Process Safety Management (PSM) is a set of interrelated principles for managing the hazards associated with process industries. These principles are designed to reduce the frequency and potential severity of process incidents that could result from the accidental release of hazardous fluids (oil, gases, chemicals) and other energy sources. PSM approaches are composed of design standards, engineering studies, equipment specification, organizational capability and operational procedures, audit programs, safety case development and a host of other methods aimed at preventing accidents that can cause serious harm to people, environment and assets. CCPS requires PSM programs to contain the following 20 key elements that provide a comprehensive management system to handle risks in chemical plants and other facilities:
Process Safety Culture
Combination of group values and behaviors that determine the manner in which process safety is managed.
Compliance with Standards
Knowledge of and conformance to standards helps a company operate and maintain a safe facility, consistently implement process safety practices, and minimize legal liability.
Process Safety Competency
Process Safety Competency is about continuously improving knowledge and competency, ensuring that appropriate information is available to people who need it and consistently applying what has been learned.
A system for enabling the active participation of company and contractor workers in the design, development, implementation, and continuous improvement of the Risk Based Process Safety (RBPS) management system.
A process for (1) seeking out individuals or organizations that can be or believe they can be affected by company operations and engaging them in a dialogue about process safety, (2) establishing a relationship with community organizations, other companies and professional groups, and local, state, and federal authorities, and (3) providing accurate information about the company and facility’s products, processes, plans, hazards, and risks.
Process Knowledge Management
Process knowledge management includes (1) Written technical documents and specifications, (2) engineering drawings and calculations, (3) specifications for design, fabrication, and installation of process equipment, and (4) other written documents such as safety data sheets (SDSs).
Hazard Identification & Risk Analysis
All activities involved in identifying hazards and evaluating risk at facilities, throughout their life cycle, to ensure that risks to employees, the public, and/or the environment are consistently controlled within the organization’s risk tolerance. These studies typically address three main risk questions to a level of detail commensurate with analysis objectives, life cycle stage, available information, and resources. The three main risk questions are:
The Risk Based Process Safety element that ensures proper development, timely maintenance, and consistent use of operating procedures.
Safe Work Practices
Procedures that help control hazards associated with maintenance and other non-routine work
Asset Integrity & Reliability
Activities that ensure that equipment is properly designed, installed in accordance with specifications, and remains fit for use until it is retired
System of controls that ensures that contracted services support both safe facility operations and the company’s process safety and personal safety performance goals. This element addresses the selection, acquisition, use, and monitoring of such contracted services.
Training & Performance Assurance
Training is practical instruction in job, task requirements and methods. It may be provided in a classroom or workplace, and its objective is to enable workers to meet some minimum initial performance standards, to maintain their proficiency, or to qualify them for promotion to a more demanding position.
Performance assurance is the means by which workers demonstrate that they have understood the training and can apply it in practical situations. It is an ongoing process to ensure that workers meet performance standards and to identify where additional training is required.
Management of Change
The review and authorization process for evaluating proposed adjustments to facility design, operations, organization, or activities prior to implementation to ensure that no unforeseen new hazards are introduced and that the risk of existing hazards to employees, the public, and/or the environment is not unknowingly increased. It also includes steps to help ensure that potentially affected personnel are notified of the change and that pertinent documents, such as procedures, process safety knowledge, and other key information, are kept up to date.
Ensuring the safe startup of processes over the life of a facility.
Conduct of Operations
Execution of operational and management tasks in a deliberate and structured manner. It is closely tied to an organization’s culture and institutionalizes the pursuit of excellence in the performance of every task and minimizes variations in performance. Workers at every level are expected to perform their duties with alertness, due thought, full knowledge, sound judgment, and a proper sense of pride and accountability.
It includes (1) planning for possible emergencies, (2) providing resources to execute the plan, (3) practicing and continuously improving the plan, (4) training or informing employees, contractors, neighbors, and local authorities on what to do, how they will be notified, and how to report an emergency, and (5) effectively communicating with stakeholders in the event an incident does occur.
Process of reporting, tracking, and investigating incidents that includes: (1) a formal process for investigating incidents, including staffing, performing, documenting, and tracking investigations of process safety incidents and (2) evaluation of incident trends to identify recurring incidents.
This process also manages the resolution and documentation of recommendations generated by the investigations.
Measurements & Metrics
Performance and efficiency indicators to monitor the near-real-time effectiveness of the management system and its constituent elements and work activities.
Periodic critical review that us intended to evaluate whether management systems are performing as intended. It complements other Risk Based Process Safety control and monitoring activities in elements such as management review, metrics, and inspection work activities that are part of the asset integrity and conduct of operations elements.
Management Review & Continuous Improvement
The routine evaluation of whether management systems are performing as intended and producing the desired results as efficiently as possible. It is the ongoing “due diligence” review by management that fills the gap between day-to-day work activities and periodic formal audits.