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Using Incident Reporting to Integrate Hazard Analysis and Risk Assessment into the Unit Operations Lab

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Conference

2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Chemical Engineering in the Junior and Senior Year

Tagged Division

Chemical Engineering

Page Count

17

DOI

10.18260/1-2--35464

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/35464

Download Count

93

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Paper Authors

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Sarah A Wilson University of Kentucky

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Sarah Wilson is a lecturer in the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering at the University of Kentucky. She completed her bachelor’s degree at Rowan University in New Jersey before attending graduate school for her PhD at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, MA. Sarah conducted her thesis research on the production of the anti-cancer compound Paclitaxel (Taxol) through the use of plant cell cultures from the Taxus Yew Tree. Throughout her time at Rowan and UMass, she developed a passion for undergraduate education. This passion led her to pursue a career as a lecturer, where she could focus on training undergraduate chemical engineering students. She has been teaching at UK since 2015 and has taught Fluid Mechanics, Thermodynamics, Computational Tools and the Unit Operations Laboratory. She is especially interested in teaching scientific communication and integration of process safety into the chemical engineering curriculum.

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Samira M. Azarin Azarin University of Minnesota

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Samira Azarin is an Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at the University of Minnesota. She earned her B.S. in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2006 and went on to receive a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2011.

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Christopher Barr University of Michigan

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Dr. Christopher Barr is the Instructional Laboratory Supervisor in the Chemical Engineering Department at University of Michigan. He obtained his Ph.D. at University of Toledo in 2013 and is a former Fellow in the N.S.F. GK-12 grant "Graduate Teaching Fellows in STEM High School Education: An Environmental Science Learning Community at the Land-Lake Ecosystem Interface". His main responsibilities are supervising and implementing improvements to the undergraduate labs. In Fall 2017, he was a lecturer for the Chemical Engineering Laboratory II. He also holds positions on the departmental Safety Committee and Undergraduate Program Committee.

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Janie Brennan Washington University in St. Louis

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Janie Brennan is a Lecturer of Energy, Environmental & Chemical Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis. She earned her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Purdue University in 2015. Her primary focus is on the application of research-based teaching methods in engineering education.

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Tracy L. Carter Northeastern University

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Tracy Carter is an instructor in the Chemical Engineering department at Northeastern University. She earned her PhD degree in 2018, the M.S. degree in 1998 and the B.S. degree in 1993 from Northeastern University. In addition to teaching, Dr. Carter is currently a workshop facilitator for the CCPS Chemical Process Safety Faculty Workshops. She previously worked in the biotechnology field for CytoTherapeutics, designing medical devices using membrane cell encapsulation. She resides just outside of Boston, MA with husband, son, twin daughters and three cats. She is active in her community and is passionate about process safety education.

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Amy J Karlsson University of Maryland

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Amy J. Karlsson is an assistant professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Maryland - College Park. She received her BS in chemical engineering from Iowa State University and her PhD in chemical engineering from the University Wisconsin - Madison. At the University of Maryland, she has taught Separations, Unit Operations, and Protein Engineering and enjoys mentoring students of all levels in research focused on protein and peptide design.

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Abstract

Since 2017, instructors from six universities have collaborated to better understand and improve the integration of process safety into chemical engineering unit operations (UO) laboratories. While past studies by the team have focused on assessing the state of UO lab safety education, the current study aims to implement new strategies for improving process safety education in the UO labs. By examining the Safety and Chemical Engineering (SAChE) process safety learning outcomes, hazard analysis and risk assessment were identified as the first priority for integration into these university labs, as they are most relevant to a laboratory setting and not heavily covered elsewhere in these university chemical engineering curricula. For integration, a safety incident reporting structure was developed to allow students to report safety incidents and assess hazards and risk levels. Students were asked to categorize the incidents as being related to personal, process, or environmental safety, and were then asked to assess risk levels. The goals of the reporting structure were to increase student awareness of these topics, improve safety culture, and develop an understanding of actual risk frequencies in the undergraduate teaching labs.

After development, four of the six universities were able to implement the reporting structure in their UO labs, although specific data could only be reported from three due to timing of IRB approval. Risk and frequencies were determined by analyzing over 400 incidents or near-misses from these three universities, showing that 62% of safety incidents were related to personal safety, whereas 18% were process-related and 20% were environment-related. Of those incidents, 45% were characterized as near-miss incidents where students were able to prevent the hazard from escalating to a level requiring intervention. Prior to implementing this system, very little or no documentation on safety incidents was kept; often, only incidents requiring medical attention were reported to the instructor and/or lab manager.

Pre- and post-tests were also utilized to understand the impact of the incident reporting on process safety-related learning outcomes. From the pre-test data (approximately 200 total students) at the start of the semester, students had a stronger understanding of personal safety than they did process or environmental safety. When comparing pre- and post-survey data, self-reported knowledge levels were significantly improved for understanding of consequence, frequency, process safety and environmental safety. Interestingly, improvements in self-reported understanding and knowledge gains were stronger for those students who had never completed an industrial internship. To date, all instructors have observed that the incident reporting structure has resulted in a positive change to the safety culture of the laboratories. These results alone show the positive effect of integrating incident reporting into the UO laboratories.

Wilson, S. A., & Azarin, S. M., & Barr, C., & Brennan, J., & Carter, T. L., & Karlsson, A. J. (2020, June), Using Incident Reporting to Integrate Hazard Analysis and Risk Assessment into the Unit Operations Lab Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35464

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