Engineering Safety Consultants helps chemicals plant achieve safety compliance

London-based ESC has provided the Leek-based manufacturer with support for its major incident planning as part of the review under the COMAH audit programme

Photo of the Leeks chemical plant

Following a safety review, Tennants Fine Chemicals (TFC) has invested in a programme of continuous improvements at the company's Staffordshire plant to ensure compliance with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) audit findings.

To meet the HSE benchmark for managing on-site risks, the global supplier of liquid chemicals enlisted the expertise of London-based Engineering Safety Consultants (ESC), to support major incident planning as part of the review under the COMAH audit programme.

A specialist in functional safety, ESC works in upstream/downstream oil & gas, as well as power, chemical and bio-containment facilities, playing a crucial role in supplying safety solutions and consultancy to help protect operations in the manufacturing and processing sectors.

ESC provided the Leek-based manufacturer, which produces over 24,000 tonnes of liquid chemicals each year, with support tailored to the customer's requirements - in this case, an ESC's ProSET software package, training and a team of professional consultants with a proven track record of engineering skills in safety and integrity of hazardous materials.

The technical challenge of IEC 61511 should not be underestimated

A combination of training services, such as FS Engineer (TÜV Rheinland), C&I technician, ProSET, HAZOP combined with FS Support including regular on-site consultancy by ESC's safety experts has been invaluable in enabling TFC to take the actions required by HSE to manage its assets more safely, according to the manufacturer's Site Engineering Manager at Leek, Mike Turner.

Turner said: "The technical challenge of IEC 61511 (Functional Safety – Safety Instrumented Systems for the process industry sector) should not be underestimated. ESC has an in-depth knowledge of these standards and can also bring a wealth of experience in their application, avoiding many potential issues."

"Having the support of a locally-based industry expert was a major advantage as it meant the team could work far more efficiently and to a higher standard. TFC has now been able to significantly improve its compliance position with HSE and can undertake much of the work required to maintain the process," Turner added.

Ensuring that international safety standards are being met can be challenging for any business operating in a hazardous environment, which is why many companies like TFC use ESC's expertise in supplying comprehensive and independent risk assessments and safety measures. Minimising the risk posed to workers, infrastructure and the environment by hazardous substances is vital for the chemicals sector, an important part of the UK economy.

As a result of the work carried out by ESC, the HSE is now happy with the manufacturer's "direction of travel". Having the support of ESC was crucial to meeting the company's objectives, according to TFC's Mike Turner. He was also impressed with the team's flexibility under pressure to meet deadlines, concluding: "ESC is clearly an industry expert. I would have no hesitation in recommending them to any of my industry contacts."

ESC has offices in London, Warrington, Humberside and Abu Dhabi, providing functional safety solutions, consultancy, workshops and training to help companies in the oil and gas, petrochemical, power generation, manufacturing and other sectors improve the management of their safety and maintenance systems to comply with international standards.

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