US chemical group aligns with Indian oil industry to improve process safety

The Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS) of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Government of India’s Oil Industry Safety Directorate (OISD), the groups said late Thursday.

The agreement calls for the groups to cooperate in advancing the practice of process safety in the petroleum sector in India and around the world.

The signing ceremony took place on March 14, during a CCPS workshop on “Recognizing Hazardous Incident Warning Signs in the Process Industries” that was held in Goa, India.

Participants of the workshop included delegates from OISD and CCPS member companies based in India.

The agreement broadens the sharing of lessons learned from process safety incidents, as well as information on the latest developments in the practice of process safety. 

“CCPS’s goal is to prevent process safety accidents anywhere in the world and in any industry,” said CCPS technical director Louisa Nara, who signed the agreement on behalf of CCPS.

“To this end, we seek out organizations with the experience and influence that can help broaden our knowledge and strengthen the global commitment to process safety.”

Nara added that OISD is an ideal partner, with India in the forefront of development for industries that most benefit from chemical process safety and with the years of experience OISD brings to the Indian petroleum sector.

This communication may lead to joint meetings and conferences, peer review of each other’s publications, and other activities. Leaders of both organizations say such cooperation is critical to incorporating process safety into companies’ management systems to prevent the recurrence of existing and former problems.

“Hazardous industries like ours must ensure that the lessons learned from major accidents are incorporated into management systems," said Hirak Dutta, executive director of OISD.

"We value our cooperation with CCPS in promoting benchmarks, high diligence, and a holistic approach to health, safety and the environment, and asset integrity management to avert major accidents.”

In announcing the agreement, CCPS executive director Scott Berger pointed out that his group has been working in India since late 2004.

“Most of our organizational interactions have been in the Indian chemical sector,” Berger said. “We are pleased to establish this formal relationship with OISD, and moreover to welcome OISD as a member organization of CCPS.”

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