Quantitative Risk Assessment Case Study for Organic Acid Processes
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Acetic acid is not a chemical covered by the OSHA PSM regulation, as its flash point is above the 100 F threshold for flammables; however, it is by no means a non-hazardous chemical. Eastman Chemical Company has a large number of processes containing acetic acid and related organic acids, and as a corporation, we wanted to assure that risk for these processes was at an acceptable level. To facilitate these risk assessments, flash point data was generated and a qualitative analysis for a large number of process vessels was performed. Selected Quantitative Risk Assessments (QRA) were then performed using fault tree/event tree methodology, comparing the level of risk to industry and government benchmarks as well as the risk of common daily activities. The highest contributors to risk were identified, analyzed with respect to the current protective measures, and practical improvements recommended which further reduced risk to a low level.