Process Safety in the Palm Oil Industry

Category: News Published: Monday, 07 December 2015

The third POP SIG evening talk was held as a joint event with the S&LP SIG on Monday 30th November at the University Nottingham Teaching Centre in Kuala Lumpur. It was attended by more than 50 participants with a number from outside the palm oil industry. The speaker was Ir K S Qua who is the Advisor to the ASEAN Oleochemical Manufacturers Group and also the Industry Partnership Liaison of IChemE.

Ir Qua talked about how closed most Asian companies were in sharing information and shared how a group of such companies were able to do just that – sharing information for the past three decades. The co-operation extended to process safety amongst other activities. To plan future process safety training member companies conducted a safety survey at head of company and frontline levels. He then went on to look at recent major incidents not only in the downstream but the entire palm oil industry. Going forward he suggested a number of ways to improve process safety notable of which was that the Malaysian Department of Occupational Safety & Health (DOSH) should publish thorough investigations of incidents so that companies can learn from these without having to suffer the pain of experiencing such incidents. He concluded that senior executives were the weakest link in Process Safety Management.

During the Q&A Mr Goh Eng Choor, Executive Director of KLK Oleo, stressed the importance of going down to the factory floor to see what is actually happening rather than relying on reports sitting in the air conditioned office. Whilst there is a need to raise the standard of process safety it should be done to a level appropriate for the industry.

Ir Shahruny Mohd Akil, Regional Managing Director Asia Pacific of Emery Oleochemicals said, “An enlightening session. In my view PSM is equally important to the palm oil industry. Human life is precious whether in oil & gas, petrochemicals, chemical, mining or any industry. PSM does not make an operation more costly or complicated but merely makes it more safe by assessing the risks and implementing right measures to address the risks.”

Mr Avinash Kothari, Lead Risk & Safety Consultant, Safetec Sdn Bhd commented, “Excellent talk. There appears to be a lot of scope for consultants like myself to assist within the palm oil industry once its top management sees the value of process safety management.”

The next POP SIG evening talk will be on Monday 29th February 2016. Mr K K Khoo, MD of Desmet Ballestra will speak on “Continuous Fractionation : Latest Development in Fractionation.”

POP SIG = Palm Oil Processing Special Interest Group
S&LP SIG = Safety & Loss Prevention Special Interest Group

Please click here to view the photos and click download for Ir Qua's presentation materials.




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