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Becht Engineering Blog

In this section of the site contributing authors submit interesting articles relating to the various services, industries and research & development efforts of Becht Engineering.

Process Safety Management and YOU

Walking the Walk…Management Commitment My assumption is if you are reading this, you have some involvement in, or responsibility for, Process Safety Management (PSM) in your facility.  OSHA’s Standard for Hazardous Materials, 29 CFR 1910.119, is a mere 21 pages long including 12 pages of “non-mandatory” appendices -- but should it be your responsibility, what a daunting task to implement!  I remember Otter from the movie Animal House being quoted when everything looked so bleak - “Now we could do it with conventional weapons, but that would take years and cost millions of lives.  No, I think we have to go all out.  I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture to be done on somebody’s part!” What to do? You could immediately start looking elsewhere for employment, focus on the daily emergencies that will always be there and hope your boss values crisis management more...
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Importance of Codes and Standards for Process Safety

Importance of Codes and Standards for Process Safety
Compliance with the Process Safety Management rule, OSHA 1910.119, is a requirement for plants processing certain highly hazardous materials exceeding threshold quantities. The rule requires the owner to demonstrate all equipment has been purchased and installed in accordance with recognized industry standards. Maintenance practices must also be according to Recognized and Generally Accepted Good Engineering Practice (RAGAGEP) . The owner must document this information as part of the Process Safety Information and Mechanical Integrity program for the plant. Use of Codes The use of codes and standards can help assure compliance with the rule. For example ASME Section VIII is the recognized code for construction of pressure vessels operating in the United States at pressures over 15 psi. It would be difficult to debate vessels could be designed and built to other requirements and still be acceptable under the PSM rule. Codes such as the ASME code have been developed...
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PSM Implementation is a Challenge -- Maintaining Compliance is Even Harder

PSM Implementation is a Challenge -- 
Maintaining Compliance is Even Harder
The Process Safety Management rule (PSM), OSHA 1910.119, was implemented in the early 90’s, more than 20 years ago. Implementation was driven by a number of tragic accidents in the process industry. However, despite the long history of the rule and multiple preventable, catastrophic incidents, many companies still have not fully implemented PSM. Companies that have implemented the PSM rule often find it very challenging to maintain compliance.  Becht Engineering has conducted numerous PSM, due diligence and mechanical integrity audits and discovered deficiencies in PSM compliance. We have even discovered major gaps in some facilities that have done well during OSHA audits. These plants were generally located where there are limited numbers of hydrocarbon and chemical processing facilities. OSHA simply lacked the local resources and skills to perform adequate audits. These plants can be highly vulnerable to both incidents and fines since they may assume everything is in compliance. In...
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Safety - Plan, Promote and Participate: A Simple Recipe For Success

Safety - Plan, Promote and Participate:  A Simple Recipe For Success
  As the year draws to a close, I’ve been retrospective --  regarding what I have seen in terms of Safety successes.   It turns out that it has been a good year for Safety! Having had the opportunity to interact with different operations, companies and a variety of “Safety Cultures”, it is evident to me why some are more successful than others.  Once I considered the successes a trend became evident.  While considering to giving this trend a snazzy title, I decided to just call it the 3 P’s:  Plan, Promote, Participate - Simple yet appropriate.  Let me use an existing project to demonstrate the principle of the 3. Becht Engineering has been involved with a project at an existing refinery for about a year.  This project is a process upgrade with a planned duration of approximately 18 months.  Peak headcount will be about 150 craft workers spread amongst  a...
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