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When completing any task, having the right tool makes all the difference. You have probably heard this expression used many times and it holds true even for conducting Process Hazard Analysis (PHA) studies. Yes, you can use paper and pencil or a spreadsheet program, but, long-term, you would end up spending more time and money, and study quality and consistency would be lost. 

So why use PHA Software?  

  1. Tailored design for PHA studies. The flow and use of well designed software leads teams naturally through the process of completing studies. As with most software programs, there are many features that help you improve upon your work. Will you use all of them, probably not; however, they are available to help with your studies. Using a tool with easily accessible capabilities designed specifically to assist with PHA studies helps to improve the results of the studies.
  2. Quality and consistency of studies. We should all strive to achieve quality results and consistency in studies. PHA software can provide capabilities, such as databases of entries, template projects, pick-from lists, easy copy capability, technical guidelines, hints, and other features that help in conducting studies with quality and consistency.
  3. Easy report generation. You can spend anywhere from a few days to possibly months performing a study. The report delivered from potentially months of work needs to be generated quickly, easily, and with high quality. Even though the output of PHA studies mimics the study worksheets, having the data presented accurately and in appropriate formats is essential for proper follow-up on the results of studies. With built-in report formats in PHA software, you can easily select how data are displayed, formatted, filtered, etc., to generate a useful report.
  4. Resources spent on creating your own PHA tool are better spent on conducting PHA studies. Yes, you can try to mimic PHA software using over-the-counter software to try to match your PHA requirements. Some companies spend thousands of dollars, and who knows how many person-hours, just to get a tool working. Then, there are the additional capabilities that users request, and the need to fix any issues that arise, both of which add to the time and cost. Also, there are other concerns, such as who will support the tool and what if the developer leaves the company? The cost of the effort required to develop your own tool would far exceed the cost to buy PHA software.
  5. Proven in use. It is hard to ignore that thousands of companies have successfully completed thousands of studies using PHA software thus demonstrating the value of using PHA software to conduct studies. Companies have decided time and again to select a tool that has been proven study-after-study and year-after-year.
  6. Practical experience is incorporated into the best PHA software. Companies who develop PHA software and also perform PHA studies understand what is important in PHA software. The best software also incorporates feedback from users and their years of experience. Incorporation of such knowledge is what makes PHA software so useful.

When you have a task to complete, quality, cost, and time are always important factors to consider. Selecting and using PHA software is no different. There is an investment up front; however, selecting the right PHA tool for conducting and documenting your studies is an important way to help you reduce the potential for accidents at your facility.