Deshidratacion y desemulsificación de crudos: gunbarrel

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Best Practices in Safety By James Belke EPA Chemical Emergency Preparedness and Prevention Office May 2000 At Crossroads, we recently received the question: "Please give me some good sources to obtain information on best safety practices, regardless of industry. Our organization is attempting to revamp our safety culture and is trying to locate companies to research and possibly emulate." Such astraightforward question deserves an answer in kind, and in a two-paragraph response, I attempted to briefly provide the writer with some sources of information and organizational examples of safety excellence that might be useful. But any short answer to this question belies the decades of human experience and volume after volume of written information that have contributed to defining industrial"best safety practices." Additionally, the question raised the concept of safety culture, which is itself an entire sub-discipline within the overall rubric of safety practice about which much has been written. So in this article I thought I would set the stage for future articles that will explore some specific aspects of "best safety practices" and "safety culture" in more depth, or at leastscratch the surface a little deeper than I did in my response to the questioner. It is useful to step back a bit and discuss some background information. Many modern industrial activities are highly complex, and organizations may necessarily engage in a wide range of "risky" activities in the course of their objectives. These risks exist either because certain materials, processes, or endeavors haveinherently hazardous characteristics, thereby precluding the absolute elimination of all risk, or because it would be prohibitively expensive or inefficient to eliminate all hazards, and the risk of those hazards can be managed so that the benefits of the endeavor outweigh its risk over the long term. Such activities may include working with highly toxic, flammable, or explosive chemicals,operating processes at extremely high temperatures and pressures, working with high-energy electrical, mechanical, chemical or nuclear systems, or subjecting workers to a variety of other occupational hazards.


While most readers in this forum will rightly assume I'm referring to the chemical and petroleum industry, its not just chemical manufacturing plants and oil refineries whichdo these sorts of things. Other organizations, such as the mining industry, power generating utilities, the marine shipping trade, the military, government agencies such as NASA and DOE, and others have also routinely and (usually) successfully engaged in activities that contain some element of risk to workers, the environment, or the public. In order to be successful, these organizations must beable to manage such risks. The methods used to do this have evolved, and continue to evolve, out of the aggregated knowledge and experience arising from these various different risky endeavors into a body of operating practice that can loosely be termed "best safety practices." This is perhaps an oversimplified explanation for a process which has been punctuated along the way with drasticexamples of failure, such as the toxic chemical release at Bhopal, the nuclear meltdown at Chernobyl, and the Challenger space shuttle incident, to name a few. But the examples of success, while generally either less well-known or taken for granted by the public, are a testimony to our ability to successfully manage risk. For example, as an engineer, I often marvel at how commercial airline travel - anendeavor which combines an incredible amount of technical sophistication, human expertise, and organizational skill - is now routinely done with such minimal risks that it has become an indispensable facet of our everyday life. Yet in spite of this marvel, most people (including me on occasion!) feel an infringement of their rights if their flight is delayed for one hour. So the term "best safety...
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