Question, scenario, risk, and equipment management simplified by automated Excel spreadsheet. User configurable. Start documenting your PHA studies more quickly and efficiently. Pre-loaded with a library of popular What-If questions for the chemical and process industries.
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What you get when you purchase:
The included Process Hazard Review document is replete with questions encompassing:
How do we do this?
We minimize risk. Our Intro Process Hazard Analysis Video provides an easy to understand real-world example of What-If PHA, risk, and risk mitigation.
What is risk?
Risk is the possibility of losing something of value. Risk can also be defined as the intentional interaction with uncertainty. Uncertainty is a potential, unpredictable, and uncontrollable outcome; risk is a consequence of action taken despite uncertainty.
Risk perception is the subjective judgment people make about the severity and probability of a risk and may vary person to person, and company to company. Any human endeavor carries some risk, but some are much riskier than others.
So where does IndustryDocs What-If Process Hazards Analysis (PHA) play a role in risk minimization at your facility?
Our What-If PHA provides a systematic approach for evaluating risk in your workplace with an easy-to-use spreadsheet tool. What-If PHA is populated by employees that understand operations, maintenance, and process hazard.
You begin by gathering ALL information related to previous incidents. What has happened? Why did it happen? Were there injuries? What was done to prevent a recurrence? Have there been “like” incidents since?
And don’t forget "near-misses" or “almost tragedies”, averted by a stroke of luck or quick employee actions, preventing major incidents! What about incidents where there were no injuries; however, there were thousands of dollars of waste or off-specification product?
One of the great benefits of a process hazards analysis is that the PHA team can dig into countless areas where the bottom line of an organization can be adversely impacted.
Once previous incidents have been identified and reviewed, a true starting point to study hazards at your facility can begin.
You may not realize it or truly understand the organization of your facility but nearly every facility has some straightforward levels of organization. This can be areas and resources such as the following:
The above simply touches on how facilities have been organized; some facilities are organized down to micro levels of minutiae and this type of organization can easily benefit from risk evaluation by allowing the PHA team to dig deep into the details. However, to fully support a comprehensive review of hazards in a facility such detail is not required.
Quick Start with What-if PHA
The most efficient way to begin the PHA process is to identify the physical areas of your facility then identify the equipment within each area. Next, place the data into a spreadsheet and use the Import Equipment feature within What-if PHA (see Lookup Tables; Import Equipment).
This list becomes “The Where and What you will be evaluating” for the entire PHA study. An inclusive list of AREAS and EQUIPMENT within the process is a must for any PHA! The software does a great job of allowing the user to populate a spreadsheet and perform an import.
Previous Incidents -- Once all areas and equipment have been organized, review this list against your account of previous incidents. From these previous incidents, devise a set of questions that cover each equipment item complete with a question and a scenario. As an example, based on a previous incident that resulted in an injury you would want to cover the following:
The above is an example and there are many more the team will most likely bring to the forefront. The object is to assure the actions accepted by management have all been implemented for all previous incidents since the most recent PHA.
What is the Master What-If Question Table?
The software provides a sampling of a set of questions that the user can either use or expand upon for their PHA study within the Master Question Table worksheet. For each question the user can apply specific equipment types. Once the desired questions and equipment references have been entered, the user can use this as a library for present and future PHAs under the Select Questions worksheet. The Select Question worksheet allows the user to filter by a question category and equipment type; a feature that will add significantly to the management of a question set.
The What-If Matrix
Although the software provides an industry compatible risk ranking matrix, the user can customize this within the workbook. Please see the What-If PHA Instructions or Contact us regarding Risk Matrix Customization. The Risk Matrix section of the software is where the formula,
Risk = Likelihood x Consequence
is specified for the system to calculate risk for each What-If question. As an example, if we were to look at the risk of an airplane crash into the main process area of a facility we could say:
What is the likelihood of an airplane crash into our facility? The first question one might ask is, “How close is the facility to an approach path for an airport? Is this a commercial airport or a small airplane landing area? Has a plane crashed into the facility before? If the answers to the above are, no airport nearby, has never occurred, and the likelihood is deemed to be “Improbable” the software would assign the event a Likelihood Value of 1.
Next, we would look at consequence and completely erase the word likelihood out of the equation because consequence has NOTHING to do with the likelihood. Regardless, a crash into a facility would most likely be catastrophic. According to the consequence table, the software would assign the event a Consequence Value of A - “Catastrophic”.
The calculation for the overall risk would be 1A (likelihood X consequence). In summary the assessment value within the table provided classifies this as “Acceptable after review of the operation. Continued tracking and recorded action plans are required.”
This may require management to incorporate the crash of an airplane into the facility into their disaster recovery plan, which in most instances is a standard approach for most operators.
Load the software and begin your PHA?
Yes, a user can use the What-if Sample worksheet and begin by copying the worksheet to a new name, deleting unwanted contents, and begin. In fact, this may be the best way to get acclimated to the PHA process. You will soon see that most cells are unprotected; however, ensure that structural table changes are not made as this will break the workbook's automation. Otherwise, the user is free to populate the worksheet as required.
Ad-hoc PHAs for review of new equipment, new process, new chemical, etc.?
The software is intended for regulation mandated hazards analysis; however, that said, it is an excellent tool for the evaluation of any change that a facility is looking at implementing. As an example, the management of change process can be embellished significantly if the proposed change includes a copy of the worksheet containing a small question set that includes the risk calculation. This would support government audits for showing the impact of the change per Process safety management of highly hazardous chemicals -- 29 CFR 1910.119(l)(1):
The employer shall establish and implement written procedures to manage changes (except for "replacements in kind") to process chemicals, technology, equipment, and procedures; and, changes to facilities that affect a covered process.
To mitigate risks in your facility why not purchase our software?
A hazard is an inherent physical or chemical characteristic that has the potential for causing harm. A hazard evaluation is an organized effort to identify and analyze the significance of hazardous situations associated with a process or an activity. Although there are multiple hazard evaluation techniques (Fault Tree, Hazard and Operability Analysis, Fault Tree Analysis, Failure Modes and Effects Analysis, etc., we chose to develop an interface to manage one of the most popular Process Hazards Analysis (PHA) techniques, What If Analysis. Our What If PHA provides an easy-to-use interface to efficiently organize a review of hazards for your process/system utilizing the What If Analysis technique.
Prior to embarking on a What If Analysis, particularly if this is the first study at your facility, we recommend that the designated PHA team leader in the study, as well as other members of the team, get an overview of the PHA process. This includes a full understanding of the importance of the study, guidance for assurance the team structure is comprised of the appropriate personnel, and common pitfalls to avoid when conducting the study. In addition, we provide the important foundational preparatory steps that should be followed prior to the start of the study.
What If PHA provides the framework to establish likelihood and consequence risk ranking for assets within your facility environment and allows an easy-to use interface for organizing real-life scenarios of situations that can occur or may have already occurred at your facility. The software makes the hazard evaluation process easier to achieve. However, that said, embarking on a hazard evaluation effort at your facility without the proper guidance can be daunting. The potential exists to overlook areas of risk within your facility.
WE CAN HELP. We have personnel that have decades of industry hazard evaluation experience utilizing the What If PHA technique. Their expertise includes experience within a multitude of industries that ideally suits them to provide the necessary guidance before you begin your study. We feel this guidance approach assures your study has the best opportunity for success. We perform this service world-wide (English language only at present) via the Microsoft Teams meeting interface. We include:
Our guidance will touch on each of the above topics as well any questions regarding the use of the software. Call or email for details.
Combustible Dust Resources
NFPA 652 - Combustible Dust Compliance - Step by Step Guide
NFPA 654 - Process Hazard Analysis Fundamentals
NFPA 61 - Standard for the Prevention of Fires and Dust Explosions in Agricultural and Food Processing Facilities
OSHA - Hazard Alert: Combustible Dust Explosions
OSHA - Combustible Dust Poster
Combustible Dust Acronyms and Glossary
Risk and Safety Periodicals
Loss Prevention Bulletin - Improving process safety by sharing experience
Process Safety Progress - Chemical and hydrocarbon process safety and loss prevention
Professional Safety - Journal of the American Society of Safety Engineers
Risk Analysis - Research and commentaries dealing with risk issues
Safety and Reliability Society Journal - Academia and industry papers on safety and reliability
LEADER™ PHA Software by ABS Group
PHAWorks® 5 Software by PrimaTech