Pfizer Little Island staff complete module in chemical process safety

Pfizer Little Island staff complete module in chemical process safety

Published on: Thursday, 20 June 2013

CIT and Pfizer Little Island have partnered to develop a module on chemical process safety that complements the normal operating practices on the site, by providing a theoretical background and broad commentary on the existing good practices.  The development team consisted of CIT’s Pat Kennedy, aided by Noel Duffy, both in the Dept of Process, Energy and Transport Engineering, and Pfizer’s Shane Horgan, EHS Team Lead at Little Island, supported by Michael Lynch, the site’s process safety specialist.

The Little Island site, through its award-winning ‘Your Safety Counts’ safety culture programme has endeavoured to further educate the site on health and safety matters.  In 2012 the site went about establishing a ‘Sense of Vulnerability’ in relation to process safety.  The key was in exploring how this could be achieved while giving people, regardless of their role, the opportunity to understand the importance of ‘Process Safety’, the key elements of ‘Process Safety and Process Safety Management’ and simply to recognise the causes and consequences of where things can go wrong!

Together the team examined the material that is already part of CIT’s undergraduate chemical engineering degree, considered the implications for pharmaceutical manufacture and the particular needs of the Little Island site.  The module provides a thorough grounding in the issues that must be addressed when assessing the hazards arising from the processing of chemicals on an industrial level.  It was devised to provide a “high-level” view of the fundamentals, an orientation to the needs of the sector and a sharp focus on local operations.  Teaching sessions were delivered once per week, either on-site or close-by.  Case studies were emphasised at each session and the implications for the site considered.  Topics covered included: hazard identification methods, inherent properties of chemicals, reaction safety, implications of the COMAH Directive, consequence estimation and management, etc.  Assessment consisted of assignments throughout the module’s delivery and a terminal exam.


“...the module gave me a greater working knowledge of the framework in which process safety is managed onsite, from dispersion modelling right through to emergency management plans” - Aengus Carmody – Process Engineer

“...the module gave me a true understanding of ‘why we do, what we do’ in terms of process safety” - Padraic Lang – Production Technical Supervisor

“....I now have a greater in-depth knowledge of process safety on two fronts, a holistic view of how it is managed and a detailed insight into areas such as PHA, explosion prevention and change control that allows me to challenge in areas I wouldn’t have before! “ - Mark Maguire – Environment Operations Supervisor
“...I have a greater appreciation now of where the process safety data comes from, what it means and most importantly how to apply it” - Brendan Pyne – Production Technical Lead

“...the module has certainly increased my awareness and given me a greater skill set to question more deeply how we introduce and change our processes” - Colm Shanahan – Production Technical Supervisor



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