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Steven M. Lee, PC

Refinery Risk Reduction Through Process Hazard Analysis

importance of process hazard checks to avoid accidentsTexas refineries are required to comply with all applicable Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards, including process management systems.

These systems are intended to reduce the risk of serious injuries and fatalities, and one of the most important elements of a process management system is the process hazard analysis.

Process Hazard Analysis

A process hazard analysis (PHA) is a method used to identify and assess possible risks associated with the processing and handling of hazardous materials. Refineries rely on this analysis to understand the potential causes and injuries associated with toxic chemical spills, fires, and explosions.

The PHA should include:

  • Human factors analysis. This identifies the human causes of an accident, such as inadequate or confusing equipment labeling, or a lack of clear emergency exit routes.
  • Previous incidents. The PHA includes an examination of any previous safety incidents that could have caused catastrophic injuries.
  • Facility siting. This is an assessment of the risks of explosions, fires, and toxic exposure associated with occupied buildings.
  • Hazard detection equipment analysis. This evaluates the equipment used to detect the release of hazardous substances, such as hydrocarbon sensors.

The Importance of Process Hazard Analysis

Once a PHA is complete, OSHA requires the employer to establish a system to ensure that recommendations from the PHA are implemented. This may also involve the creation of new emergency and maintenance procedures. Failure to outline and follow these changes may result in critical worker injuries or fatalities.

If you were hurt due to your employer’s failure to properly conduct a PHA, you may be entitled to receive compensation for loss of income, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. In the event that you lost a loved one in a refinery accident, a wrongful death claim can help with burial and funeral costs, loss of financial support, and loss of companionship.

To learn more, contact the law offices of Steve M. Lee, P.C., by clicking the Live Chat button on this page.

 


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