DEKRA Process Safety

SOUTHAMPTON, England, Feb. 3, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- DEKRA Insight, the global leader in safety at work, today announced a strategic partnership with the Process Safety and Dangerous Goods Division of TNO Chemicals Industry, a Dutch independent research organisation.

Both DEKRA Insight and TNO will be expanding the solutions provided to their respective clients throughout Europe and beyond. TNO has specific testing methods and large scale laboratory facilities that complement DEKRA Insight's in-house process safety capabilities such as:

  • Incident replication
  • Detonation testing

In-turn, DEKRA Insight will provide TNO clients with new capabilities around other regulatory testing (eg. REACH), chemical reaction and electrostatic hazards analysis.

"This partnership reinforces our European position in leading process safety testing within DEKRA Insight (formerly Chilworth). TNO's special facilities and expertise in energetic materials will help us to offer improved and complementary solutions to our clients," commented Hervé Vaudrey, DEKRA Insight Regional Director Process Safety Consulting EMEA.

Peter Wolfs, Director of TNO Chemicals Industry adds, "We are very enthusiastic about the partnership with DEKRA Insight. With this partnership we can open up our unique state of the art facilities and our knowledge to more companies in Europe."

About DEKRA Insight

As the global leader in safety at work, DEKRA Insight is a consultant and business partner to many of the world's largest chemical, oil and gas, transportation, utilities, pharmaceutical, and agriculture companies. Our knowledge and experience enables clients to mitigate risk to their employees, assets, and reputation in a quantifiable manner—and in the process, enhance business performance. DEKRA Insight represents the collective expertise of our legacy businesses, each an institution in safety: BST, Chilworth, RCI Safety, Russell Consulting, Optimus Seventh Generation, and partner RoundTheClock Resources.

DEKRA Insight has over 500 employees in 22 offices and 16 countries. We are a service unit of DEKRA S.E., a global leader in safety since 1925 with over 35,000 employees.

About TNO

TNO has over 3000 professionals who put their knowledge and experience to work in creating smart solutions to complex issues. These innovations help to sustainably strengthen industrial competitiveness and social wellbeing. We are partnered by some 3000 companies and organizations, including SMEs, in the Netherlands and around the world.

For more information about TNO go to www.tno.nl.

Simon Gakhar, a DEKRA Insight technical manager of process safety consulting, was confirmed as one of the company’s first Professional Process Safety Engineers at the recent Safety In Action™ Conference in Antwerp, Belgium. As part of this professional distinction, Gakhar is now part of the IChemE Process Safety Engineer Register.

The register was announced in 2013 by the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) to help improve safety across all engineering professions around the world. The Professional Process Safety Engineer registration is awarded to individuals in a role of responsibility for process safety, who have successfully undergone a professional peer review of their process safety competences.

Gakhar says he was honored by the award, "The IChemE Professional Process Safety Engineer Registration provides a recognized competency standard for practicing process safety professionals. Gaining the registration required demonstrating competency in a range of related disciplines, such as risk assessment, hazardous identification, hazard control, consequence assessment, incident investigation, process safety management, and protection of the public.”

Hervé Vaudrey, DEKRA Insight regional director of process safety in EMEA comments, “We congratulate Simon as our newly registered professional process safety engineer. I'm convinced that the IChemE Professional Process Safety Engineer Register is going to help companies going forward in their selection process when choosing a company to work with. This designation will allow them to select a potential partners on tangible proficiency and experience criteria for genuine process safety improvement.”

Demonstrating competency is becoming increasingly important and, in fact, will most likely become essential to process safety professionals in future. With this recognized competency standard like the Professional Process Safety Engineer register, DEKRA Insight clients can be assured of the highest standard of process safety proficiency.

Oxnard, CA - September 24, 2015 – DEKRA Insight today unveils a new brand identity, symbolized by the introduction of a refreshed logo and colors that signify the growth of the company’s footprint in workplace safety as well as the unification of legacy businesses BST, Chilworth, RCI Safety, Russell Consulting, Optimus Seventh Generation and partner RoundTheClock Resources within the DEKRA Insight brand.

“The launch of our new brand identity kicks-off a new era at DEKRA Insight that speaks to who we are: Science at the heart of safety. Our brand is a direct reflection of where we believe the workplace safety industry is going – multidimensional with comprehensive solutions and transformational impact,” said Colin Duncan, CEO, DEKRA Insight.

“Safety is our reason for being. We are personally and professionally committed to the mission of safety in the workplace. Our unwavering belief in the power of not only what we do, but how we do it, is what distinguishes us, and why clients seek us out. At the heart of our rigorously developed scientific approach is the passionate dedication of our people. The unification of our legacy businesses within the DEKRA Insight brand will guide clients in evolving both their organizational culture and their operational environment,” continued Duncan.

To read more about the new DEKRA Insight and please visit the company’s website at www.dekra-insight.com

To view a video on DEKRA Insight’s new brand identity, click here.

Follow DEKRA Insight’ social channels:

  • Twitter: @DEKRAInsight
  • Facebook: /DEKRAInsight
  • Linkedin: /DEKRAInsight
  • YouTube: /DEKRAInsight
  • Google+: /DEKRAInsight

About DEKRA Insight

As the global leader in safety at work, DEKRA Insight is a consultant and business partner to many of the world’s largest chemical, oil and gas, transportation, utilities, pharmaceutical, and agriculture companies. We bring a passionate, scientific approach to the process of guiding clients’ evolution of their organizational culture and operational environments. Our collective knowledge and experience enables clients to mitigate risk to their employees, assets, and reputation in a quantifiable manner—and in the process, to enhance business performance. DEKRA Insight represents the collective expertise of our legacy businesses, each an institution in safety: BST, Chilworth, RCI Safety, Russell Consulting, Optimus Seventh Generation, and partner RoundTheClock Resources.

DEKRA Insight has over 500 employees in 22 offices and 16 countries. We are a service unit of DEKRA S.E., a global leader in safety since 1925 with over 35,000 employees.

Oxnard, CA - September 1, 2015 – Global safety consulting, testing, and advisory firm DEKRA Insight, today announced a partnership with noted organizational psychologist Dr. Susan Koen (CEO) and consulting firm RoundTheClock Resources, Inc. (RTC) for exclusive integration of RTC’s proprietary fatigue risk management and brain-centric reliability services into DEKRA Insight’s workplace safety services.

RoundTheClock analyzes organizational cultures, structures and processes through the lens of circadian and fatigue physiology, as well as neuroscience, to identify the improvements needed to generate high reliability and performance in 24/7 operations.

“Science at the heart of safety. This is what DEKRA Insight brings to the workplace safety arena. We strive to find the best scientific approaches and use factual data to create a cultural shift within organizations. We are extremely proud to be working with RTC and Dr. Susan Koen to bring this new layer of scientific excellence to DEKRA Insight’s capabilities in process safety, behavioral reliability, and data analytics. This really is groundbreaking work and we are already integrating the fatigue risk management component into our client processes,” commented Colin Duncan, CEO of DEKRA Insight.

“We could not have found a better partner to work with than DEKRA Insight,” said Dr. Koen. “Their deep commitment and capability to improve people and process safety is second to none. We look forward to the successful synergy of our knowledge base with theirs and to assisting more people and companies in achieving error-free and injury-free performance.

RoundTheClock Resources is a proven leader in powering high reliability and performance in an “always-on world”, generating over $1.5B in bottom-line results for their clients. Over the past 30 years, RoundTheClock has guided over 2,600 client sites to achieve High Reliability & Performance. Their client list is a Who’s Who of Global 100, Fortune 500, and mid-size companies.

About DEKRA Insight

DEKRA Insight (http://www.dekra-insight.com) is the global consulting, testing, and advisory firm that is making work safer for organizations around the world. A service unit of the safety organization DEKRA S.E. (http://www.dekra.com/en/home), DEKRA Insight is made up of legacy businesses BST, Chilworth, and RCI Safety. Together we help organizations improve organizational and process safety and implement software solutions in support of safety performance to save lives, prevent injuries, and protect assets. DEKRA Insight has over 500 employees, and growing, in 22 offices and 16 countries.

The traditional Indian Holi, the spring festival – or the festival of colours – signifies the victory of good over evil and is celebrated by Hindu’s by the liberal throwing of highly coloured powders over the participants creating a striking spectacle. The festival has, in recent times, spread to parts of Europe and North America as a spring celebration of love, frolic, and colours – but has also seen a recent substantial rise in other areas – in night clubs, “rainbow runs” and other events.

Ironically, there is a potential hidden evil in this celebration of the victory of good that has recently manifested itself.

The base of many of the powders is corn starch with the colors given by adequate pigments. Some of the base powders are talcum powder (an inert mineral).

Corn starch is an organic powder. If a cloud of such a powder is generated, it can be ignited under specific conditions and propagate a fireball or flash fire. Such an event occurred at the Formosa water park (Taiwan) on June 27th : a massive amount of powder (several tons, according to the information we had) was sprayed on the partygoers. The cloud ignited (many ignition sources can be found in such conditions: electric spark, hot surface, lighter flame, ...) and propagated a flash fire with flames at several hundred degrees. On 31st July, the appraisal was terrible:

  • Ten people had passed away
  • 200 were still in intensive care.

If the base powder is talcum powder, it is not likely to present such a risk of flash fire as this dust cannot be ignited when dispersed as a dust cloud (although the colour pigments can impart flammability). An internet search quickly identifies that the majority of the powders are corn starch based with manufacturers claiming that that the powders are “100% safe”. The claimed safety relates to toxicity, not to dust explosion risk, with many manufacturers backing up their claim by quoting EC regulations related to cosmetic products and toys... none of which consider dust explosion risks.

In some cases, the colored powders are classified as 'non flammable' but only because the tests required for the classification of the material do not take into account the fact that it can be ignited when dispersed in the atmosphere as a cloud. This 'dust explosion' phenomenon is well known by industrial companies (chemical, pharmaceutical, food, etc. industries) and many serious – multiple fatality - accidents have occurred in the past, and still occur.

Colored events are still organized – in fact, with increasing scale and frequency - like the "colored run night" in London on 5th September or the "Color run" in Marseille on 4th October.

Even if the risk of a dust cloud explosion like the horrific fire ball in Taiwan is low, it can't be neglected. Controlling ignition sources in such an atmosphere is, at best, challenging so the probability of ignition cannot be ignored. The potential for a dust explosion to occur also depends on the delivery mechanism of the powders. In most events, powders are thrown in the air by hand – limiting the amount of material dispersed and hence limiting the extent of the potential flammable dust cloud. In the Taiwan incident, the powders were dispersed by large volume mechanical dispersal systems which will give rise to much more extensive flammable clouds – and hence significantly increase the probability of the cloud “finding” an ignition source.

What Should We Do?

The overriding aim should be for manufacturers to produce, wherever possible, non-flammable powders for such events. Organizers should challenge manufacturers on this aspect and help to drive them towards non-flammable solutions.

If corn starch based powders are used, our view is that high volume mechanical dispersal systems must be banned – with only hand throwing of the powders permitted. Even then, there is a residual risk of localized flammable clouds particularly in enclosed spaces. Organizers must be cognizant of this residual risk.

At the root of the issue, we are currently working with manufacturers to fully assess the dust explosion properties of the powders and to help them in finding and utilizing materials that do not possess this dust explosion potential (eg. talcum powder based products).

In the meantime, our suggestion to participants is to be very wary of the risks. Challenge organizers on the properties of the powders - “are they corn starch based”, “are they dust explosive”, “are mechanical dispersal systems used”, etc). Where mechanical dispersal systems are used, our advice is soundly to avoid participation in such events – unless the organizer can produce data from valid methods for dust explosion classification – which demonstrates the non-flammability of the powders when in suspension in the air.

If in doubt, DEKRA Insight Process Safety provide a free advisory service to event organizers, manufacturers and participants to advise on risks.

Written by: Joseph-Marc Francois and Stephen Rowe, DEKRA Insight Process Safety.