Title: Six Sigma and chemical process safety

Authors: Mukesh Doble

Addresses: Department of Biotechnology, Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, Chennai-600036, India

Abstract: Six Sigma strives toward quantifying defects and reducing them through continuous process improvement, while chemical plant safety methodology works towards reducing the number of risks or hazardous events to a minimum. Hence both the philosophies have several similarities, and incorporating Six Sigma quantification tools into chemical process safety analysis could lead to a powerful safety process. In this paper the uses of tools such as FMEA, Pugh matrix, Fish-bone (cause-effect) diagram, and Z capability metrics in HAZOP studies and hazard and safety analysis are described with examples. In order to achieve ten failures or less (unsafe incidents) in one million years of operation (accepted norm), a safety system in a chemical process should have a Z of at least 7.48.

Keywords: six sigma quality; occupational safety; Pugh matrix; hazards study; operability study; failure mode and effects analysis; FMEA; chemical process safety; TRIZ innovation tool; problem solving; cause-effect diagram; fish bone diagram; standard operating procedure; risks per million years; defects per million opportunities; risk reduction; hazard reduction.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSSCA.2005.006425

International Journal of Six Sigma and Competitive Advantage, 2005 Vol.1 No.2, pp.229 - 244

Published online: 07 Mar 2005 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article