SPED – June 2011 - SPED in the UK & Ireland
When I first started to write these monthly articles I wrote of the Engineering Constructions Industries Training Board (ECITB) here in the UK. This is a body subsidised by a levy from industry to pay for its services. When Bill Beazley came over to the UK in January 2009 they were developing a piping course, which looked like SPED in terms of the coverage of modules. We offered to co-operate with licensing modules not then developed by them to shorten their time to market and with an independent accreditation service. Both suggestions were declined.
After months of waiting the details of the course have finally appeared on their website. The advantage is that the course material is free to levy payers. The disadvantage is that the there is no accreditation and the trainers are from in-house and may lack familiarity with the material and also tutoring skills.
Still we have little option but to see how this works out. The whole of ECITB is under threat of closure in the UK Governments cutbacks. But it is incalculable as to how much their piping course stifles the market for SPED. My personal feeling is that SPED is better known with the pipers and their managers. But the purse string holders may be a different matter.
UK Process News
UK has announced the 8 sites on which nuclear stations are planned. This is a refinement of the previous announcement that the new plants would be built on the 11 exiting nuclear sites.
Now whether this means they will actually be built is another matter. Pouts Fukushima. Both Germany, by government decision, and Italy by a public referendum have turned their back on nuclear power. Meanwhile France happily gets 80% of its power from that source.
Shell UK Ltd has been ordered to pay a total of £1.24 million in fines and costs over the explosion and fire at its Bacton gas terminal in Norfolk in 2008.
Process Safety Management (PSM) is one of the UK Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE’s) foremost ’hot topics’ for high-hazard sites. Guidelines exist to assist companies in which factors they should be addressing, but, in general, industry’s approach to PSM has been very disjointed until now.
The Chemical Industries Association (CIA) and National Skills Academy for Process Industries (NSAPI) recently undertook what is considered to be an industry first: a PSM benchmarking programme for the chemical industry.
The exercise had the support of the HSE and brought together representatives from 12 complex manufacturing sites, from multinationals to specialist SMEs. All companies were Control of Major Accident Hazards (COMAH) (a Europe wide safety regulation) sites. This gave a fair representation of the chemical industry as a whole.
The PSM benchmarking centred on asset integrity management, this being a key aspect a critical risk control system in the prevention of major accidents.