Commenced in January 2007
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Edition: International
Paper Count: 3

petrochemical industry Related Abstracts

3 Investigating the Causes of Human Error-Induced Incidents in the Maintenance Operations of Petrochemical Industry by Using Human Factors Analysis and Classification System

Authors: Omid Kalatpour, Mohammadreza Ajdari


This article studied the possible causes of human error-induced incidents in the petrochemical industry maintenance activities by using Human Factors Analysis and Classification System (HFACS). The purpose of the study was anticipating and identifying these causes and proposing corrective and preventive actions. Maintenance department in a petrochemical company was selected for research. A checklist of human error-induced incidents was developed based on four HFACS main levels and nineteen sub-groups. Hierarchical task analysis (HTA) technique was used to identify maintenance activities and tasks. The main causes of possible incidents were identified by checklist and recorded. Corrective and preventive actions were defined depending on priority. Analyzing the worksheets of 444 activities in four levels of HFACS showed 37.6% of the causes were at the level of unsafe actions, 27.5% at the level of unsafe supervision, 20.9% at the level of preconditions for unsafe acts and 14% of the causes were at the level of organizational effects. The HFACS sub-groups showed errors (24.36%) inadequate supervision (14.89%) and violations (13.26%) with the most frequency. According to findings of this study, increasing the training effectiveness of operators and supervision improvement respectively are the most important measures in decreasing the human error-induced incidents in petrochemical industry maintenance.

Keywords: Maintenance, Human error, HFACS, petrochemical industry

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2 Failure Cases Analysis in Petrochemical Industry

Authors: W. Z. Wang, S. W. Liu, J. H. Lv


In recent years, the failure accidents in petrochemical industry have been frequent, and have posed great security problems in personnel and property. The improvement of petrochemical safety is highly requested in order to prevent re-occurrence of severe accident. This study focuses on surveying the failure cases occurred in petrochemical field, which were extracted from journals of engineering failure, including engineering failure analysis and case studies in engineering failure analysis. The relation of failure mode, failure mechanism, type of components, and type of materials was analyzed in this study. And the analytical results showed that failures occurred more frequently in vessels and piping among the petrochemical equipment. Moreover, equipment made of carbon steel and stainless steel accounts for the majority of failures compared to other materials. This may be related to the application of the equipment and the performance of the material. In addition, corrosion failures were the largest in number of occurrence in the failure of petrochemical equipment, in which stress corrosion cracking accounts for a large proportion. This may have a lot to do with the service environment of the petrochemical equipment. Therefore, it can be concluded that the corrosion prevention of petrochemical equipment is particularly important.

Keywords: Corrosion, Failure, petrochemical industry, cases analysis

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1 Long-Term Exposure, Health Risk, and Loss of Quality-Adjusted Life Expectancy Assessments for Vinyl Chloride Monomer Workers

Authors: Perng-Jy Tsai, Tzu-Ting Hu, Jung-Der Wang, Ming-Yeng Lin, Jin-Luh Chen


The vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) has been classified as group 1 (human) carcinogen by the IARC. Workers exposed to VCM are known associated with the development of the liver cancer and hence might cause economical and health losses. Particularly, for those work for the petrochemical industry have been seriously concerned in the environmental and occupational health field. Considering assessing workers’ health risks and their resultant economical and health losses requires the establishment of long-term VCM exposure data for any similar exposure group (SEG) of interest, the development of suitable technologies has become an urgent and important issue. In the present study, VCM exposures for petrochemical industry workers were determined firstly based on the database of the 'Workplace Environmental Monitoring Information Systems (WEMIS)' provided by Taiwan OSHA. Considering the existence of miss data, the reconstruction of historical exposure techniques were then used for completing the long-term exposure data for SEGs with routine operations. For SEGs with non-routine operations, exposure modeling techniques, together with their time/activity records, were adopted for determining their long-term exposure concentrations. The Bayesian decision analysis (BDA) was adopted for conducting exposure and health risk assessments for any given SEG in the petrochemical industry. The resultant excessive cancer risk was then used to determine the corresponding loss of quality-adjusted life expectancy (QALE). Results show that low average concentrations can be found for SEGs with routine operations (e.g., VCM rectification 0.0973 ppm, polymerization 0.306 ppm, reaction tank 0.33 ppm, VCM recovery 1.4 ppm, control room 0.14 ppm, VCM storage tanks 0.095 ppm and wastewater treatment 0.390 ppm), and the above values were much lower than that of the permissible exposure limit (PEL; 3 ppm) of VCM promulgated in Taiwan. For non-routine workers, though their high exposure concentrations, their low exposure time and frequencies result in low corresponding health risks. Through the consideration of exposure assessment results, health risk assessment results, and QALE results simultaneously, it is concluded that the proposed method was useful for prioritizing SEGs for conducting exposure abatement measurements. Particularly, the obtained QALE results further indicate the importance of reducing workers’ VCM exposures, though their exposures were low as in comparison with the PEL and the acceptable health risk.

Keywords: Exposure Assessment, Health Risk Assessment, petrochemical industry, quality-adjusted life years, vinyl chloride monomer

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