Practiced Process Safety Management
Chemical & Mechanical Processes
People often say safety is number one. At Dube Engineering, we say it’s a given. Safety should always be considered in all tasks that you do, whether that is a chemical engineering project or every day activities including walking up a flight of stairs. In some cases, the government mandates programs to help keep people safe.
One of those programs is Process Safety Management (PSM):
What is process safety management (PSM) and when is it required?
- PSM is required by OSHA for all sites that use toxic, reactive or flammable liquids and gases. The purpose is to mitigate the loss of these materials, especially in a way that could hurt people and the environment. There is a list of these materials and quantities that should be reviewed to see if you are within this OSHA requirement.
- Even if you are not required to follow the PSM standard, we at Dube Engineering believe there are parts of the standard that should be included in all process systems. Most people would probably agree that a good first step to safety would be the completion of a Process Hazard Analysis (PHA).
PHA -Process Hazard Analysis
- Dube Engineering uses “what-If” for our hazard reviews. These are a type of safety review that keeps asking the question, “what if”, of the process. Examples are, “what if the pressure is to high” or “what if a fork truck hits a tank”. As you answer the “what if” questions, a rating is given based on safety, environmental and/or cost threshold if the issue was to occur. If the rating is too high, the group then decides how to mitigate the issue.
- If you finish your PHA and still have concerns over safety and environment (or even loss of CAPEX and OPEX), Dube Engineering can take you to the next step of safety. We are certified in layer of protection analysis (LOPA), and were trained by the author of the book. In LOPA we will look closer at the failures and help reduce their risk. In some cases, completing a LOPA will actually point out that you are being too cautious and possibly reduce your final build cost.
- OSHA requires process hazard analysis (PHA) of all process safety management (PSM) facilities, the “what if” model satisfies that requirement.
Safety is not priority one, IT’S A GIVEN. We will always be safe in the chemical engineering projects that we do, but we also understand being safe does not mean analysis paralysis. Be safe and practical at the same time.