Dispelling chemical industry myths / Edition 3

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With over fifty years of experience in the chemical industry, Trevor Kletz sheds light on statements of doubtful accuracy that are widely accepted among chemical engineers and professionals in the chemical industry. These so-called myths have led to accidents and wrong decisions. This book encourages a skeptical approach so that accidents can be avoided and our resources can be more effectively used. The myths address technology, management, and, new to this edition, toxicology and the environment. Included in each myth is a thorough description of why it is wrong. This important resource provides a gentle reminder that all received wisdom should be looked at critically from time to time. Everyone teaching, learning, and working in the oil, chemical, and other process industries will find the book stimulating and provocative - and relevant to their everyday work.
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Editorial Reviews

The author, a manager and safety adviser in the chemical industry, states 91 "myths" or common misconceptions, explains why they are not true, and includes references for each. The largest section comprises myths about technology, e.g. pressure vessels must be fitted with relief valves or rupture discs; if a vessel is exposed to fire, it should be emptied as quickly as possible; and accidents are due to human failing, so we should eliminate the human element when we can. More controversial perhaps are the other sections which state what the author thinks are inaccuracies regarding management (e.g. stress is a major cause of ill health today); and toxicology and the environment (e.g. the polluter should pay the costs of pollution). The second edition was titled "Improving Chemical Engineering Practice." Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781560324386
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 7/28/1996
  • Series: Chemical Engineering Series
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 200
  • Product dimensions: 6.23 (w) x 9.37 (h) x 0.69 (d)

Table of Contents

Part 1: myths about technology; pressure vessels must be fitted with relief valves (or bursting discs); if a vessel is exposed to fire, it should be emptied as quickly as possible; accidents are due to human failing, so we should eliminate the human element when we can; if a flammable material has a high flashpoint, it is safe and will not explode; blast walls provide the ultimate protection against explosions; we can remove hazards; the public believe we are making the world a better place; fire is worse than smoke; accidents are due to a coincidence of unlikely events; computers introduce new problems; the most valuable writings on safety are codes and standards. Part 2: myths about management; engineers should respond to market needs; many questions can be answered by substituting numbers in well-established equations; policies lead to action; treating employees, customers and suppliers well is good business in the long run; stress is a major cause of ill-health today. Part 3: myths about toxicology and the environment; we should look for the effects of substances that have not yet been studied; the causes of cancer are environmental; scientists should be held responsible for the results of their actions; we should recycle whenever possible; entropy is increasing all the time; myths in other walks of life; afterthoughts.

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