Encyclopaedia for process loss prevention

Loss prevention in the process industries. Hazard identification, assessment and control. Frank Lees. 2nd Ed. 3 Volumes, Heinemann. 5,000+ pages. ISBN 0 7506 1547 8. £299. Frank Lees, from Loughborough University, is a leading specialist in loss control and served on the Cullen committee for the Piper Alpha offshore report. His `bible’ looks at quantitative […]

Loss prevention in the process industries. Hazard identification, assessment and control. Frank Lees. 2nd Ed. 3 Volumes, Heinemann. 5,000+ pages. ISBN 0 7506 1547 8. £299.

Frank Lees, from Loughborough University, is a leading specialist in loss control and served on the Cullen committee for the Piper Alpha offshore report.

His `bible’ looks at quantitative methods of hazard assessment in the process industries, and in particular covers the increasing use of computers for failure data retrieval and analysis, fault tree synthesis and analysis and consequence modelling.

This book is largely directed at process engineers, but the contents should be available and of value to all who are involved in designing and operating potentially hazardous process plant.

Volume 1 starts with some spectacular colour photographs of recent disasters, along with a list of milestones in the development of loss prevention strategies. Legislation aspects together with economics and insurance for major hazard control follow. Reliability engineering, hazard identification and assessment are then fully explained.

This is followed by process and control system design considerations. Control system design looks at some of the implications of the HSE’s PES 2 specifications, but does not follow this through to the IEC 1508 developments, which were possibly not available in time for this 1996 edition. Human factors and human error are then fully documented.

Emission and dispersion is one specialist subject covered, which helps define the classification of hazardous areas, a task often undertaken by electrical engineers. This takes up the final 357 pages of Volume 1.

Volume 2 gets into the details of fire and explosions, along with care that needs to be taken when commissioning, inspecting, maintaining and modifying process plant. Chapters follow on transport, emergency planning, personal safety and computer aids.

This then develops into a full treatise on the use of artificial intelligence and expert systems, including fuzzy logic and neural networks.

The volume of text is daunting. Volume 3 contains 500 pages devoted just to references – a total of some 50,000! This is matched by 200 pages for an index, dealing with subjects and authors.

If you are not listed, maybe you should be concerned! It does lack coverage of certain aspects of intrinsically safe design, but includes references to EEMUA and CCPS guidelines.

This is the most comprehensive safety guide seen by C&I, from a process engineering stand-point. However, C&I author references were noticeable by their absence (apart from Paul Gruhn) – we need to add Lees to our mailing list! Essential material for any technical library dealing with safety in the process industries.