296196 Efficiently Reducing Your Process Safety Risk Profile Using a Targeted 'Basis of Safety Assurance' Methodology

Monday, April 29, 2013
Ballroom A - Right (Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center)
Ellis Graeme, ABB Consulting, Warrington, United Kingdom

Process safety accidents occur regularly in the Asia-Pacific region, causing serious harm to people or the environment due to fires, explosions and releases of dangerous substances. Investigation of these accidents usually reveals multiple failures in the essential layers of protection, including hardware controls and management systems. This paper will describe a ‘Basis of Safety Assurance’ methodology developed to quickly determine how effectively sites are managing their process safety risks.

Process Safety assurance traditionally involves a combination of Process Safety Management (PSM) system audits and Process Hazard Analysis (PHA) revalidation using techniques such as HAZOP. The former assesses all elements of the PSM system against relevant good practice, mostly without regard to the types of process safety hazards on the site. PHA revalidation focuses on hardware controls and can be both time consuming if done thoroughly and lacking a focus on high risk scenarios.

‘Basis of Safety Assurance’ studies cover a full site and are carried out over a relatively short period, typically 3-5 days per site. The studies are designed to identify the key improvements to risk control systems in order to significantly reduce process safety risks. Knowledgeable site based staff from operations, maintenance and technical departments are facilitated by competent consultants specializing in process safety and integrity management. The main difference from traditional management system audits is a focus towards high risk scenarios and exploring real operating experience with the performance of risk controls.

The presentation will outline the methodology including the following steps; 1) High level hazard identification of major accident hazard scenarios across the site, 2) Drill down on at least two high risk scenarios to test effectiveness of layers of protection, 3) Deep dive assessment of key PSM elements related to high risk scenarios, 4) Review of site resources as ‘right sized’ based on type and scale of hazards, 5) Review status of PHA revalidation program and selective check of scenarios.

Practical experience will be described of applying the ‘Basis of Safety Assurance’ methodology to process industry sites in the Asia-Pacific region. This has been used with multi-national companies to gain a quick view across several sites of the scale of hazards and key actions needed to reduce the overall risk profile.

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