The adequate identification of hazards is a fundamental step in any risk management process as an unidentified hazard cannot be controlled. Therefore, hazard identification is a critical activity. Further expanded, a hazard may be any activity, procedure, plant, process, substance, situation or other circumstance that has the potential to cause harm.
Appropriate hazard identification techniques should be selected from the large range available considering the following aspects:
- The nature and complexity of the activity under review
- The types of risks present
- Organisational context
- Purpose of the risk study.
The technique chosen should:
- Be systematic and well structured
- Promote creativity and thinking ‘outside the box’
- Be appropriate to the facility and people involved
- Extract the maximum amount of useful information for the types of hazards present to facilitate adequate assessment of the risk of those hazards (in the following risk assessment stage)
- Involve a level of effort proportional to the seriousness of the potential hazards present.
Process Hazard Analysis (PHA) studies are the foundation for process safety and risk management of highly hazardous process systems. They help companies identify hazard scenarios that could adversely affect people, property, or the environment. Companies that handle or process hazardous chemicals have a responsibility to protect employees, the public and the environment from exposure to accidental releases.
Considering the complexity of today’s chemical processes, the challenges involved in facilitating a PHA study, and the potential liabilities from an incident, your best option for completing PHAs may be to seek the assistance of expert specialists.
MicroWatt uses predictive PHA techniques and methodologies such as Hazard and Operability Studies (HAZOP), What-If Studies, and Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA) and Major Hazard Analysis (MHA). Primatech provides a team leader or facilitator to work with a group of people from the facility to conduct the PHA. We document the PHA study findings and prepare a report on the study. We can also provide a scribe to assist with study documentation, if desired by the client.
We facilitate both initial PHAs and re-validations of existing PHAs.
MicroWatt’s PHA Team Leader:
- prepares for the study
- advises on the selection of team members and methodology and the definition of study scope
- oversees the team’s brainstorming of causes and consequences of possible accidents and the formulation of recommendations for appropriate corrective actions.
Hazard identification is most effective in a small team workshop environment. Team selection is therefore critical and it is important to have the right balance of depth of technical knowledge with breadth of operating knowledge. A facilitator who is knowledgeable in the general risk management process and adept at handling team dynamics is essential. An external facilitator who is able to ’challenge the norm’ and bring fresh industry knowledge can be invaluable.
We utilize market-leading specialized PHA software products in conducting and documenting studies. Hazard scenarios caused by equipment failures, human errors and external events are considered. Safeguards, facility siting and human factors issues are discussed and their impact on safety identified.
MicroWatt has conducted PHAs for a wide variety of facilities, and has completed literally hundreds of PHAs using such techniques as HAZOP, What-If, What-If Checklists, FMEA, Fault Tree Analysis, LOPAs etc.
CONTACT US today to begin the conversation.