The Working Party on Loss Prevention and Safety Promotion in the Process Industries (WP Loss Prevention) started in 1971 as a group of very motivated people who decided at the symposium Major Loss Prevention in the Process Industries in Newcastle upon Tyne that an international effort would be necessary.  The then General Secretary of the Institution of Chemical Engineers , Dr Evans acted as a provisional chair until the status of the group became established as a Working Party of the European Federation of Chemical Engineering (EFCE) in 1973. After that Mr Ted Kantyka (ICI) , before chairman of the North-Western Branch of IChemE and organizer of the Newcastle symposium became the first real chairman with Mr Frank Hearfield secretary Dr Hans Joschek from BASF with Dr John Bond as secretary took over after the 3rd symposium in Basel , and Joschek handed over to Hans Pasman after the 5th symposium in Cannes . John Bond was replaced as secretary after the 6th symposium in Oslo by Dr Alan Duxbury . After the 59th WP Meeting in Prague Mr. Mike Considine took over as secretary. The second secretary of the WP Dr. John Bond formulated the following three laws of loss prevention:

  1. „He who ignores the past is condemned to repeat it“/“Even a donkey does not hit itself twice on the same stone“.
  2. „Success in preventing loess is in anticipating the future“/“Think before you start“.
  3. „You are not in control if a loss has to occur before you measure it“.

(Pasman et.al „Major hazards in the process industries: Achievements and challenges in loss prevention“, J.Haz.Mat. 30 (1992) 1-38). Since its creation the WP Loss Prevention has held triannual Loss Prevention symposia , which gathers indstrialists, consultants and academics from across the world for 2˝ day event about the latest developments in technologies related to loss prevention and safety promotion. The active menbers of the WP is the scientific committee for these symposia responsible for review of contributions. In the early nineties on the initiative of the WP Loss Prevention in consultation with CEFIC the European Process Safety Center (EPSC) was established in March 1992. The Technical Steering Committee (TSC) of the EPSC is the central body of expertise, and WP Loss Prevention members are invited to attend TSC meetings. At the end of the 11th symposium in Prague a number of challenges were identified:

  1. Too few methods, techniques and technology exist to prevent and to rule out accidents, i.e. the loop from operational experience back to design has not been closed sufficiently.
  2. Few methods help to make plant operations safer, i.e. methods to identify systematically possible incident precursors in a running process and to analyse the installation and operation top down on risk reducing measures has not been developed.
  3. Development sufficiently detailed models for emergency response planning to plan emergency operations and support decision making in actual situations.

This analysis (Pasman, H.J. and Suter, G. (2004): „EFCE Working Party on Loss Prevention and Safety Promotion in the Process Industries“, private communication) also found a need for increased focus on domino effects due changes in ownership of adjacent complexes, more attention to security due to possibility of terrorist attacks, research in closed-in dispersion modelling and semi-confined gas explosion modelling, and discussion of leadership, team building, behavior modification and improvement in safety culture.

A review of the past, present and future of the European loss prevention and safety promotion in the process industries following the history of Loss Prevention Symposium and a time perspective on process safety/research is available here.

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