In the United States, OSHA Process Safety Management (PSM) and EPA Risk Management Program (RMP) regulations dictate that a PHA be used to identify potential hazards in the operation of a chemical process and to determine the protective measures necessary to protect workers, the community, and the environment. The scope of a PHA may range from a very simple screening analysis to a complex hazard and operability study (HAZOP).
A HAZOP is a systematic, methodical examination of a process design that uses a multidisciplinary team to identify hazards or operability problems that could result in an accident. A HAZOP provides a prioritized basis for the implementation of risk mitigation strategies, such as SISs or ESDs.
If a PHA determines that the mechanical integrity of a process and the process control are insufficient to mitigate the potential hazard, an SIS is required. An SIS consists of the instrumentation or controls that are installed for the purpose of mitigating a hazard or bringing a process to a safe state in the event of a process disruption.
A compliant program incorporates “good engineering practice.” This means that the program follows the codes and standards published by such organizations as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, American Petroleum Institute, American National Standards Institute, National Fire Protection Association, American Society for Testing and Materials, and National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspectors. Other countries have similar requirements.