AOCS is the preeminent scientific organization serving the fields of oils, fats, lipids, proteins, surfactants and related materials. This year at the 2021 AOCS Annual Meeting, Plus Groups David Hurban will be presenting on Best Practices and Guidelines for Plant and Product Personnel – Including Public and Customer Communication. As well as Dennis McCullough, presenting on Food Safety: Focused Facility & Equipment Hygienic Design Stategies.

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Title: Process Hazards Analysis – Adding Value Throughout the Lifecycle of the Facility


Since the issuing of 29CFR1910.119 Process Safety Management of Highly Hazardous Chemicals; Explosives and Blasting Agents February 24, 1992, many facilities that produce, oils, fats, proteins, and surfactant have conduct initial Process Hazards Analysis (PHA) and numerous 5-year revalidation s of these PHAs as required by Process Safety Management (PSM). Many other industries such as Oil and Gas, Chemical and Plastics, Pharmaceuticals have followed a similar progression as well. Trend associate with these industries indicate the effectiveness and sustainability of PSM and PHAs diminish over time, until a major event occurs at an industry related facility. For example, March 23, 2005, the BP Texas City, TX refinery had an explosion and fire that resulted in 15 fatalities and 180 injuries. On November 11, 15, 2014 a chemical release killed 4 people and injured a 5th at the DuPont Laporte, TX location. The question people keep asking themselves is why these events keep happening and seem to occur every 3 to 5 years. Many of these facilities become overconfident or complacent as they are viewed as industry leaders in safety. The term safety reflects Occupational Safety as measured by recordable injuries. What has been recognized by event such as these is that an excellent Occupational Safety Program is not directly proportional to an excellent Process Safety Program.

Process Safety differs from Occupational Safety. Occupational Safety Standards are what are known as Specifications Standards. They are written in terms that are readily measurable. For example, a toeboard on a working platform must be at least 3.5” tall with less than a ¼” gap between the toeboard and the platform, handrails are to be 42” plus or minus 3” high. Process Safety Standards are defined as Performance Standards. Performance Standards are written in terms of what is expected to be accomplished or performed. For example, from 29CFR1910.119(e)(1) “The employer shall perform an initial process hazard analysis (hazard evaluation) on processes covered by this standard. The process hazard analysis shall be appropriate to the complexity of the process and shall identify, evaluate, and control the hazards involved in the process. Employers shall determine and document the priority order for conducting process hazard analyses based on a rationale which includes such considerations as extent of the process hazards, number of potentially affected employees, age of the process, and operating history of the process”. Measuring performance is considerably more challenging as the terms of measurement is qualified rather than qualified. By providing examples of what is “Best Practice” for PSM and PHAs, organizations and facilities are able to assess the quality of their PSM Program and PHAs determining how and if they will benefit from improvement.

About the Presenter:

David CCPSC CSP PE PMP, is a Engineering Specialist I here at Process Plus. He graduated with a B.S. in in Chemical Engineering, from the West Virginia Institute of Technology. David is a well-qualified licensed professional, with over 25 years of progressive experience in the chemical, plastics, pharmaceutical, and electrical utility industries. David’s licenses and certifications include: Licensed Professional Chemical Engineer (PE, OH), Certified Safety Professional, Certified Process Safety Professional, & he is also a Project Management Professional.

Title: Food Safety: Focused Facility & Equipment Hygienic Design Strategies

Abstract: Food Manufacturing facilities are required to review their production system to determine if they have any mitigation strategies to protect food against intentional adulteration or complete their own vulnerability assessment. Once that is completed, manufacturers would need to identify actionable process steps, which are points, steps, or procedures in a food process that will require focused efforts to reduce any such risks. Facilities are also required to complete a written food defense plan. Once in place, the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) would establish measures that a food facility would be required to implement to protect against the intentional adulteration of food. A key deliverable in achieving this goal is designing facilities and equipment to proper hygienic design levels.

About the Presenter: 

Dennis McCullough is a Vice President and Principal and leads our Nashville, TN office. Dennis is recognized in the industry as an authority in Microbial/Clean Design Standards, TPM, Converting and Packaging. He works to increase production efficiency and reduce scrap rates; he is an effective leader, implementing new standards and processes and training necessary personnel. He has his B.S. in Packaging Engineering Technology and B.S. in Management from Indiana State University and his M.S. in Packaging, From Michigan State University.

He has over 40 years of experience in various process and packaging operations within the health, beauty, family care, food and beverage, and paper industries. Dennis has written hygienic equipment and facility design standards for major CPG and food clients and has personally trained more than 1,500 employees in their application, often in non- English primary language countries (with consistently high ratings on content and clarity of presentation as reported by the client). He taught these standards to more than 40 classes across the world.