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Safety Moment #10: Common Process Safety Hazards (Part 1)

May 6, 2017
Common Process Safety hazards


One of the philosophies behind Process Safety Management (PSM) is that each chemical process is unique. Therefore it is not possible to have a prescriptive standard that tells operating companies what to do. Instead, companies have to identify the unique hazards associated with their facility, and then implement corrective actions based on a risk-ranking methodology. For this reason, facilities covered by PSM standards have to conduct a series of Process Hazards Analyses (PHAs), often using the Hazard and Operability (HAZOP) methodology.

Yet many hazards, particularly to do with utilities, piping, valves and hoses, are really not all that different from one facility to another. Therefore, in order to save time during the PHA and also to improve the quality of the analysis, it is useful to list and evaluate some of these common hazards before the PHA meetings start.

This Safety Moment is the first in a series that describes some of these common hazards. The topic is “Hazards of Utilities”. The discussion includes:

  • Common cause effects;
  • Electrical power failure;
  • Chemical contamination; and
  • Nitrogen.

Future safety moments will consider additional issues to do with the hazards of utilities.


The material for this set of safety moments is taken from the 2nd edition of the book Design and Operations.


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