Module Catalogue

CME2120 : Process Safety

  • Offered for Year: 2017/18
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Ming Tham
  • Lecturer: Dr Mohamed Shaik
  • Owning School: Engineering
  • Teaching Location: Singapore
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


•       To provide a complete grounding in all aspects of safety related to the Chemical Engineering Industry,
•       Be made aware of relevant regulations relating to safety,
•       Be taught and to practice: risk communication and a range of practical tools relating to hazards,
•       Be introduced to the techniques and regulatory provisions which are required on any process plant to ensure the safe and efficient operation of the process.
•       Be introduced to process safety engineering.

Outline Of Syllabus

Part 1: Introduction to Safety
i.       Case Studies - will give the rationale behind the need for safety especially within the context of the chemical industry in Singapore. This will be illustrated with case histories (eg. Flixborough, Seveso, Bhopal) and accident statistics. Learning here will be supplemented by an assignment that involves researching past major process accidents, analysing the causes of the accidents and reflecting on the lessons learnt from them.
ii.       Safety philosophies and principles - introduction to safety concepts such as the Iceberg principle, Accident pyramid and Accident process. Overview and explanation of common safety concepts/terminology (Hazard, Risk, Hazard control, ALARP, Hierarchy of control, Hazard/Risk communication)
iii.       Responsibility and Legislation
•       Singapore’s Safety Legislation Framework - Acts, Regulations and Standards. Overview of relevant legislation (e.g. Workplace Safety & Health Act).
•       Comparisons with Safety legislation in the US and Europe to awareness of international safety standards and practices (e.g. COSHH, COMAH, REACH, PPC, OSHA, PSM). Voluntary efforts by industry to improve safety performance (e.g. Responsible Care, Product Stewardship) will also be presented.
•       Safety information via chemical labelling, MSDS, and training (Risk and Hazard Communication), within the context of Singapore Standards (SS 586 Parts 1-3) and the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS).
iv.       Safety Management Systems
•       Safety systems to manage residual risk within the context of, for example SS506, OSHAS18001, PSM, including an overview of the continuous improvement approach (i.e. PDCA cycle). Various elements found within SS506: Part 3 which focuses on the Chemical Industry in Singapore will also be covered and illustrated via a workshop exercise.

Part 2: Hazard Assessment
i.       Health and Safety Hazards
•       Covers various chemical, physical and biological hazards which will include fire, explosion and toxic exposure and other loss of containment outcomes.
•       Aspects of personal safety with regards to occupational health/hygiene, radiation, machinery, electrical, noise and ergonomics
ii.       Hazard Identification and Assessment
•       Risk and Safety Tools: different hazard identification and assessment tools, e.g. Risk Assessments, Hazard indices-Dow Index, HAZOP, HAZAN, Fault tree, LOPA, SIL
•       HAZOP/HAZAN Workshop to consolidate understanding and proficiency in using the HAZOP methodology

Part 3: Design for Safety
i.       Process Safety Engineering
•       Essential steps in managing Chemical reactivity hazards which includes identifying, testing and assessing chemical reactivity risks, leading to vent sizing methodologies (e.g. Fauske, Leung)
•       Emergency venting leads to the release of flammable and/or toxic material to the atmosphere. Some aspects of dispersion and dispersion modelling will be introduced to assess the impact of such emissions.
ii.       Plant Safety
•       Cover aspects such as plant siting and layout as well as inherent safety concepts, reactor safety, pressure system design and control system design.
•       Safety issues and hazard mitigation strategies associated with plant start-up/shut downs, plant modifications, maintenance (e.g cleaning, confined space, hot work) as well as storage, transportation, waste disposal and emergency planning.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion12:002:00Assignment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion12:002:00Safety Mgt System workshop (post-workshop report)
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion12:002:00Exam
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion112:0012:00Exam revision
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion13:003:00HAZOP/HAZAN workshop (post-workshop report)
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion12:002:00Case Study Assignment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture241:0024:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching121:0012:00Tutorial
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study411:0041:00Review lecture and other source material, prepare for small group teaching
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Aspects of safety are introduced in logical steps, along with relevant industrial case studies, which illustrate and provide the reasons for the application of legislature as well as the tools and methods covered in the course.

Although formal lectures underpin the safety syllabus, the module contains practical sessions, which allow the students to apply and solve actual safety related engineering problems. For example, HAZOP provides scope for innovative and creative thinking, requiring the use of logical problem solving skills.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1202A60N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Prob solv exercises2M10HAZOP/HAZAN workshop
Prob solv exercises2M10Safety Mgt System workshop
Report2M10Case Study Assignment
Report2M10Vent Sizing and Emission Dispersion Assignment
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The formal lectures in Safety introduce the theoretical reasons and methods of safety. However, since safety is conceptually a frame of mind, assessed practical workshops are used to emphasise and establish the concepts to the student. For this reason 10% each is attributed to each workshop (HAZOP/HAZAN, and Safety Mgt System) and additional 10% each is attributed to 2 assignments on Case studies of Major Process Accidents and the methodology involved in vent sizing/dispersion calculations.

The students’ ability and comprehension of theoretical aspects in both safety and engineering practice will be assessed in a 2 hour written exam amounting to 60% of the total mark. This value will allow a sufficient depth and breadth of theoretical knowledge to be thoroughly examined.

Reading Lists