Complexity and Uncertainty Management in Process Safety education
Cadena, Jaime
Munoz, Felipe
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How to Cite

Cadena J., Munoz F., 2019, Complexity and Uncertainty Management in Process Safety education, Chemical Engineering Transactions, 77, 433-438.
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At the end of the past century, the field of process safety was initiated thanks to the skills and industrial experience of pioneers such as Trevor Kletz, Hans Pasman, Joaquim Casal and Andre Laurent. Pioneers relied on their skills and desire to solve problems since formal safety education was not developed until the late 1990s with examples such as the Mary Kay O'Connor Process Safety Center at the Texas A&M University in the US. After 30 years of Kletz's first safety-related book, the panorama has changed with engineering education integrating safety, thanks to initiatives such as ABET accreditation and others detailed in recently published reviews. However, safety is still a concept being debated and constructed in both education and practice, with open questions such as "How is safety linked to risk?" The authors view process safety as a set of evolving tools and growing knowledge supporting risk assessment and aiding decision-making. This process is carried out under uncertainty related to the complexity of the systems, the availability of data and the competence of the analysts involved. Uncertainty and its management constitute critical challenges for process safety educators and practitioners. In this context, the authors want to answer: how does process safety education integrate complexity and uncertainty management? To answer it, the authors conduct a review of formal educational programs and specific courses with a focus on uncertainty, as well as their teaching and consulting experience. The results help to formulate a set of recommendations to improve the handling of complexity and uncertainty management in different levels of safety education.
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