An Introduction to Assessing Process Hazards

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A surprising number of process incidents occur due to a lack of general understanding of process hazards and lack of basic hazards assessment, subsequently resulting in the absence of or inadequate Process Hazards Analysis (PHA) to provide appropriate safeguards for minimizing process risks. Comprehensive assessment of hazards that are present in a chemical process or facility is one of the first steps necessary in documenting process safety information and technology prior to conducting PHAs and requires much more than, for example, just a review of the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) of materials used in the process. This paper reviews practical approaches for conducting and documenting hazard assessments for flammable, toxic, dust, chemical reactivity, and other process hazards in a typical process boundary as reflected in Process Safety Management (PSM) training at DuPont.
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