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How to Conduct a Process Hazard Analysis (PHA) Efficiently and Effectively

PHA studies are time consuming and expensive to conduct. Consequently, every means should be sought to make studies as efficient as possible. They are performed to identify hazard scenarios that pose critical risks to people, property, processes, and the environment. Therefore, studies must also be as effective as possible.

Some practitioners use office software programs such as spreadsheets and word processors to perform PHA studies. However, they lack the guidance, workflow and custom features provided in specialized PHA software. Specialized software allows studies to be completed faster, more efficiently, and with greater quality than using office software.

Specialized software provides valuable guidance on using software features and performing PHA. It provides and stores information needed to perform PHA, uses the terminology of PHA, and provides guidance in the form of hints, tooltips, guides, and a structured workflow. Specialized software provides resources such as checklists, libraries, and study templates. Templates help to ensure a consistent and common format for the completion of studies. Specialized software also provides a worksheet format and functionality that meets the needs of PHA precisely, including the ability to switch between various views of the study worksheet to facilitate data entry for different purposes.

Navigation and data entry are key aspects of performing a PHA study.

Seamlessly navigating between parts of a project is essential to saving time and helping to keep the PHA team focused. Tabs, sidebars, drop-down lists, and navigation menus and shortcuts make fast work of moving among worksheets.

Fast and consistent data entry is facilitated by selecting entries from libraries, pre-defined lists, and using references. Repeated manual entry of data is avoided by automatically copying data from one location to another. Knowledge gained from previous studies can be shared easily reducing the time spent on common processes and allowing the team to be more productive during study sessions, and helping to improve study quality. Linking of entries eliminates the need to duplicate entries and enables simple and fast editing.

Specialized PHA software provides choice of risk ranking schemes and risk graphs. It also provides built-in features such as data checks, data analytics, dashboards, and capabilities such as bow tie generation and safeguard bypass analysis.

PHA studies contain information that needs to be provided to managers who make decisions on the implementation of study recommendations. Predefined reports ensure that study reports can be generated immediately to avoid delays in communicating vital information.

Doing more, being efficient, and completing quality work in less time are the norms in today's work environment. Proceeding with less efficient options and not investing in specialized PHA software may save you money now; however, you will spend much more over time. Specialized PHA software is designed for the specific tasks required in performing PHA studies and pays for itself with a few days’ use. You owe it to yourself and your company to invest in specialized PHA software to start saving now and improving the quality of your studies.

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