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The Role of Chemical Reactivity Data in Process Safety Management

Chemical reactivity is addressed throughout the requirements of OSHA’s PSM Standard. It is specifically required in the process safety information element. In addition, it is necessary input to process hazard analysis, operating procedure development, emergency relief system design, and mechanical integrity. As the understanding of the impact of chemical reactivity hazards on the operation of a chemical process continues to develop, it is important to have a method for developing this data. Equally important is a method for extracting meaningful reactivity information from the data and incorporating it into process safety. This paper will present a process for evaluating chemical reactivity hazards using an Accelerating Rate Calorimeter (ARC®). It will then explain how to extract information from this data to help define process safety elements such as safe upper and lower limits, emergency relief system design, etc. Read more

Understanding NJ TCPA for Effective Reactivity Management

The New Jersey Toxic Catastrophe Prevention Act (TCPA) has recently been amended to cover reactive chemicals and is the only regulation that requires as assessment of reactivity hazards and mitigation of associated risks. The Reactive Chemicals section of this regulation lists specific chemicals and functional groups along with corresponding threshold values that serve as trigger points for conducting reactive hazard assessments. This paper provides a simplified description of the Reactive Chemicals section of TCPA and associated compliance issues. Read more

Update Your HAZCOM Program for Combustible Dusts

According to the “Status Report on Combustible Dust National Emphasis Program,” published by OSHA in October 2009, the Hazard Communication (HazCom) standard is the most frequently-cited standard with respect to combustible dust-related hazards. This paper can help you determine what type of information you need to develop and include on your Safety Data Sheets (SDSs). Note that the recent update to the HazCom standard refers to material safety data sheets (MSDSs) as safety data sheets (SDSs). A link to this update is included at the end of this paper. OSHA’s Hazardous Communication Standard, 29 CFR 1910.1200, requires manufacturers and importers of chemicals to conduct a hazard evaluation of chemicals they produce or import. The results of this evaluation are to be included on a SDS and any container labels. Employers must then maintain these SDSs in the workplace and develop a written program to communicate to workers this hazardous chemical information. Although always intended to be included in HazCom programs, the most recent update to this standard, on March 26, 2012, added “combustible dust” to the definition for a hazardous chemical. Read more

Using a Burning Rate Model for Deflagration Vent Sizing

NFPA 68 provides simplified calculation methods for sizing deflagration vents for combustible dust explosions. These simplified methods apply to a limited set of process parameters and equipment. For applications outside those limitations, full-scale testing or a performance based approach is needed. This paper presents a methodology for using burning rate models to predict explosion behavior in enclosed vessels. Measured KSt values are used to determine an estimate of the burning rate. Once the burning rate of a material is known, application to various process parameters and equipment can be made using dynamic simulation. Predicted burning rates for one material will be presented. Read more