Institution of Chemical Engineers

IChemE’s (Institution of Chemical Engineers) annual process safety conference, Hazards 29, takes place in Birmingham, UK on 22–24 May and is set to share good practice, latest developments and lessons learned in process safety. Covering every major aspect of process safety, Hazards 29 will bring together the international process safety community to learn from each other, stay up-to-date with good practice, network and make new contacts.

The event is aimed at anyone who is active in process safety and risk management, and will appeal to practitioners working at all levels and across all industry sectors.

What’s going on?

Hazards 29 offers a packed programme of rigorously peer-reviewed presentations, sharing the process safety knowledge and experience of over 100 subject matter experts from around the globe. Industry practitioners, researchers and regulators have all contributed, and there will be plenty of practical insights from operating companies. Presentations will cover a wide range of process safety themes, including hazard assessment, design engineering, safety culture, incident investigation, human factors, pipelines & transport, systems & audits and process safety management. There will be a session dedicated to learning lessons from specific case studies, and for the first time this year, presentations around cyber security, and the integration of process safety data.

As well as the oral presentations, there will be a wealth of process safety knowledge and experience shared in poster form throughout the conference. Poster titles are yet to be confirmed but are expected to include contributions from ABB, ADNOC Refining, ENI, DNV GL, Fluor, Gexcon UK, IOSH, PM Group, Rolls Royce, Saudi Aramco, Shell, Taqa Bratani, Thames Water, Tupras Refineries, and many more.

Participants will also have the chance to attend interactive workshop sessions to explore the topics of inherently safer design, human factors, process safety leadership and creeping change in more depth.

Panel discussion

For the first time at Hazards, the programme includes time dedicated to a panel discussion to gauge industry opinion on process safety competencies. Panel members taking questions and sharing their own thoughts will include Dame Judith Hackitt DBE, Chair of EEF, the member organisation which champions manufacturing in the UK, and former Chair of the UK Health and Safety Executive; Ken Rivers, Chair of the COMAH Strategic Forum and IChemE President; Trish Kerin, Director of the IChemE Safety Centre; and Dr Chris Tighe, Chemical Engineering Lecturer at Imperial College London.

Who’s speaking?

The programme includes contributions from key players in the process industries including Atkins, BP, Centrica Storage, EDF, ExxonMobil, Fluor, Heineken, Saudi Aramco, Sellafield Ltd, Shell, UK Health and Safety Executive, Wood and many, many more.

BP’s Upstream Technical Authority for Process Safety Engineering, Tracy Whipple, and Sellafield Ltd’s Executive Director for Environment, Safety and Security, will both deliver plenary presentations. They will discuss how process safety is being managed in their organisation, what’s working for them, and their thoughts on some of the challenges facing the industry.

Dame Judith Hackitt DBE, former Chair of the UK Health and Safety Executive will also deliver a plenary presentation. Dame Judith chaired the independent review of building regulations and fire safety in relation to high rise building, following the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower in London in June 2017. Referring to the review, Dame Judith will illustrate the need for engineers to share vital knowledge and skills to embed systems thinking and process safety principles in every sector.

The conference will also welcome guest speaker Mike Bell from Walt Disney Parks & Resorts. Mike has led various teams of safety professionals over an 18-year career with Disney, before which he worked in the petrochemical industry. Mike’s presentation will focus on how Disney applies safety to unconventional risks, and manages a unique and diverse risk portfolio designed to keep its 74,000 employees and 50 million visitors safe each year.

Trade exhibition

A trade exhibition will run alongside the conference, showcasing a wide range of products and services to support improvements in process safety performance. The exhibitor list is growing all the time, with the latest details available on the conference website. Companies interested in exhibiting should check out the conference website for details of how to get involved.

Industry support

This year’s Hazards conference partner is leading consultancy and engineering services company, ENGIE Fabricom. Other leading companies in the industry who have pledged their support by sponsoring the event include AVEVA, Rolls Royce Group, CGE Risk Management Solutions, ESR Technology, ioMosaic, MES and RAS Ltd. Sponsorship packages are still available.

Networking opportunities

There will be plenty of opportunity to network with conference participants and make new contacts at Hazards 29, including a free welcome drinks reception in the exhibition area, and an informal social event.

For full conference details and to register attendance, visit

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