Delegates from gas companies, end-users and government departments all came together in the name of gas safety recently, when the Taiwan 2013 Seminar – Gases Process Safety was held in Taipei City, Taiwan.

Around 220 delegates gathered at the National Taipei University of Technology (NTUT) for the event on 3rd September.

Communication and sharing of safety information is an important and welcomed activity in the industrial gases industry, aiming to improve the overall safety. The Asia Industrial Gas Association (AIGA) plays a vital role in the region in this regard and holds regular safety seminars.

Regular readers of gasworld will notice that this is already the fourth time that AIGA has held such an event with the cooperation of the Council of Labour Affairs of Executive Yuan of the Taiwan Government, Taiwan High Pressure Industrial Gas Association (THPIGA), and NTUT.

Henry Liu, Senior Director of Health, Safety and Environment of Air Liquide Far Eastern and also the Chairman of the technical committee of THPIGA, said at the opening of the event, “We are pleased that we have the continuous support from the Council of Labour Affairs these years to hold such international gas safety seminars. Last year we talked about oxygen safety and this year we will discuss the various gas processes safety.”

“We will learn from the references and experience from different gas companies, so that we can get some inspirations and interactions from the sharing. And when we return to our own company, we will focus in the area of safety and risks and make some long-term improvement and advances.”

“We are pleased that we have the continuous support from the Council of Labour Affairs these years to hold such international gas safety seminars…”

The President of NTUT, Dr. Leehter Yang, then also shared his views on safety, ”We know that Taiwan is well known for her high tech manufacturing technology and for these high tech manufacturing processes, we need to use a lot of gases. And so safety is the first priority to learn. We know that if anything wrong happens during the manufacturing process when we are using the gases, it could be disastrous. We need to learn from each other.”

The technical presentations then started with Ray Bailey of Air Products, who gave a presentation on ‘Process Safety Management & Emergency Response of Toxic Gas Industry’, followed by Liu, who took to the stage again to discuss the topic ‘Risk Assessment – Hydrogen’.

Since the seminar was held in Taiwan, a well-known electronics hub, and in parallel with the Semicon Taiwan event, when Bertrand Le Faou (Business Development Manager of Greater China of Linde) discussed the safety management of fluorine generation, he drew the attention of the audience, with his fluent Mandarin. Linde introduced on-site production and supply of fluorine to replace NF3 for the electronics industry, and Bertrand explained both the benefits of this due to the hazardous nature of high pressure compressed fluorine and how the hazards can be controlled, as well as how to minimise risk to personnel. Safety aspects of the handling of hydrogen fluoride, the raw material for generating fluorine onsite were also discussed.

The audience and guest speakers were then led to enjoy the lunch sponsored by the Council of Labour Affairs.

Hazards

The afternoon session began with a discussion of the ‘Toxic Gas Releases to Atmosphere and Community Impact’ by Young-Soo Kim, Senior Process Safety Engineer of Air Products Korea.

Kim illustrated five toxic gas accidents that have happened in Korea and Taiwan, including the Hydrogen Fluoride (HF) release in Gumi, Chlorine release in Ulsan, and more. In addition to discussing the similarities of the toxic gas incidents and the lessons learned from them, Kim also described what can be done better in Emergency Response Preparation, Active Communication with local Emergency Response Agencies, and Systematic Offsite Risk Management.

Finally, one of the conclusions that he drew is that further research and development are required on systematic offsite risk management.

The last presentation of the seminar was a report on ‘Hazard Identification and its Control During the Site Life Cycle’ presented by Enrique Elias-Troy, S&ES Director – Asia of Praxair. He gave an outline of hazards in the industry and the types of hazards, as well as the importance of different counter measures.

Liu officially closed the seminar and indicated that he hoped that delegates had benefited from the presentations and would bring all the information back to the company and share with others.