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How to Prioritize Safeguards When They Are All Critical

Published May 15, 2020 under Risk Consulting Services
Author: Ronjit Mukherjee

With the industry norm of budget constraints and the continuous effort of trying to do more with less, the ability to correctly prioritize work has become increasingly critical.  This becomes especially important when it relates to risk-reducing Safeguards and the prioritization of Safeguards for maintenance.  With a growing list of equipment and corresponding Safeguards, the ability to stay on top of maintenance prioritization can be significantly impacted. This can lead to critical Safeguards having delayed or missed maintenance, and in turn lead to unintended and significant risk exposure.

In order to correctly identify critical Safeguards and prioritize them, it would require hundreds of hours of effort from cross-disciplinary Subject Matter Experts (SMEs).  Fortunately, these are the same SMEs involved in developing Process Hazard Analysis (PHA) documentation.  By using PHAs as a data source, the documentation of hazardous scenarios and Safeguards can be used to prioritize critical Safeguards using the following criteria:

·         Frequency of a Cause

·         Severity of a Consequence and its corresponding Tolerable Frequency

·         Probability of Failure on Demand (PFD) of Safeguards intended to prevent that Consequence

These criteria are used to determine the risk reduction associated with each occurrence of a Safeguard, and by accumulating the risk reduction, the total risk-reducing benefit of each Safeguard can be determined to assist in prioritization.  By having Safeguard prioritization based on SME-approved data, as well as using a simulation tool to consider plant realism of Safeguards failing and PHA recommendations being implemented, the confidence in Safeguard maintenance prioritization will increase.  An optimized and reflective prioritization list will reduce the probability of missing maintenance on critical Safeguards, which in turn will minimize risk exposure to site personnel. 

https://www.acm.ca/sites/default/files/news-article-pdfs/Safeguard%20Maintenance%20Prioritization%20and%20PHA%20Data%20-%20Ron%20Mukherjee.pdf

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