Practical Process Safety

This 3 day course aims to demystify process safety principles for the whole organisation.

Using a practical model, delegates will learn how to bridge that gap between the ‘theory’ of process safety procedures with the realities of production ‘practice’.

This course is different; it will provide guidance on how to equip front line operators to be good decision makers under complicated circumstances.

Target Audience

Who is responsible for process safety in your organization? Ultimately it is the executive and by delegation the managers and supervisors in the production function. Yet all those involved in the decision-making process must be fully educated due to the level of risk involved with process safety.

This course is aimed at those leaders, managers, and supervisors that bear this responsibility but perhaps without the necessary understanding of how to blend process safety with the reality of production.

Course Topics

Topics covered in this course span both technical content and the latest thinking in complexity science and its impact on human cognition.

Technical Topics

Safety Cases
Inherent Safety
Regulatory Control
Emergency Shutdown Systems
Fire and Gas Systems
Safety Integrity Levels
Bow ties
Quantitative Risk Assessment
Performance Standards

Complexity Science Topics

Human Decision Making
Relationship Complexity
Competition for Limited Resources

Performance Improvement Topics

Process Safety Pyramid
Leading Indicators
Integration with Asset Management

Course Overview

This course does not confuse slips, trips and falls with process safety nor is it another session about the Baker report (Texas City), the Cullen report, Montara or Macondo (Deepwater Horizon).

What this course does is consider the impact of lessons learned in day to day practice, and draws the conclusion that treating safety as an addition complicates matters.
Despite Safety Case regimes, the majority of conclusions from major incidents which have occurred over the past thirty years have a very common theme; that there is a human gap between theory and practice. This course works towards the outcomes we all desire and deserve, focusing on integrating process safety with normal day to day business.

Learning Objectives

This course aims to teach in an interesting and new way, to demystify process safety, because everybody needs to understand process safety not just engineers.

In this course you will learn:

  • Practical understanding of technical fundamentals
  • Principles of process safety
  • A simple model for proactively improving process safety and integrity
  • Alignment of the safety procedures and systems needed to gain regulatory approval with the model for continuous improvement of process safety
  • Easier ways of communicating with operators, who can then understand and proactively avoid safety risks


Howard Thomas has advocated practical approaches to handling complexity for over 20 years. He has a unique ability to make the complex clear for his clients and audiences.
He combines an in depth technical background with a wide ranging business experience but is probably best known for his engaging style of presentation.

He is formally technically accredited as a Fellow of Engineers Australia and a Chartered Professional Chemical Engineer and has worked on hydrocarbon installations all over the world, from roles as a technician to executive consultancy.