

      A Bowtie diagram is a visual overview of multiple scenarios in a single picture, showing the relationship between causes, consequences and barriers.  It is readily understood by non-technical people and so can be used to quickly identify alternative safety strategies if a barrier fails.

      At the end of this session, delegates will be able to select appropriate hazard identification techniques, and how to organize and conduct them properly, and understand the relative contributions that HAZOP and HAZID can make when used together.

      • Hazard & Operability study (HAZOP)
      • Defining the scope, boundaries and nodes
      • Selecting appropriate guidewords
      • Protective measures
      • Use of Cause and Effect / SAFE charts
      • Using HAZOP study at different stages in a project.
      • Consideration of ‘Operability’ and human error
      • Team responsibilities
      • Completing a worksheet
      • Organising action responses
      • Typical HAZOP findings


      14:15              15 mins Break


      14:30               Exercise:  Continuous HAZOP of the pumped discharge from a gasoline storage tank


      15:30               15 mins Break


      15:45               Other Hazard Identification Techniques

      • Hazard checklist
      • HAZID / What-if ? Analysis
      • Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA)
      • SIMOPS
      • Bow-tie diagram


      17:20              Review Learning Outcomes                                                 10 minutes


      17:30              End Module 3



      MODULE 4


      13:00              HAZARD ANALYSIS                                                               120 minutes


      Judgments have to be made about the likelihood of equipment failure and the potential effects on plant and personnel. At the end of this section, the delegates will understand how hazard frequency rates and equipment failure rates are quantified, how to determine the effects of flammable and toxic gas clouds, gas fires, liquid fires and explosions, and will be able to predict the likely degree of damage to buildings and plant and the extent ofpersonnel injury. They will also understand how accident scenarios are modeled and different risk outcomes are quantified.


      • Equipment failure data
      • Frequency analysis
      • Fault tree construction and logic


      13:30              Exercise:          Fault tree analysis of overpressure in an air receiver.


      14:15              15 mins Break


      14:30              Consequence assessment

      • Gas and liquid release rates
      • Gas dispersion models
      • Ignition probability
      • Fire and explosion modeling
      • BLEVE
      • Estimating harm to people and plant
      • Assessing outcomes using Event Tree analysis


      15:00               Exercise:  Event tree analysis of a hydrocarbon fire with success or failure of fire detection and fire protection systems.


      15:30              SAFETY IN DESIGN                                                               120 minutes


      Delegates will be made aware of the risk-based approach to design, in conjunction with the use of codes and standards and when various safety activities occur in the design process. The principle of inherently safer design will be explained and illustrated with a case study video.


      • Project safety plan
      • Process safety design activities and deliverables
      • Risk-based design approach
      • Limitations of codes and standards
        • Inherent Safety, including video of explosion at Bayer Crop Science


      16:00              15 mins Break


      16:15              SAFETY-CRITICAL ELEMENTS


      The concept of safety critical elements based on major accident hazards and the need to develop performance standards for them during the project design phase will be explained. Once a plant is in operation, many of the design performance standards no longer apply or need to be verified. However, different requirements may apply so operational performance standards are developed in a format, which recognises that corrective and/or compensating actions are necessary when performance deteriorates, e.g. if a fire pump fails its regular function test.


      • Major accident hazards
      • Safety critical elements
      • Performance standards in design and operation
      • Assurance tasks
      • Written verification scheme


      The main project design safety activities will be described in outline to enable delegates to produce a Process Safety plan for a project.


      16:40              LOSS PREVENTION ENGINEERING

      • Design safety philosophies
      • Plant layout
      • Hazardous area classification and fire zoning
      • Fire & gas detection
      • Isolatable sections
      • Emergency shutdown
      • Relief, vents and flaring
      • Prevention of ignition
      • Fire zoning
      • Active and passive fire protection
      • Risk register and action tracking
      • Formal safety assessment studies
      • Fire & explosion risk
      • Smoke and gas dispersion
      • Emergency systems survivability
      • Hazardous area classification
      • Project design safety audit


      17:20              Review Learning Outcomes                                                 10 minutes


      17:30              End Module 4



      MODULE 5


      13:00              FUNCTIONAL SAFETY                                                          150 minutes


      Functional Safety is the correct functioning of safety instrumented systems (SIS), alarm systems and basic process control systems (BPCS), which provide a significant level of risk reduction against accident hazards.  They typically consist of sensors and logic functions that detect a dangerous condition and final elements such as valves that are manipulated to achieve a safe state. The concept of safety integrity and how target availabilities of safety instrumented systems are set will be explained.  The use of LOPA to justify the level of protection for given hazard scenarios will be described using a case study and the means of verifying that the instrument architecture meets the target availability will be outlined.


      • Layers of protection
      • Safety integrity level (SIL)
      • Tutored Exercise: SIL assessment of separator trip
      • Mechanical protection
      • Levels of protection analysis (LOPA)
      • Verification of integrity level


      14:00               Tutored Exercise:   LOPA study of causes of rupture of a distillation column.


      14:30              15 mins Break


      14:45              RELIABILITY of PROTECTION SYSTEMS                            35 minutes


      Having understood how the required performance of protection systems is determined, the predicted failure rate of such systems will be examined. At the end of this section, the delegate will be able to make decisions about the adequacy of existing protection arrangements and recommend improvements.


      • Basics of reliability analysis
      • Redundancy and diversity
      • Common mode failure / beta factor
      • Voting logic
      • Probability of failure on demand


      15:20              HUMAN FACTORS                                                                 40 minutes


      The underlying reasons for various types of human error will be highlighted with the use of a video case study. Reasons will be given why, during the project design phase, there is normally insufficient information to apply the standard method of assessing HF. Guidance will be given for how it should be considered during HAZOP meetings, and on particular aspects of design issues such as ergonomics and alarm management. At the end of this session, the delegates will understand how maloperation and poor maintenance can give rise to safety hazards, why plant operability is important for safety, how systematic humanware failures can occur and be able to analyse critical tasks.


      • Video of HF failings in road tanker offloading
      • Barriers to adopting HF
      • Causes of human error


      16:00               Exercise:  CSB video of Formosa VCM  – distinguishing lapses, mistakes and violations.


      • Human error probabilities
      • Conventional approach to HF
      • Incorporating HF into HAZOP and examples of HF issues raised
      • Examples of HF in design, e.g. ergonomics, alarm management
      • Critical task analysis
      • Alarm management


      17:20              Review Learning Outcomes                                                 10 minutes


      17:30              End Module 5



      MODULE 6


      13:00              SYSTEMS & PROCEDURES                                                    60 minutes


      Delegates will understand how to interpret process drawings, how operating procedures are developed, how plants are safely controlled under upset conditions and how procedures are used to make plants safe for maintenance work. The range and timing of safety-related deliverables produced during project development will be explained in relation to other project design activities. They will also understand how the immediate response to emergencies and post-incident investigations are handled.


      • Documentation
      • Key process and key safety documentation
      • Inter-discipline review and document control
        • Management of change
        • Video of uncontrolled modification
        • Design change control
        • Contractor management
        • Safe system of work
      • Emergency response management
      • Incident investigation


      14:00              PROCESS SAFETY CULTURE                                                 30 minutes


      The need to instill safety as a core value and for strong and visible safety leadership is highlighted, covering the skills necessary for active engagement, communication, influencing behavior and safety improvement. Delegates are shown how to assess the maturity of their organization for managing PS.


      • Workplace culture
      • Safety leadership
      • Safety drivers
      • Behavioural safety programmes
      • Organisational risk maturity model


      14:30              15 mins Break


      14:45               PROCESS SAFETY MANAGEMENT                                60 minutes


      The different regulatory regimes based on prescriptive rules and goal-setting will be explained. Most major operators now prepare a Safety Case or Safety Report, which justifies being given a licence to operate, and documents how they would respond in the event of a major incident. Delegates will learn about the purpose and typical content of Safety Cases.


      • Legislation and regulations
      • Different approaches to PSM in USA and UK
      • Prescriptive approach – Process safety management
      • Goal-setting approach – Safety case regime
      • Safety Cases


      15:30              MANAGING HEALTH AND SAFETY


      Delegates will understand the reasons for having a comprehensive process safety management system, including regulatory compliance and the mechanisms for implementing company HSE policy. The different approaches to safety management in the UK (HSG 65) and USA (OSHA) will be discussed and the key elements of a process safety management system (UK basis: Plan – Do – Check – Act) will be outlined.

      PSM tools such as safety briefings, performance monitoring, risk assessment, safe systems of work, management of change, PS auditing, and lessons learned are introduced. Delegates will also learn to differentiate between leading and lagging process safety performance indicators.


      • UK’s HSG 65 code of practice
      • PLAN: Policy and planning
      • DO: Implementation and operation, e.g. risk assessment, organization, communication, co-operation, competence
      • CHECK: Corrective action, lead and lagging performance indicators for Process Safety
      • ACT: Audit, management review, lessons learned and continual improvement


      16:50              Review Learning Outcomes                                     10 minutes


      17:00               BRIEFING FOR SYNDICATE EXERCISE

      The study is broken down into four progressive stages, each lasting approximately 80 minutes. At the beginning of each stage, the groups receive a management briefing and are challenged to form opinions from the information they have received.  Each group can ask a limited number of questions at each stage, and the trainer’s replies will be given to all the groups during the briefing at the beginning of the following stage.


      17:30              End Module 6



      MODULE 7


      13:00              SYNDICATE EXERCISE : PROCESS SAFETY MANAGEMENT                    


      Process Incident at Bar Mill Power Station

      The course will conclude with an extended case study of process safety management in an industrial facility. The study concentrates on preparatory activities prior to making relatively simple modifications to external instrumentation on a pressure vessel containing an apparently non-hazardous fluid. The groups have to organize themselves to pursue several lines of enquiry at the same time, separate material facts from a large amount of, sometimes conflicting, information, and draw upon much of their course learning.


      13:00               Introduction and hand-outs                                                    15 minutes


      13:15               Stage 1:  An assessment is made of the procedures and permits in place to control the relevant operational and engineering tasks, how change is managed in the company and the adequacy of the task risk assessment employed.                                                                                100 minutes

      15:15              20 mins Break


      15:35               Stage 2: The groups are asked to review the system design and its operation, and opine on the appropriate process hazard identification method and how this might be organised.                                     100 minutes

      17:30              End Module 7



      MODULE 8

      Syndicate Exercise, continued

      13:00               Stage 3: The groups are informed that a process incident occurred during preparation for the modification work and two workers died. They are given the timeline and sequence of events, witness statements and investigation reports, and they are asked to identify the likely cause.                                                                                       100 minutes

      15:00               20 mins Break


      15:20               Stage 4:  Each group will prepare a verbal report on how the incident could have been prevented with recommendations for changes in management procedures, working procedures, equipment design, training, organisation, etc.                                                          80 minutes

      17:00              Stage 5:  Feedback and inter-group discussion                  15 minutes

      17:15              Course Assessment, Feedback, Q & A                                  15 minutes

      The trainer will summarise the objectives of the course and explain the relevance of all sections of the course. Delegates will be encouraged to give their opinions on the course so that the content can be continually improved.


      17:30              End Module 8


Duration: 5 Days

Cost: £1995 + Vat



Process Safety Training Course

SELECT wp_posts.*, wp_p2p.* FROM wp_posts INNER JOIN wp_postmeta ON ( wp_posts.ID = wp_postmeta.post_id ) INNER JOIN wp_p2p WHERE 1=1 AND ( ( wp_postmeta.meta_key = 'start_date' AND CAST(wp_postmeta.meta_value AS DATE) >= '2024-04-16' ) ) AND ((wp_posts.post_type = 'schedule' AND (wp_posts.post_status = 'publish' OR wp_posts.post_status = 'acf-disabled'))) AND (wp_p2p.p2p_type = 'schedule_to_courses' AND wp_posts.ID = wp_p2p.p2p_from AND wp_p2p.p2p_to IN ( SELECT wp_posts.ID FROM wp_posts WHERE 1=1 AND wp_posts.ID IN (25785) AND ((wp_posts.post_type = 'courses' AND (wp_posts.post_status = 'publish' OR wp_posts.post_status = 'acf-disabled'))) ORDER BY wp_posts.post_date DESC )) GROUP BY wp_posts.ID ORDER BY CAST(wp_postmeta.meta_value AS DATE) ASC