Energy and process technology

Process Safety in the Twenty-first Century: Global Practices, Trends, and Priorities

Prosa21: A survey targeting practitioners of process safety.

Prosa21 map with logo
T. Skjold

Main content

The survey was closed on THURSDAY 13 JUNE 2024.

The main objective of the survey was to explore global trends, practices, and priorities related to process safety, with a view to promote sharing of knowledge and best practices between stakeholders.

Preliminary results from the survey were presented at the ISHPMIE conference in Naples on Friday 14 June 2024.

The background for the survey and other practical aspects are summarised below.



  • Knowledge of process safety is relevant for a broad range of systems in industry and society, where loss of containment of hazardous materials, fires, and explosions represent a hazard for people, property, and the environment.
  • Process safety is an interdisciplinary subject, and a comprehensive syllabus would cover a wide range of topics, from basic physical and chemical phenomena to complex and increasingly automated industrial systems, designed and operated by humans.
  • Process safety is also an applied subject that evolves with the development of society, and many of the principles for achieving safe operation in the process industry apply equally well to coal mines, nuclear facilities, and emerging technologies for production, storage, transport, and use of energy carriers such as hydrogen, ammonia, and batteries.
  • The global nature of the process industry implies a need for standardising the process safety curriculum. At the same time, the process industry in a country or region is likely to reflect the natural resources and the level of technological development.
  • The time allocated to process safety in the overall syllabus can vary significantly between universities and study programs, and the competence and experience of the academic staff may influence teaching practices and priorities.
  • The aim is to gather and share input from academia and the labour market, in various countries, and explore similarities and differences concerning global practices, trends, and priorities.



"Process Safety in the Twenty-first Century" (Prosa21) is inspired by a series of national strategy, including:

  • Energi21 – Norway's strategy for research and development of new energy technologies in the 21st century.

  • Prosess21 – Norway's strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the process industry in the 21st century.

  • Transport21 – Norway's strategy for research, development, and innovation in the transport sector in the 21st century.

  • Maritim21 – Norway's strategy for research, development, and innovation for the maritime industry in the 21st century.

  • OG21 – Norway's strategy for developing oil and gas technologies in the 21st century.

Although the challenges addressed in these strategies are of a global nature, knowledge and competence on process safety are crucial for safe implementation of sustainable energy and process technologies in industry and society worldwide.

The Prosa21 initiative is also inspired by strategy documents for process safety, such as:

Finally, "Process Safety in the Twenty-first Century" (Prosa21) is also the working title for an initiative to establish a research centre with primary focus on selected aspects of process safety.



The survey comprised six sections:

1. Experience

This part of the survey explores the experience of the participants related to process safety or related systems, from academia as well as the labour market.

2. Collaboration

This part of the survey explores collaboration among stakeholders.

3. Priorities

This part of the survey focuses on teaching priorities, relevance for the labour market, and knowledge gaps.

4. Trends

This part of the survey explores global trends in process safety and the process industries.

5. Practice

This part of the survey addresses study programs, teaching practices, and sources of information.

6. Interaction

This part of the survey addresses networking and dissemination in the area of process safety.



  • The survey was self-generating, which implies that anyone could respond using a link or QR-code.
  • The original survey invitation was distributed to contact persons in previous and ongoing projects and proposals, complemented with corresponding authors from published papers on process safety and related topics registered in Web of Science.
  • Anyone who completes the survey can opt for receiving updates when the results have been published.
  • Please remember to submit your input by clicking the "FINISH" button at the bottom of the last page of the survey.
  • All personal information will be anonymised during the processing of the data.
  • Please forward the survey invitation to other practitioners of process safety!
  • The survey was closed on Thursday 13 June 2024.


Response duration

As mentioned above, the survey was rather comprehensive. The response duration, i.e. the time from a respondent opens the questionnaire and until the response is submitted, varied from 8 minutes to 19 hours for the first 118 respondents. Since a respondent may not be active during the entire period, the registered response duration provides a conservative estimate of the actual time it takes to complete the survey. The first quartile (Q1), median (Q2), and third quartile (Q3) for the response duration of the first 118 respondents were 17 minutes, 25 minutes, and 41 minutes, respectively.


Data protection

  • All personal information will be anonymised during the processing of the data.
  • Names of specific companies will not appear in reports or publications. This information will only be used to identify the type of organisation/business, and to register multiple responses from the same organisation.