Process Hazard Analysis (PHA) studies are the foundation for process safety and risk management programs. They help companies identify hazard scenarios for a process that could adversely affect people, property, or the environment. PHA techniques such as Hazard and Operability Studies (HAZOP), What-If Studies, Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA) and Major Hazard Analysis (MHA) are used.
A team leader, or facilitator, works with a group of people who know the process to conduct the PHA. The team leader prepares for the study, advises on the selection of team members and methodology and the definition of study scope, and oversees the team's brainstorming of causes and consequences of possible accidents and the formulation of recommendations for appropriate corrective actions.
Hazard scenarios caused by equipment failures, human errors and external events must be considered. Safeguards, facility siting and human factors issues should be identified and their impact on safety identified.
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.
Why Perform PHA?
PHA is required by OSHA's PSM and EPA's RMP regulations in the US and process safety and risk management regulations around the world. It is good engineering practice. Companies that handle or process highly hazardous chemicals have a responsibility to protect employees, the public and the environment from exposure to accidental releases.
PHA also helps to protect against process downtime, property damage, product quality issues, and adverse publicity from accidents. The financial cost of catastrophic accidents is exceptionally high and PHA can be considered an inexpensive form of insurance.
Primatech has conducted PHAs for a wide variety of facilities, and has facilitated many thousands of studies using such techniques as HAZOP, What-If, MHA, FMEA, Fault Tree Analysis, etc. Primatech teaches a variety of training courses on PHA including the acclaimed, PHA for Team Leaders, Primatech has trained thousands of people around the world in PHA including regulators from OSHA, EPA and state agencies. We also offer webinars on PHA.
Primatech has pioneered and continues to develop new and improved approaches for performing and conducting PHA studies over a period of 30 years. These approaches allow studies to be performed efficiently and effectively and also help to ensure study quality. Protecting lives, assets, and the environment depends on the quality of PHA studies and studies must be performed properly. The effort required is warranted given the potential consequences of process safety incidents.
Primatech developed the world's first commercial PHA software in 1988 and licenses the world's leading PHA software, PHAWorks®. This software enhances the team leader's ability to conduct the analysis efficiently. It is designed to allow the team leader to function as both facilitator and scribe, thereby eliminating the need for a separate scribe and reducing the cost of the study.
Primatech provides facilitators for all types of PHA studies, including:
- Performance of design-stage PHAs.
Studies are performed at the design stage to improve safety before a process is built.
- Performance of initial PHAs
Initial PHAs are the first PHAs performed for an operating facility. They may be an update to a design-stage PHA.
- Performance of revalidation PHAs.
PHAs must be updated and revalidated periodically to account for changes that may have been made to the process. Commonly a period of 5 years is used.
Primatech also offers these PHA services:
- Mentoring and coaching your personnel in PHA facilitation.
An experienced Primatech facilitator assists your new facilitators in learning the ropes and gaining confidence in facilitating studies.
- Reviewing PHAs.
Primatech can review your completed PHAs and provide suggestions for improvements that will provide information useful in revalidating PHAs and improving the quality of your PHAs.
- PHA Scribing.
Primatech PHA team leaders are trained to simultaneously facilitate and document a PHA study. However, if required, Primatech can provide both a PHA team leader to lead a PHA study and a separate PHA scribe to handle the PHA documentation tasks.
We utilize Primatech's software product, PHAWorks®, in conducting and documenting studies. Other software packages can also be used. We provide a detailed and comprehensive report documenting the study.