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The Risk Assessment of the Future: Data-Driven PHA

Written by Risk Alive

October 29, 2020

There have been many predictions over the past 40 years for what life would be like by 2020. From flying cars, to riding hoverboards and humans living on Mars, the possibilities were seemingly endless.

While we’ve made a lot of technological advancements, many processes – especially in the world of Process Safety Management (PSM) – are still the same. Process Hazards Analysis (PHA) and HAZOP studies are one of those processes that is on the verge of turning a major corner, and some companies already have thanks to Risk Alive Analytics.

Some people might say PHA is already driven by data, the Process Safety Information (PSI) including engineering drawings, control diagrams, etc. but the real power in today’s PHA is brainpower.

Sadly, that brainpower is underutilized and most PHA reports end up in the archives of a document management system gathering cyberdust. What Risk Alive® is enabling companies to do is bring hundreds of thousands of years of experience from across industries to PHA teams in the form of Risk Intelligence data. This helps to augment and supplement that brain power, making it usable instead of simply letting that information collect dust on a storage room shelf.

In the United States, under OSHA’s PSM regulation, PHA has been required by law for over 35 years. Throughout those 35 years, every major hazardous facility has undergone risk assessments every 5 years with the most knowledgeable participants available. They’ve analyzed everything that can go wrong in a process plant and the best ways to mitigate the risks. Imagine leveraging all that experience in your next PHA. How complete would that PHA be if you had all that knowledge at your fingertips? What risk mitigation strategies might you be able to implement that have been thought of and captured in the 100 million (and growing) learnings in the Risk Alive® database?

“Intelligence is the source of technology. If we can use technology to improve intelligence, that closes the loop.”

– Eliezer Yudkowsky

Imagine if the starting point of your PHA session had multiple generations of risk data expertise to draw from, generated over decades, representing the best thinking of those before you. Imagine, as you record the PHA in your digital tools, you get a status update of Risk Discovery based on a continuous diagnostic of the data you’re generating. What if this showed you if you’ve missed anything important that others have identified? Imagine if after your PHA you knew the most critical threats in your plant and the most important safeguards instantly. Once your PHA is complete, what if you immediately knew, based on science, the highest priority recommendations for you to action to keep your facility, the environment – and most importantly, the people working there – safe.

That is the PHA of the future: a PHA driven by data. And that future is now.

4 Questions To Ask to Help Advance Your PSM Program with Technology

  1. How many cycles of PHA have been completed on our process and what are we doing with that data?
  2. What can our risk data tell us to help improve safety in our operations?
  3. Who in our company can benefit from the millions of learnings in our risk data?
  4. How can we unlock this information and share it in a usable format? How can we integrate it in our operational activities?

Risk Management is Serious Business 

Now that you know there are tools to give your PHA team every imaginable advantage in your next risk assessment and use that data in your operations, what will you do?

If you’ve been following the Risk Matters series so far, over the past 12 weeks you will have read of the incidents that can be caused by poor safety practices and the old way of doing PHA and using PHA data. In any of these cases, Risk Alive® could have helped ensure those men and women would have made it home safe and sound. We all have an obligation to do better. We all have a responsibility to prevent future incidents, safeguard our plants, as well as the environment and people who work in and around them.

Contact Risk Alive Analytics today for a demonstration of what a data-driven PHA looks like and learn how you can make a step change in your process safety management programs.

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