27 Oct, 2020
CHEMICAL ENGINEERS ARE ADVANCING
PROCESS SAFETY IN NIGERIA
1. The International Affairs Committee (IAC) of NSChE has spearheaded the creation of PSIN as a vehicle for driving and deepening Process Safety (PS) knowledge and practice in Nigeria. Working in collaboration with the National Secretariat, PSIN has been successfully registered as a not-for-profit organization in Nigeria.
2. Distinction requires to be made between Process Safety and the more traditional Occupational Safety. The latter is usually associated with safety and protection of personnel at work. It is characterized by relatively high occurrence frequencies and low incident consequences. PS on the other hand is about the protection of people, property and the environment from episodic incidents that may result from unplanned or unexpected deviations in the processing, handling and application of chemicals and petroleum products. It often entails explosion, fire or hazardous releases and is characterized by low occurrence frequencies but severe incident consequences.
3. The objectives of PSIN are to:
· Create strong awareness of PS in the Oil & Gas and Chemical Process Sectors.
· Engender sharing of best practices amongst all players in the sectors.
· Collect, analyse, disseminate and share PS data amongst industry stakeholders.
· Advance and deepen PS knowledge and best practices in the sectors.
· Drive PS advocacy in-country.
· Contribute positively to public policy formulation in areas relevant to PS.
· Spearhead inculcation of PS in undergraduate/graduate curricula in relevant technological disciplines.
· Equip lecturers and academics in the relevant disciplines with the vital knowledge and skills required to instruct the students.
· Enhance the competencies of industry practitioners in PS on a continuing basis.
· Provide a collaborative platform for interfacing with global PS community.
4. Membership in PSIN is envisaged from Oil & Gas and Chemical Process Industries companies, organisations and stakeholders. These may include: manufacturers, consultants, contractors, government agencies, regulators, academia, research institutes, insurers, professional associations, etc. The organization will be sustained mainly from subscription paid by members.
5. This envisaged structure of PSIN broadly aligns with the US Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS), an organ of AIChE. NSChE, through IAC, is collaborating with and is supported by CCPS, in respect of realization of the PSIN concept. This is within the framework of the subsisting cooperative MOU between AIChE and NSChE.
6. An interim 6-member Board of Trustees (BOT) for PSIN has been established, in which key relevant organs of NSChE are represented, thus:
· Board of Directors - 2 members
· IAC - 2 members
· HSE SG - 1 member
· National Secretariat - 1 member
This body will be expected to be reconstituted when PSIN becomes fully operational, to reflect its eventual membership.
7. A PSIN Committee has also been set up by NSChE to drive activities for getting PSIN fully operational. Membership of the Committee as well cuts across the relevant organs of the society, as follows:
· IAC - 4 members
· HSE SG - 3 members
· ERSG - 1 member
8. The PSIN Committee is primarily focused on getting the attention of key stakeholders in the Oil & Gas and Chemical Process Industries and attracting them to subscribe to membership of PSIN. The Committee will be expected to dissolve when PSIN becomes fully operational.
9. If there was any doubt about the necessity of PSIN, the spate of recent PS incidents in Nigeria makes it imperative. These incidents, which are of catastrophic dimension, include:
· Kaduna Gas Explosion, Jan. 2020
· Abule-Ado, Lagos Pipeline Fire, March 2020
· Ororo I Offshore Platform Fire, May 2020
· Ajao Estate, Lagos Gas Explosion, July 2020
· Ifako/Ijaiye, Lagos LPG Explosion & Fire, Sept. 2020
· Lokoja Petroleum Tanker Fire, Sept. 2020
· Ipaja, Lagos LPG Explosion & Fire, Oct. 2020
10. The PSIN Committee anticipates that the organization will be operational before the end of 2021 and will begin to assist arrest the dreadful destruction of life and assets in these PS incidents.
Engr. Dr. N. John Erinne
Chairman PSIN Committee