Search

The 4 Approaches to Inherently Safer Technology

Posted on 6/30/2015 by James Griffin

In response to recent industrial accidents, the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) is encouraging OSHA to modernize its Process Safety Management (PSM) regulations for industry. As part of this effort, which CSB has named one of its "most wanted safety improvements," the Board recommends the use of inherently safer technologies in hazardous process design and operation.

What Is Inherently Safer Technology (IST)?

Inherently Safer Technology (IST), also known as Inherently Safer Design (ISD), is defined by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) as a process that considers options like "eliminating a hazard, reducing a hazard, substituting a less hazardous material, using less hazardous process conditions, and designing a process to reduce the potential for, or consequences of, human error, equipment failure, or intentional harm." ("Final Report: Definition for Inherently Safer Technology in Production, Transportation, Storage and Use"; Homeland Security, July 2010)

The Four Approaches to IST

IST is not a specific technology, but an approach or "way of thinking" to design safer operations. The goals of this approach are to reduce the likelihood of an accident occurring and to mitigate the consequences when an accident does occur.

While specific approaches to IST will vary, based on its specific application, the CSB and the National Academy of Sciences have identified four approaches:
  1. Minimize: reduce the amount of hazardous materials present within a process
  2. Substitute: replace more hazardous substances with substances of lesser hazard
  3. Moderate: use less hazardous process conditions (e.g., operate a process at lower temperatures or pressures)
  4. Simplify: design the process to be less complicated and thus less prone to failure.
Further IST Reading

While IST is widely accepted as a reasonable and sound approach to process design, opinions vary as to its place in accidental release prevention regulations. For more information on inherently safer technologies and the varied policy positions on IST, visit:

Define your approach inherently safer technology American Chemistry Society

American Institue of Chemical Engineers (AIChE)

Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates

Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB)

National Research Council

American Chemistry Council (ACC)

What Is the CSB?

The CSB is an independent Federal agency charged with investigating industrial chemical accidents. It does not write regulations. Rather, like the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), it makes safety recommendations to government agencies, companies, trade associations, labor unions, and other groups.

The CSB believes that implementing key safety recommendations into the US Federal and State Process Safety Management regulations will help better protect worker safety, public health, and the environment.

 

Convenient, Effective Online Training

Benefit from online courses designed and maintained by regulatory experts for hazmat shippers, hazardous waste professionals, and EHS personnel. Play a free demo of online training today, and see how Lion.com courses blend engagement, interaction, flexible access, and expert insight on the regulations for an online learning experience that helps you keep your business in compliance.

 

Tags: best practices, osha

Find a Post

Compliance Archives

Lion - Quotes

The instructor's energy, enthusiasm, and knowledge of the subject make the class a great learning experience!

Brian Martinez

Warehouse Operator

Convenient; I can train when I want, where I want.

Barry Cook

Hazmat Shipping Professional

Attending Lion Technology classes should be mandatory for every facility that ships or stores hazmat.

Genell Drake

Outbound Lead

The training was impressive. I am not a fan of online training but this was put together very well. I would recommend Lion to others.

Donnie James

Quality Manager

Lion is easily and consistently the best option for compliance training. I've learned new information from every instructor I've had.

Rachel Mathis

EHS Specialist

The course is well thought out and organized in a way that leads to a clearer understanding of the total training.

David Baily

Hazmat Shipping Professional

I can take what I learned in this workshop and apply it to everyday work and relate it to my activities.

Shane Hersh

Materials Handler

The course was very informative and presented in a way that was easily understood and remembered. I would recommend this course.

Jeffrey Tierno

Hazmat Shipping Professional

More thorough than a class I attended last year through another company.

Troy Yonkers

HSES Representative

Excellent. I learned more in two days with Lion than at a 5-day program I took with another provider.

Francisco Gallardo

HES Technician

Download Our Latest Whitepaper

Tips to identify and manage universal waste under more-stringent state regulations for generators and universal waste handlers in California.

Latest Whitepaper

By submitting your phone number, you agree to receive recurring marketing and training text messages. Consent to receive text messages is not required for any purchases. Text STOP at any time to cancel. Message and data rates may apply. View our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.