CCPS: Guidelines for Hazard Evaluation Procedures
|Publication Date:||1 January 2008|
Introduction to the Guidelines
A hazard is a physical or chemical condition that has the potential for causing harm to people, property, or the environment. A hazard evaluation is an organized effort to identify and analyze the significance of hazardous situations associated with a process or activity. Specifically, hazard evaluations are used to pinpoint weaknesses in the design and operation of facilities that could lead to hazardous material releases, fires, or explosions. These studies provide organizations with information to help them improve the safety and manage the risk of their operations.
Hazard evaluations usually focus on process safety issues, like the acute effects of unplanned chemical releases on plant personnel or the public. These studies complement more traditional industrial health and safety activities, such as protection against slips or falls, use of personal protective equipment, monitoring for employee exposure to industrial chemicals, and so forth. Many hazard evaluation techniques can also be used to help satisfy related needs (e.g., operability, economic, and environmental concerns). Although hazard evaluations typically analyze potential equipment failures and human errors that can lead to incidents, the studies can also highlight gaps in the management systems of an organization's process safety program. For example, a hazard evaluation of an existing process may reveal gaps in the facility's management of change program or deficiencies in its maintenance practices.
From its inception, the Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS) has recognized the importance of hazard evaluations; in fact, the first book in CCPS' series of guidelines dealt with hazard evaluation procedures.1 Because of the ongoing and increased emphasis on performing hazard evaluations, CCPS commissioned the development of the Guidelines for Hazard Evaluation Procedures, Third Edition. The purpose of Part I - Hazard Evaluation Procedures is to provide users with a basic understanding of the concepts of hazard evaluation, as well as information about specific techniques so they will be able to perform high quality hazard evaluations within a reasonable amount of time. Several chapters on new topics, including preparing for studies, identifying hazards, and following up after completed analyses are included in the Guidelines.
In addition, because of the ongoing need to train a large number of competent hazard evaluation practitioners, this document includes the companion, Part II - Worked Examples. The Worked Examples give detailed illustrations of how the various hazard evaluation techniques can be used throughout the lifetime of a process as a part of a company's process safety management (PSM) program. People responsible for hazard evaluation training in their organizations will find both the Hazard Evaluation Procedures and the Worked Examples to be valuable resources.
The remainder of the Introduction explains some basic terminology and concepts of hazard evaluation and its relationship to risk management. It outlines various incident prevention and risk management strategies and discusses how hazard evaluation can provide important information to organizations who are striving for incident-free operation. This section also discusses how hazard evaluations can be performed throughout the life of a process as part of a PSM program. Finally, some limitations that should influence the interpretation and use of hazard evaluation results are presented.