Pilot Plant and Laboratory Safety

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Course Overview

This detailed course is designed for safety personnel, engineers, scientists, contractors, supervisors, and operators who are involved in the safe design and operation of laboratories and pilot plants. You will learn how to develop and implement an effective safety program for your labs and pilot plants.

You will gain a comprehensive overview of:

  • The basic principles of laboratory safety
  • The effective use of safety inspections
  • Methods to improve safety reviews
  • Common hazard analysis and risk assessment methods
  • Space impacts on safety
  • Research specific codes with a focus on NFPA-45, NFPA-30, ASME and IMC

Who Should Attend?

Engineers and scientists who are involved in pilot plant and laboratory safety will learn the essentials and critically examine ways to implement meaningful safety procedures–including reviews, inspections, and standards–to achieve code compliance and safe operation. The course will be especially valuable to those responsible for safe procedures and operation in the design, construction, and operation of pilot plants and laboratories.

This course will be valuable to those involved in academic, private, and government research and training laboratories. It will be especially important to those who are:

  • New to the pilot plant and laboratory and need to learn the codes and equipment applicable to safety in these units
  • Responsible for designing safe pilot plants and laboratories
  • Managing the safety aspects of pilot plants and laboratories

Additional Information

Course text

The text for this course is Pilot Plant and Laboratory Safety, by Richard P. Palluzi, McGraw-Hill Publishing Co., 1994. The text is included in your enrollment fee.

Course Outline

Flammability Basics

  • Flash points
  • Autoignition temperatures
  • Explosion types
  • Explosive limits
  • Oxygen-enriched atmospheres
  • Classification of flammable and combustible liquids
  • NFPA and OSHA issues
  • Hazard classifications

Safety Reviews

  • Types of safety reviews and their purposes
  • Problems with safety reviews
  • Ensuring safety reviews meet their goals

Hazard Analysis and Risk Assessments

  • Types of hazard analysis
    • generic
    • what if?
    • HAZOP
    • fault/event tree analysis
    • FMEA and criticality analysis
  • Risk assessment issues

 Safety Inspections 

  • Types of safety inspections
  • Purposes of safety inspections
  • Problems with safety inspections
  • Developing an effective safety inspection program

Space Considerations

  • Types of research space
  • Safety considerations for each type of surface
  • Interior vs. exterior locations
  • Laboratory vs. pilot plant areas
  • Barricades vs. other measures
  • Barricade design and operational considerations

 Code Compliance

  • Types of codes and implications
  • Overview of common codes applicable to research
    • OSHA
    • EPA
    • building codes
    • NFPA
    • ASME
    • miscellaneous codes
  • Resolving code disputes

NFPA-45: Safety in Laboratories Using Flammable Materials

  • Overview
  • Laboratory construction requirements
  • Laboratory ventilation requirements
  • Flammable liquid storage
  • Miscellaneous requirements
  • Implications for research operations

NFPA-70: National Electrical Code®

  • Overview
  • Definitions of hazardous areas
  • Determining hazardous areas
  • Summary of hazardous area requirements 

NFPA-496: Electrical Enclosures in Hazardous Locations

  • Overview
  • Pressurization requirements
  • Implications for research operations
  • Purged enclosure design considerations
  • Control room design considerations
  • Problem areas

NFPA-30: Flammable and Combustible Liquids Code

  • Overview
  • General requirements
  • Containers
  • Liquid storage
  • Tankage
  • Implications for research operations



"This course is very valuable to anyone in the safety field."

"I received new ideas and information specifically on safety in the lab. I am more aware of what needs to be done when constructing a new pilot plant."
Laboratory Supervisor

"I gained a lot of knowledge regarding NFPA codes, safety reviews, and hazard assessments."
Senior Scientist

"By far, one of the Best courses. This course is very valuable to anyone in the safety field."
Research Scientist

"This course brought many things to my attention. It exposed my organization's weaknesses with safety audits and hazard analysis."
Research Engineer


Elaine Andrysick

Elaine M. Andrysick, joined Engineering Professional Development, University of Wisconsin-Madison, as a continuing engineering education specialist in 1988.  She is responsible for the development and delivery of high-value continuing engineering education short courses for practicing professionals in the areas of chemical and process engineering and laser material processing.  Also, she manages the University’s Laser Welding Certificate program.

Richard Palluzi

Richard P. Palluzi, PE, CSP, of Richard P. Palluzi LLC is a consultant to the pilot plant and laboratory research community on safety, design, and research project management. He retired as a Distinguished Engineering Associate after almost 40 years at ExxonMobil Research and Engineering, where he was involved in the design, construction, and support of pilot plants and laboratories for ExxonMobil’s research site in Clinton, New Jersey, as well as affiliates worldwide. Rich is the author of two books, and numerous articles and presentations as well as a past chair of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers Pilot Plant Committee, ExxonMobil’s Pilot Plant and Laboratory Safety Standards Committee, and ExxonMobil’s Safe Operations Team for their Clinton facility. Rich is on the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) NFPA-45 Fire Protection for Laboratories Using Chemicals and NFPA-55 Industrial and Medical Gasses committees. He has BE and ME degrees in chemical engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology. 

Upcoming dates (1)

Apr. 27-29, 2021

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Program Director

Elaine Andrysick

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