Improving process safety
The increasing use of alternative fuels is one example of where process safety is brought to the forefront at many cement plants, but hazards related to the storage and transportation of fuels, structural failures of fly ash silos/coal bins, explosion in kilns and coal mills, etc, underline the importance of process safety management. By K Ramesh Ramalingam, Prasad Ramchandra Rajadhyaksha and SV Jithesh, Chola MS Risk, India.
While Process Safety Management (PSM) is predominantly adopted in process industries such as the oil and gas sectors, its implementation in the cement industry helps plant personnel systematically identify and mitigate process hazards. The key elements of cement plant process safety are shown in Figure 1.
Chola MS Risk has carried out analysis of process safety aspects based on data collected from 50 cement plants over the past five years. The findings are used to explain the challenges when implementing these guidelines and the opportunities that exist for improved safety.