Retired & Dangerous: Out-of-Service Equipment Hazards
- Robert Wasileski (NOVA Chemicals Inc.)
- Document ID
- American Society of Safety Engineers
- Professional Safety
- Publication Date
- July 2014
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 33 - 40
- 2014. American Society of Safety Engineers
- 1 in the last 30 days
- 65 since 2007
- Show more detail
Management of change (MOC) programs are generally well established throughout the chemical processing industry. Many of these programs have been operating for decades, while others are still relatively new and early in their maturation process. Regardless of program maturity, challenges in MOC program application and sustainability continue to provide learning opportunities for the chemical processing industry.
The application of MOC to the tail end of the process life cycle has received little attention. The typical process life cycle begins in the research and development stage, grows through the design and construction stages, and reaches a period of relatively stable operation following start-up. The hazard identification and risk assessment component of MOC is typically applied with great care and diligence during the process design phase. This high degree of professional care is largely a reflection of the facility’s unfamiliarity with the process at this stage. Unfamiliarity and uncertainty will breed a strong desire to identify the hazards and understand the risk. As a result, structured analysis techniques such as guide-word hazard-and-operability analysis and failure-modes-and-effects analysis are commonly applied to new designs.
Once a facility has acquired a suitable degree of operating experience with a new process, MOC continues to be applied to operational and equipment changes. However, the rigor applied to the hazard identification and risk assessment process may wane over time, relative to that which was applied during process design. The gains in operating experience, combined with a relative abundance of process safety information that has been accumulated (e.g., during routine operation, modifications and expansions) (CCPS, 1989) will frequently result in the use of alternative techniques for evaluating in-service modifications. Techniques such as checklist analysis, what-if analysis and even plant-specific questionnaires often predominate during this phase of operation.
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