Questions of the Week
Primatech posts weekly questions relating to various aspects of safety, security and risk on the home page of our website together with answers to provide visitors with the opportunity to test and improve their knowledge of these subjects. This page contains questions and answers that have appeared in previous weeks.
Why is PHA performed on procedures?
The focus on equipment in a conventional PHA may lead to overlooking some hazard scenarios resulting from procedures not being followed properly.
If a risk reduction measure is required, does the PHA team have to recommend a specific solution?
No, the team may simply identify the need to develop a specific risk reduction measure to address the problem identified.
What is the importance of good recordkeeping during PHA?
- Review by regulators
- Use in decision-making
- Linking to later studies
- Use with other PSM elements, e.g. MOC, II, Audits
- Operator training and writing procedures
- Process troubleshooting
- Contractual obligations
- Insurance company requirements
- Future reference
What should be accomplished during the first session of a PHA?
- Introduce team members
- Record attendance
- Orient team members to the study and PHA method to be used
- Provide a briefing on the process design, operation and maintenance
- Review hazards of the process
- Review the study purpose, scope and objectives
- Ensure needed information is available
- Conduct initial review of the process subdivision
- Review “rules of the road” and “ground rules”
- Conduct a walk-through of the process
In a HAZOP, what is the definition of a node?
- Most commonly, pipe sections and vessels in which process chemicals are, or may be, present
- Also, a step in a procedure, or
- A process function (e.g. control loop)
What qualifications are recommended for PHA team leaders?
- Formal training or previous documented experience as a PHA team leader
- Leadership / facilitation skills
- Motivational / interpersonal skills
- Communications skills
- Project management skills
- Experience as a team member
- No day-to-day responsibilities for the process being studied
- Should not be an expert on the process under study
- Able to understand processes and their operation quickly
- Able to read engineering drawings easily
Are PHAs conducted only when required by government regulations?
No, a PHA can be done on any hazardous process. PHA is a valuable for uncovering hazards in any process.
At a minimum, what technical personnel should be present during a PHA?
- Facilitator (who may also act as the scribe)
- Process expert (often a process engineer)
- Operator (who is directly engaged in the process being studied)
- Maintenance technician or engineer (recommended)
- Controls and instrumentation engineer (recommended)
- Safety engineer (recommended)