The industrial revolution of the 1960s and 1970s led to the use of exotic chemicals, higher operating temperatures and pressures, and increasingly complex processes. In addition, the process-human-equipment interface and resulting complexities also gave rise to additional problems. These issues manifested themselves into increasingly catastrophic incidents with human casualties, loss of property and damage to the ecosystem.

With the increasing complexity of the system and history of many tragic incidents, the need for process safety has gained more attention. However, safe operation of industry involves two broad issues:  the technical knowledge and understanding of hazard and risk associated with the operation; and the implementation of that knowledge into practice.  As we address these issues, we are faced with the inevitable question, “Why do incidents keep happening?” Or more importantly, “What can we do to improve process safety performance?”  To answer these questions we have arranged this webinar series in conjunction with the Mary Kay O’Connor Process Safety Center to address what we believe are the most common and underlying themes that dominate this discussion space.

Leadership in Process Safety
The safe operation of industry involves two broad issues: the technical knowledge and understanding of hazard and risk associated with the operation; and the implementation of that knowledge into practice. At the heart of these issues lies the company’s vision and commitment to safety. Strong leadership is a cornerstone of best-in-class safety management. Where leaders personally commit to safety and plainly communicate its importance to all members of the organization, safety thrives. This is an imperative for leaders’ at all organizational levels, including senior corporate executives and operating site managers. Leadership skill may come more naturally to some, but in the real world, all will need to work cooperatively with others toward common goals.  This first webinar in the series covers leadership skills and responsibilities as they apply to creating safety as a core value at all levels of leadership.  Discussion is also provided on how leaders must ensure that there are, “no mixed messages,” and that, “leaders lead by example.”

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Dr. M. Sam Mannan, PE, CSP, DHC
Regents Professor and Director
Mary Kay O'Connor Process Safety Center

Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering
Texas A&M University System

Dr. M. Sam Mannan, Regents Professor in the Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering at Texas A&M University and Director of the Mary Kay O'Connor Process Safety Center at the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station joined the Chemical Engineering Department in 1997. More...

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