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PT Notes

PHA Analytics

PT Notes is a series of topical technical notes on process safety provided periodically by Primatech for your benefit. Please feel free to provide feedback.

Many companies view process hazard analysis (PHA) simply as a regulatory requirement for which hazard scenarios must be identified and recommendations made for risk reduction measures. Much more can be done to benefit from their contents. They contain a vast amount of valuable information and constitute an example of “big data” that can be mined for a variety of useful purposes to help make better decisions regarding process operations that are based on the best data available, rather than engineering judgment or assumptions. The management of safety, operability, reliablity, utilization, and loss prevention for processes can all be improved. Furthermore, additional insights can be generated that are typically hidden, or not considered, when PHA studies are viewed as ends in themselves.

The information contained in PHA studies usually is developed by a company’s most experienced personnel and requires a substantial investment of time and resources. Data analytics can be used to maximize the return on the considerable investment of the time and effort required for PHA studies.

PHA studies can be data mined in multiple ways to extract information for different analytics. For example, do you know the answers to the following questions for your processes:

  • Which are the dominant hazards?
  • Which operations / areas are the most hazardous?
  • Are equipment failures more numerous than human errors?
  • What types of human errors are dominant?
  • Are corrosion leaks more numerous than releases from valves left open by operators and mechanics?
  • Which types of human factors are most numerous?
  • Which safeguards do you rely on the most?
  • Which receptors are most at risk?

The answers to these questions can help guide decision making on process risks. Many other questions can be posed at increasing levels of detail. They can be addressed easily using analytics that present information from PHA studies in a suitable form for decision making.

Analytics can be used in other ways. For example, they can be used to identify and prioritize critical equipment to support mechanical integrity (MI) programs and critical actions to support the development and improvement of operating, maintenance, and other procedures, such as those for emergency response. Also, they can be used to compare PHA studies for similar processes which can help with quality control.

Analytics are used by companies committed to data-driven decision-making. They provide data-based justifications for informed decisions. Data-driven companies treat their data as an asset and leverage it for competitive advantage. This is as true for PHA data as for any other data that a company collects. PHA studies provide a treasure trove of information for your processes. PHA analytics help you to use this information to improve decisions regarding process operations. Ignoring PHA analytics wastes valuable information contained in PHA studies. The use of PHA analytics maximizes the return on your company’s investment in PHA studies.

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You may be interested in:

PHAWorks software with analytics

PHA training courses

PHA certification

PHA consulting

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