Introduction to Process Safety Management
Unexpected releases of toxic, reactive, or flammable liquids and gases in processes involving highly hazardous chemicals (HHC) have been reported for many years and continue to occur. Various industries use or produce these types of chemicals. Regardless of the industry, there is a potential for an accidental release at any time if they are not properly controlled.
To mitigate these potential releases, the United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), along with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) through provisions from the Clean Air Act, established a standard guidance by which facilities that store, process or produce highly hazardous chemicals must adhere and comply.
This standard is OSHA 1910.119 – Process Safety Management of Highly Hazardous Chemicals for the United States. Other countries are subject to local guidance and codes.
What Is Process Safety Management?
Process Safety Management (PSM) consists of 14 elements that provide the requirements to manage highly hazardous chemicals and keep employees, the environment, and communities safe. Hazardous chemicals may have one or more of the following properties: toxic, reactive, flammable, or explosive.
Facilities that store or process hazardous chemicals above the established OSHA quantity thresholds are required to develop documented PSM programs that specifically address the assets containing, supporting, or in proximity to these highly hazardous chemicals. The 14 elements are intended to be applied in an integrated program, working together to encompass the operational and maintenance requirements of handling HHCs.
Data-Driven Reliability: The Next Step in Process Safety Management
PSM has helped the industry become safer and more reliable. With acquisition, warehousing, modeling, and analytics, we have the opportunity to take the next leap in reliability analysis, allowing us to improve PSM compliance and effectiveness while optimizing total maintenance and inspection spend.
This evolution is being made possible through Data-Driven Reliability, a unique framework for reliability performance improvement that allows you to connect data to business decisions. Data-Driven Reliability is comprised of four elements: Strategic Decisions, Intelligence, Data Organization, and Data Collection. The goal of the third element of Data-Driven Reliability, Intelligence, is to use the right data science and engineering models to drive informed reliability decisions. Today, our data models are heavily reliant on subject matter expertise. While these resources add significant value, they can be better leveraged in situations where their expertise is uniquely required. Additionally, when reliant on human expertise, our models can become too conservative, resulting in wasted time and spending. Pinnacle believes that a hybrid approach in combining subject matter expertise with data science and machine learning is the best path to creating sustainable and cost-effective models. A common problem that the industry faces is the lack of trusted data, and by leveraging a hybrid approach, facilities to fail fast, learn, and quickly close data gaps in driving automated and predictive models.
By taking a data-driven approach to reliability, you can enhance your PSM program in some of the following areas: