Chemical and petrochemical manufacturing processes can be subject to high consequence, low frequency events. Process Safety Management programs are intended to identify and eliminate or manage the hazards associated with these events. In recent years, industry has increasingly turned to quantitative or semi-quantitative risk assessment tools to prioritize and manage the hazards they have identified. Risk assessment can be a powerful tool if used properly; however companies must ensure that the safeguards they take credit for are robust enough to truly manage hazards.
This paper will discuss possible inconsistencies in risk assessment claims. If a risk assessment claims credit for a good mechanical integrity (MI) program, what happens when that MI program is found to have numerous deficiencies / violations? When a risk assessment bases a failure scenario frequency on industry historical experience, how does the site know that this experience is actually applicable to their processes? .When a safeguard is challenged, is it available on-demand? What are the consequences if a claimed safeguard does not perform as designed/credited?
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