2018 Speaker Spotlight: Townsend and Porter


Senior Manager HSE, Sodexo | Long Beach, California, USA

Karen Townsend is the Senior Manager of Health, Safety and Environment for Sodexo, a world leader in quality of life services. She is a Registered Safety, Health & Environmental Practitioner through Southern California Industrial Safety Society (SCISS), the oldest safety society in California, and serves as President of the organization. She has 27 years of experience working as an Occupational Health Nurse and safety professional for companies such as Gencorp, Nordstrom, Warnaco, ITT Industries, and Western Digital. Ms. Townsend has been a volunteer fire brigade nurse in the past and is an American Red Cross First Aid/CPR/AED Instructor. She has managed ergonomic programs at various companies and has significantly reduced repetitive injuries in the workplace. Ms. Townsend has earned a Bachelor of Science in Workforce Education & Development through Southern Illinois University and has completed graduate classes in Ergonomics and Massage Therapy. She enjoys international travel and scuba diving.

“Ergonomics and Back Strain Prevention”

Karen will provide a description of a back strain, the costs associated with strains, treatment of strains, and ergonomics and strains. She will discuss ways to prevent strains and the importance of a wellness program. Ms. Townsend has previously presented this topic during the Southern California Industrial Safety Society luncheon meeting.



WSO International Office for Philippines | Manila, Philippines

Engr. James F. Porter, Jr. is a member of WSO’s Board of Directors, Technical Director of WSO International Office for Philippines, accredited Mechanical Equipment Inspector (BWC), accredited Safety Consultant, and Radiological Health and Safety Officer (RHSO). He is a certified Nondestructive Testing (NDT) Level III in Radiographic, Ultrasonic, Magnetic Particle, Liquid Penetrant Testing and Infrared Thermography. Engr. Porter is also certified API-510 by the American Petroleum Institute (API).

“Risk-Based Inspection for Plant Reliability and Safety”

Plant operators expect their facility to operate without failure within its design life. But equipment failure is not uncommon and failure of equipment in industrial facilities often results to substantial losses and tragedy. Inspection is usually a part of an integrity management strategy for managing the risk of failure. This normally includes routine and preventative maintenance, and the inspection and maintenance functions are being dictated by the equipment manufacturer and safety regulations. These regulations fix the locations, frequency and the type and method of inspection mainly on the basis of industry acceptable standards and the type and function of the equipment. These practices have provided adequate safety and reliability but with certain limitations. It does not promote the analysis of specific operational parameters that can pose a threat to the equipment integrity and the consequences of failure. It also does not consider the benefits from good operating experience and will not focus inspection to the areas of greatest concern.

Risk Based Inspection (RBI), as an alternative to statutory inspection, is a maintenance technology process used to examine static equipment, piping, storage tanks, pipelines and pressure relief valves operating in the oil, gas, petrochemical, fertilizer manufacturing and power generating plants. It examines the Safety, Health and Environment (SHE) and business risk of active and potential failure mechanisms to assess and rank failure probability and its consequences. This ranking is used to optimize inspection intervals based on acceptable risk levels and operating limits while mitigating risks. RBI analysis can be qualitative (based on expert judgement), quantitative (using probabilistic, statistical and mathematical modelling) or semi-quantitative (rule-based analysis). The trend towards a risk-based approach is being supported by extensive plant operating experience, improved understanding of material degradation mechanisms, and the availability of fitness-for-service assessment procedures. At the same time, developments in Nondestructive Testing (NDT) technology have increased the scope and efficiency of examinations that can be undertaken.

Industry is recognizing that benefit may be gained from more targeted inspection. Certain sectors of industry, particularly the refining and petrochemicals sectors, are now setting inspection priorities on the basis of the specific risk of failure. Improved targeting and timing of inspections can provide the following potential benefits:

  • Improved management of Health and Safety and other risks of plant failure
  • Timely identification and repair or replacement of deteriorating equipment
  • Cost savings by eliminating ineffective inspection, extending inspection intervals and increase plant operating time.


Meet Ms. Townsend and Engr. Porter in Charleston during the 2018 WSO Symposium!

September 17–19, 2018
Marriott Charleston Town Center | Charleston, West Virginia, USA


Register Today!

Final Discount Available through August 31. Request a Registration Form from the WSO World Management Center by email ( or phone (660.747.3132), or complete the Online Registration.