Balance of Probability

Controlling or containing hazardous materials is an eternal challenge of the process industries where profits are made by transporting, storing or converting dangerous substances – we could make our facilities safer by following ERIC PD and start with Elimination, however that’s often easier said than done so we accept that there are risks associated with commercial operations and we strive to manage those risks as best we can (or SAHARA – Safety As High As Reasonably Affordable … the most integrity for your money or the least bang for your buck).

2020 Vision

20/20 vision measures clarity or sharpness of vision and inevitably is the theme for the year ahead.

In 2014 the CCPS publishedVision 20/20 Process Safety: The Journey Continues

That ‘not-too-distant future’ is now here and where are we? – awash with data ranging from puddles to oceans, so we should be better informed – shouldn’t we?

Knowing what can go wrong is not enough – we must UNDERSTAND why and be proactive to anticipate and ACT before control/containment is lost.

Hazard analyses can give a false sense of safety as assumptions or predictions about Causes, Consequences and Controls are not validated and/or changes are uncontrolled.

Don’t let the effort you’ve invested in these studies fester in a folder in a frozen format waiting for years to be reborn – let us improve your clarity by enhancing existing studies to develop Technical Information (for the few) into Practical Knowledge and Operational Wisdom (for the many).

We’ve a number of PHA visualisation solutions to improve your understanding of risk and better appreciate the criticality and vulnerability of your organisational & technical barriers

Contact us to sharpen your vision and improve your awareness & preparedness.

Another One Bites the Dust

I’m pleased to announce that Michelle Murphy of Mica and I will be showcasing our Visual DHA technique this year at the AIChE CCPS Global Conference on Process Safety (Houston April) and IChemE Hazards30 (Manchester May). 

The potential harm and asset damage from a dust explosion have been known for many centuries. A wide variety of materials that can be explosive in dust form exist in many industries, however “knowing” about an issue is not the same as properly understanding and adequately addressing the challenges.

We draw on our complementary experience in DHA application and BowTie implementation to present a novel approach to scenario visualisation and asset management using bowties. 

Just as a conventional HAZOP or PHA subdivides the process into nodes, the DHA breaks the plant into systems which are systematically challenged to determine if explosion or fire hazards exist.

For dusts, this includes identification of competent ignition threats (EN 1127-1, NFPA). Subsequent evaluation is conducted to determine which are prevented and/or mitigated by safeguards specific to each threat and consequence.

Risks are assigned and actions issued as per a normal hazard analysis, however the graphical presentation of the ignition scenarios and safeguards and the illustration of potential ignited particles which can travel and ignite within downstream equipment offers significant communication benefits. This can be particularly helpful in facilities or countries where English and/or Risk are not the primary language or familiar terminology.

We’ll show how BowTies are an effective tool to engage less technical stakeholders and offer a robust framework to assure the health (presence and performance) of the assumed or planned human and hardware controls which must be sustained to provide the necessary risk reduction.

The Visual Dust Hazard Analysis technique can be applied to all jurisdictions where the management of dust hazards is scrutinised. It is consistent with the objectives of US RAGAGEP, the EU ATEX directive, and UK DSEAR regulations. 

In summary, this novel approach evolves analysis into an operational framework to ensure that the ignition risks are better understood and the controls are properly implemented, operated and maintained.