Providing Global Process Safety Solutions

Industry Hazard Reviews and Audits

Chemical processing reactor systems closeupThe design of a manufacturing process for a chemical requires a thorough understanding of the kinetics and thermodynamics of the reactions together with the chemical engineering needed to produce the desired product. A successful process hazard review requires a similar level of understanding of the relevant subject matter. It is also necessary to examine plausible worst case scenarios to determine the vulnerabilities of the overall process to these potential upsets.

Hazard review of a chemical process follows a logical sequence of activities, as described in these papers.  Following a description of the target process, the potential hazards are identified together with plausible initiating mechanisms – failure scenario(s).

For example, an energetic reaction requires a fully functioning heat transfer system for safe operation. Therefore, one upset scenario would be loss of cooling. The hazard review examines the scenario from the initiating cause(s) of the cooling failure through to the ability of the whole system to regain system control and prevent the failure becoming a containment loss, or worse. Recommendations are made that aim to reduce the overall risk of the process.

The desired and undesired aspects of the chemical engineering design of the process and the chemical reactions are examined in a detailed and systematic manner. The probability and consequence of each failure scenario are then estimated from those deliberations.

During his career in safety and loss prevention for the chemical and pharmaceutical industries, Dr. Leggett has performed over 200 safety audits and risk inspection reviews in The Americas, Europe and Asia employing industry-accepted hazard analysis methodologies. These reviews and audits have covered the majority of chemical manufacturing processes, frequently directed toward chemical reactivity and its impact on process safety and risk management.

  • Auditing and inspecting prospective contract manufacturing facilities on behalf of clients seeking a reliable source for a primary feedstock.
  • Inspecting small and medium-sized chemical manufacturers, including pilot plant and skid rigs, for regulatory compliance and chemical process safety.
  • Providing expert technical knowledge for inspections involving solvent handling, dust control, and static electricity minimization.
  • Review and auditing of facilities that provide dedicated storage for strong oxidizers, flammable and combustible materials, air and moisture sensitive chemicals, refrigerated storage for unstable monomers, protective storage for chemicals classified as explosives, and reactive material storage and handling during process hazard analyses.
  • Audits of process safety management programs and re-validation of PHA’s required by OSHA 1910.110 Management of Highly Hazardous Chemicals.