Process Hazard Analysis Starting Point

you hey everybody in this lesson we are going to look at the starting point of a process hazard analysis or PHA and it begins with a simple question is the risk acceptable a typical issue in a PHA is that people do not have a common understanding of risk acceptance this creates endless discussions which do not result in clear actions let's take a look at what happens when a team lacks shared understanding in a PHA have you been in a meeting like this okay let's get started does anyone see any hazards in this process I know all the hazards I have been operating this kind of process for 25 years well what if an operator makes an error we have very reliable people I don't see this as a risk okay what if the pressure control loop fails I don't think anything would happen we have a mechanical safeguard okay good enough then I only have a few hours left I need to go back to the plan there is a turnaround in two weeks well I've seen operator switching the wrong valves before we have a procedure in place let's move on by the end of the day people are still talking but there are no commitments to actions and the process hazard analysis is only half done everyone leaves the meeting thinking that this was a waste of time you know the outcome of a PHA is bad when no one is confident in the design why does this happen it is not because there are no reasonable people in the room or people are not smart this happens when people don't apply the right decision tools most organizations know that accidents are not a necessary cost of doing business however a proper understanding of the real cause of accidents is critical to the effective control of loss a process hazard analysis or PHA is fundamentally a loss causation and consequence model this helps a company understand what must be done to control the risk when you attend a PHA the team must first identified loss exposure and then evaluate the level of risk associated with each exposure before deciding on the appropriate control actions to be taken the goal of any loss control program is not to over protect the facility to the point where the asset becomes inoperable but also not to under protect resulting in excessive risk exposure let's think about how to strike the right balance a facility does not need to be as safe as working in a high-rise office on the other hand it should not be as dangerous as Alaska king crab fishing the highest risk occupation in North America the starting point for any good decisions coming from a PHA should be a shared understanding of the objectives when designing a complex facility to operate safely yet productively there needs to be a decision framework that everyone understands one that facilitates discussion and encourages high-quality decisions the challenge is that the framework must be simple intuitively understandable and can be applied consistently while not oversimplifying imagine if your team worked like a well-oiled machine a PHA would be so much more efficient and enjoyable PHA offers the approach that allows a team of participants to systematically think through the design exhaustively identify and clearly assess the risk a well-executed PHA is like a shared language that allows a team to make decisions based on shared knowledge let's see what a functioning PHA looks like with the facilitator guiding the team to make high-quality decisions okay let's start off by looking at a no flow abnormal process condition at the separator what could cause no flow here there's a pressure control valve at the outlet of the vessel which could inadvertently close if it closed I don't think anything catastrophic would happen we have a PSV on the vessel but it is possible for the PSV to fail we can take some credit for it but this does not eliminate the risk if so what would be the worst credible consequence we have seen some pretty high Inlet pressures in the past so the separator could overpressure there is also an automated high-pressure shutdown at the England okay so we have two safeguards a PSV and an automatic shutdown both can reduce the risk let's use the risk matrix to guide the risk acceptance it looks like the risk is acceptable based on the risk matrix okay that seems reasonable my guys can operate this with a facilitator guiding the team the conversation is focused and new perspectives are explored a key outcome of a PHA is a documentation of the logical decisions it shows due diligence was applied to the design through a systematic approach the risk were clearly understood and managed by the identification evaluation and control of abnormal process conditions in the next course you will learn about the risk-based decision process and the four principles of operational risk management this will be the basis of a successful PHA class dismissed

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