The Texas Chemical Council (TCC) is partnering with the Texas A&M Mary Kay O’Connor Process Safety Center (MKO) and San Jacinto College’s LyondellBasell Center for Petrochemical, Energy, and Technology (CPET) to launch new process safety management courses this spring. The courses will enhance process safety competency across industry.
Each professional development course -- Introduction to Process Safety, Introduction to Risk Management, Fire Protection and Emergency Response, and Industrial Safety and Technical Fundamentals – were developed in collaboration with the MKO– an academic leader in process safety research and best practices.
“We are very excited to partner with San Jacinto College to offer these professional development courses for industry workers,” said Hector Rivero, TCC president and CEO. “San Jac has state-of-the-art facilities, highly qualified faculty, and has demonstrated great academic leadership in partnering with Texas A&M to deliver quality process safety curriculum that will help keep our manufacturing plants safe.”
The courses include hands-on training that allow workers to practice skills in CPET’s 8,000-square-foot, two-story glycol process training unit and 35 custom interior labs, including a multifunctional glass pilot lab, 20 interactive classrooms, four custom workstations, and advanced control rooms. Students will complete 24 hours of lab work at the state-of-the-art CPET facility and 24 hours of online instruction.
“These courses will elevate the importance of process safety competency for incumbent workers across industry, help prevent industrial accidents, and ensure the safety of our employees,” said Steve Skarke, vice president of Kaneka. “Safety is always at the forefront for industry, but with these new hands-on courses, we are looking to set a higher standard.”
TCC, a statewide trade association for chemical manufacturers in Texas, sought to develop these courses as a response to a series of process safety incidents in recent years.
"As our industry has hired thousands of new workers to backfill for the large number of retirements at all levels in our organizations, ensuring process safety competency for our workforce is critical," said Bill Efaw, associate process safety director for Dow and vice chair of the TCC Process Safety Committee. “Most people coming into our industry today have little if any process safety acumen when they walk in the door, and these courses seek to change that.”
The Council initiated a process safety improvement project after numerous industry incidents occurred in 2019. TCC leaders collaborated with Texas A&M to conduct research and develop a plan to enhance process safety across all industry sectors. The primary focus of the plan is to create professional development opportunities for incumbent workers. However, it is expected that the material will also be used to enhance the process safety curriculum offered to students enrolled in process technology programs to get similar training before they enter industry.
“We are thrilled to be working with the TCC to offer these experiential safety courses to incumbent workers from our industrial partner facilities,” said Jim Griffin, associate vice chancellor/senior vice president of CPET. “The incumbent workers who enter our facility will be working with technologically advanced custom laboratories, experienced instructors at the top of their fields, and a curriculum developed by TCC and San Jac in partnership with the MKO.”
TCC is hopeful that the San Jac courses will prove successful and become a model for development of other process safety courses, and potentially offered at other colleges delivering industry-based curriculum across Texas and, eventually, across the country.
“We encourage industry leaders in San Jacinto College’s service area to take a closer look at these courses and identify workers across your organization that would benefit from this process safety training,” Rivero said.
San Jacinto College plans to roll out the first two courses concurrently in May, and once the full program is launched later in 2021, the set of four courses will be offered every 90 days.
Look for more information about the TCC PSM program at San Jacinto College at www.sanjac.edu/lyondellbasell-center-petrochemical-energy-technology/incumbent-worker-training
About San Jacinto College
Surrounded by monuments of history, evolving industries, maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has served the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, since 1961. San Jacinto College is among the top 10 community colleges in the nation as designated by the Aspen Institute for Community College Excellence, and was named an Achieving the Dream Leader College of Distinction in 2020. The College spans five campuses serving approximately 45,000 credit and non-credit students annually, and offers more than 200 degrees and certificates across eight major areas of study that put students on a path to transfer to four-year institutions or enter the workforce. San Jacinto College’s impact on the region totals $1.3 billion in added income, which supports 13,044 jobs. The College is fiscally sound, holding bond ratings of AA and Aa2 by Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s.
About the Texas Chemical Council
The Texas Chemical Council represents 70 companies who own and operate over 200 manufacturing and research facilities across the state. The Texas chemical industry is a major economic engine with over $150 Billion manufacturing assets. TCC member companies directly employ more than 75,000 people and indirectly support over 500,000 Texas jobs. The chemical industry makes thousands of products that improve the quality of life for billions around the world. Chemical products are one of the top Texas exports with over $45 Billion in products exported to customers globally.