API Process Safety Assessment Program (PSSAP(r)): Using Assessments to Test Your Process Safety Management Program
- Type: Conference Presentation
- Conference Type: AIChE Spring Meeting and Global Congress on Process Safety
- Presentation Date: April 11, 2022
- Duration: 30 minutes
- Skill Level: Intermediate
- PDHs: 0.50
In recent years, despite safety improvements by the refining industry, incidents have increased attention on process safety by industry, governments, non-government organizations (NGOs), and the media. Recognizing these concerns, API and our members are working collectively to improve or develop new programs improve process safety performance.
As part of the industryâs ongoing commitment, API, in collaboration with industry partners, developed a Process Safety Site Assessment Program (PSSAPÂ®), an assessment program focused on evaluating higher risk process safety activities in a refining, petrochemical, or chemical facility. This program is intended to:
- Promote process safety performance improvement industry wide;
- Promote learnings from industry practices;
- Provide benchmarking through the consistent use of industry-developed good practice protocols;
- Serve as a feedback mechanism for an analysis of industry performance; and,
- Encourage safety collaboration among participating sites and industry experts.
The program achieves these objectives by sending out a team of qualified process safety experts who average over 40 years of industry experience to assess a site's process safety programs. These assessments are not regulatory audits, but are rather a collaborative approach to sharing industry good practices and assessing a site's programs to our protocols. These protocols were developed by API and AFPM members, and are considered a collection of good practices in key topical areas which aim to prevent process safety incidents from occurring. Our protocols include:
- Process Safety Leadership
- Operating Practices
- Mechanical Integrity (focused on fixed equipment)
- Safe Work Practices
- Management of Change (MOC)
- Process Hazards Analysis (PHA)
- Safeguards (in tandem with PHA)
- Facility Siting
- Product Storage & Transfer
- Incident Learning
- Hydrofluoric Acid (HF) Alkylation/API RP-751
During an assessment, API assessors spend about a week on site, evaluating a site's written management system as well as conducting field verification for each of the protocols, scoring each requirement. In the protocols above, over 600 individual requirements can be assessed, which reference over 100 API and other industry-backed standards. The scoring in each of the protocols allows API to create benchmarking using blinded and anonymous scores from each of our assessments. A final report consists of detailed observations about each of the 600 requirements contained in the protocols, allowing a site to pinpoint specific areas which may need more attention within their process safety management system.
The PSSAP benchmarking is considered a valuable industry tool to gauge implementation across the industry. Because API has conducted over 150 PSSAP assessments since the program's inception in 2012, PSSAP benchmarking is robust, with the ability to statistically analyze assessment results and compare them to the industry benchmark. API also evaluates the scoring trends in order to pinpoint areas where industry struggles. We then are able to create other programs and guidance to help industry in problematic areas. The Product Storage and Transfer, Incident Learning, and Safeguards protocols are examples of our newest offerings which were created to address areas where industry could use more expertise and guidance.
Further, PSSAP's value is demonstrated as more sites return to API to conduct third, and sometimes 4th assessments of their same site, in order to inform how well changes to their programs are being implemented and to see how their performance relative to their peers changes. In addition to seeing how individual sites' scoring to our protocols changes, we also do evaluations of how the industry benchmarking changes year on year. For instance, since the inception of the PSSAP program in 2012, API has seen a 10% increase in the industry benchmark for the Mechanical Integrity protocol, which is key in assuring integrity of systems and key in the management of aging infrastructure. Because our assessments do not visit the same sites on a specific cadence, we are encourage that this benchmark increase is attributable to many sites making marked progress towards having more robust mechanical integrity programs.
This presentation will look to explain the Process Safety Site Assessment Program (PSSAP) to the audience, as well as to show examples of the feedback given as part of the program, along with industry insights API and AFPM are seeing as the program matures. We will also discuss benchmarking and give examples of how the benchmarking and observations can be used to inform potential work in a site's process safety management system.
|AIChE Member Credits||0.5|
|Employees of CCPS Member Companies||Free|
|AIChE Graduate Student Members||Free|
|AIChE Undergraduate Student Members||Free|