The Refineries, Gas Processing, LNG and Petrochemical Plants are subjected to High Safety Risk on account of potential hazard from fire & explosion due to handling, processing & storage of highly flammable liquid with low flash point, as well as gas & vapour and operation of the facilities at elevated temperature & pressure and handling low temperature cryogenic highly flammable fluid. Also in Refining, Gas Processing, LNG & petrochemical installations, there are emerging hazards on accounts of process upsets, extreme physical conditions in addition to potential fire & explosion from accidental release of flammable hydrocarbon.
In recent past, the oil industry throughout its value chain has seen major up gradations and capacity built up in Petroleum Refining, coupled with induction of newer technologies like Catalytic hydro-treating, Isomerisation for product quality improvements & value addition thru technologies like Hydrocracking, Fluidized Catalytic Cracking, Delayed Coking to extract maximum from bottom of the barrel and diversification towards petrochemicals, the complexity of operation has increasing so has our responsibility in operation of the assets in a safe and efficient way without disturbing the people and environment.
The Safety Management in Hydrocarbon Industry is a multi-disciplinary function and every person needs to keep vigil against potential cause of fire & accidents and strive to eliminate them. A workplace incident is an indication that prevention was ineffective and that prompt changes need to be made. Everyone manning our work stations should draw lessons from past industry incidents to prevent recurrence.
Refining & Gas Processing group looks after the refinery operations, Gas Processing and operations of petrochemical plants.
The various activities carried out by this group in order to maintain high degree of safety in the Oil Industry in India are:
The Process Group of OISD carry out External Safety Audits, Surprise Safety Checks and Pre-Commissioning Safety Checks. The focus areas in such audits are: -
- Design & layout of the installation
- Operation safety and plant operating practices
- Maintenance and inspection aspects
- Safety management and fire protection systems
- Environment compliance
- Training & development activities
- Occupational Health Management
The External safety Audits are carried out once in three year as per the directives of MoP&NG. This is an exhaustive audit carried out by multidisciplinary team comprising of highly experienced executives nominated from the industry as well as other statutory bodies and coordinated by member from OISD.
Surprise Safety Checks are carried out by a specialized group of senior executives from industry in coordination with OISD to verify the implementation status of ESAs and scrutinize safety management system of the industry.
Pre-Commissioning Safety Audit (PCSA) of all new projects as also expansion of units in the existing locations are carried out by OISD as per directive from MoPNG. These audits are carried out on chargeable basis by experts from OISD only. The duration of PCSA depends upon the number of units as well as its complexity.
Development and revision of OISD Standards:
This group develops new standards to enhance the safety of the industry as well as review the existing standards to incorporate any design change, new technologies, systems and equipment. The standards are prepared/ reviewed by a technical committee namely functional committee whose members are drawn from the relevant industry to put their experiences along with the International and National codes and practices e.g. British Standards, API, NFPA etc. On completion of the functional committee activity, these standards are put up for comments from general public before adoption of the standard.
Fire & Accidents Investigation:
This group also carries out investigation of fires and accidents in refinery, gas processing & petrochemical plants to identify the root cause of the incident and brings out the salient features responsible for the occurrence of such incidents and suggest remedial measures to prevent recurrences. The analysis and the incidents is shared with the industry members during steering committee meeting and also CEO of the industry during Safety Council.
The Group facilitates such workshops in close coordination with industry. Industry members are encouraged to share and disseminate experiences and knowledge through presentation of papers, case studies and discussions.
Safety Performance evaluation:
Oil Industry Safety Awards were instituted in 1987 with a view to promote safety performance in oil industry. The safety evaluation for the awards is being done by this group every year for further reviewed and approval by the Safety Awards Committee. The Safety performance is evaluated based on Hazard Potential, Penalty Points and Safety Management System.
Unit complexity, man hours worked, total product handled in the year through rail/road/pipeline mode as well as total capacity of the installation form the basis to evaluate Hazard Potential and Penalty Points are calculated based on fatality, man hour loss, production / material loss in Major fire / accident.
Also in order to sensitize and motivate individual employee towards the importance of safety, cash awards are also given to individual company employees/ contractor workers who have made significant contribution to avoid accidents at work places.