Process safety techniques have improved over the years. Better designs and rigorous Process Hazard analysis have resulted in reduction of incidents in the Process industry. However, complexity and nature of process plants pose challenges in understanding and mitigating potential incidents.

Better hardware designs and highly trained staff need not necessarily result in improved safety of the process system. Safety is an emergent property of a system and it cannot be considered in isolation from the society and business environment in which it operates. The changes occurring in these areas affect safety in many ways. Several new factors such as Safety Culture, Safety Leadership and Employee empowerment have come into the area of process safety.

The business environments as well as societal requirements are becoming more complex. Safety requirements are evolving. More and more stringent measures will be imposed on business and process industry for adherence in future. There is a need for better visualization of the complex issues involved and predict the nature of things to come. The industry has to be proactive with continuous research and upgrade rather than wait for regulatory measures.

As outlined above Process safety presents several challenges in identification, implementation and measurement which are not confined to technical disciplines alone. Drawing from the latest research on Process Safety and from fields such as Organizational Behavior, Psychology and Systems theory, this paper will examine the emerging trends in Process safety. In conclusion, the paper will identify these emerging trends and demonstrate that a holistic systems approach will be able to offer a better insight in to the same.

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