Services 2017-07-30T21:06:58+00:00

Safety Lifecycle

From Analysis through Operation, we provide the expertise to make your plant and processes safer.

We’re here to help you in all phases of the Safety Lifecycle:

Analysis

Summary

Conclusions about whether a project will require a safety system or not cannot be drawn before there is a process design. The contributions of process design to a project are most intense in the earliest part of the project lifecycle. This includes conceptual review, process flow diagrams (PFDs) along with their Heat and Material Balances, and piping and instrument diagrams (P&IDs).

Bluefield Process Safety recognizes that operating companies usually do their own process design work. Process engineering is at the core of what an operating company does, and is usually the last piece to be outsourced. However, when assistance is required, the process consultants at Bluefield Process Safety can develop and prepare process design documents or confirm that existing process design documents accurately reflect the process.

Process safety begins with the initial concept of the project, where hazards are identified even as the process is synthesized. Typically, this hazard identification begins during preliminary process hazard analysis (PHA). Preliminary PHAs use simpler analysis techniques like “What If?” and “Checklist” techniques. Like all PHAs, preliminary PHAs should be conducted by a team that includes expertise in the technology of the process, the operation of the process, and the PHA methodology.

The detailed PHA that follows is typically a Hazard and Operability Review, or HazOp. The HazOp methodology is so commonly used, that in the minds of many, PHA and HazOp have become interchangeable terms, although the HazOp is just one of many PHA methodologies. A facilitator from Bluefield Process Safety can make your PHA as efficient and productive as possible, keeping things moving and focused on problem areas. The expertise of a facilitator from Bluefield Process Safety can keep your team on track, preventing your PHA from bogging down and squandering the time of your team members.

Hazards have the potential to cause harm, but it is risk assessment that quantifies that potential. Risk has two components: likelihood and consequence. Process safety consultants from Bluefield Process Safety can use their extensive experience with Offsite Consequence Analysis (OCA) and Quantitative Risk Analysis (QRA) to quantify consequences. Typically, you will find even greater value in Bluefield consultants’ experience facilitating Layers of Protection Analysis (LOPA) to quantify likelihood.

Knowing the risk of various hazards is of little value in itself. It is only in comparing those risks against your Risk Tolerance Criteria (RTC) that you know that a specific risk is too much or not. If you have corporate or plant risk policies, they may or may not be suitable for process design, or you may have no formal risk criteria at all.

Bluefield Process Safety does not decide what risk a company should assume, which would be presumptuous of any third party. However, Bluefield Process Safety routinely works with clients to translate existing risk policies into RTC suitable for design. Where risk policies don’t exist, Bluefield Process Safety can facilitate the process by which you establish your own RTC, using industry and government benchmarks.

Risk assessment may identify a need to add additional independent layers of protection (IPLs) to your project, in order to bring risks within your RTC. These IPLs may or may not be instrumented. Depending on the risk reduction required, instrumented IPLs may be control loops within a basic process control system (BPCS) or safety instrumented functions (SIFs) within a safety instrumented system (SIS). Non-instrumented IPLs can include both passive process components (dikes, blast walls, secondary containment) and active components (redundant equipment, relief valves).

The allocation of risk reduction to the optimum combination of instrumented and non-instrumented IPLs allows you to achieve required risk reduction at a minimum capital and operating costs. Bluefield consultants, steeped in both approaches, are not inclined to favor only one approach.

Definition of safety functions or IPLs, whether instrumented or non-instrumented, moves them beyond allocation to conceptual design.

For non-instrumented IPLs, this is a scope definition very similar to that of any process project. Bluefield Process Safety is able to prepare conceptual design definitions suited for project specification.

For a SIS, this consists of preparing a SIF List which includes causes and effects, as well as the required safety integrity level (SIL) of each SIF, with the required SIL being determined by a comparison of assessed risk with tolerable risk.

The project specification of an IPL is the basis of detailed engineering design. For non-instrumented IPLs, Bluefield Process Safety can prepare the more traditional project specification that mechanical, electrical and control, and structural engineers use to develop detailed engineering designs.

Of more specific interest when you intend to incorporate SIFs into your process, Bluefield Process Safety can lead the development of a safety requirements specification (SRS) that can then be used as the basis for equipment vendors to develop quotes and that comply with the requirements of the widely accepted SIS Standards, IEC 61511 and ISA S84-2004.

Bluefield Process Safety can also do the SIL verification calculations that assure that conceptual designs meet your risk reduction, or reliability, requirements. In particular, the SIS standards require the completion of PFD calculations to verify that risk reduction requirements are met. Bluefield Process Safety uses a combination of software tools and complex hand calculations following accepted methodologies to complete this work.

Implementation

During mechanical/electrical/structural detailed design, the engineering design team takes the process design and the SIS design and translates them into construction documents from which skids can be built and facilities can be constructed.

A plant cannot be built directly from P&IDs and an SRS. Bluefield Process Safety is ready to work with your engineers as they put together the plans and drawings your contractors need to build your process.

Software configuration translates control strategies implied in the P&IDs and safety strategies described in the SRS into computer programs that actually control your process. Good programmers, familiar with the requirements of the hardware you’ll be using, can make the difference between a facility that limps along and a facility that hums. Bluefield Process Safety is always delighted to work with your software configurers.

Fabricating equipment modules, control cabinets, and other skid-mounted components is best when done by vendors with well-equipped and spacious facilities, well-trained and motivated craftsmen, and a purchasing and management team that can stay on top of procurement and schedule. Equipment build is not a service that Bluefield Process Safety offers, but we always admire it when it is done well.

The time to catch issues with equipment modules, control cabinets, and other skid-mounted components is usually before it ships to the construction site. Factory acceptance testing allows you to take advantage of the controlled environment of the shop where your equipment was built, to access the familiarity and skills of the personnel that put it together to resolve any issues, and to be confident that it is fully functional and assembled from standard parts before it arrives at the site. When selecting a vendor to fabricate your skid-mounted equipment, be sure to consider their ability to accommodate your need for factory acceptance testing.

Construction and installation of a project can fall anywhere in the spectrum from totally “stick-built” to totally modular construction. At its most extreme, totally modular construction consists of receiving everything on skids, flanging them up, bolting them together, and plugging them in. On the other hand, totally stick-built construction relies completely on craftsmen in the field to put everything together from basic components. Both approaches have advantages and disadvantages, so you will want to make sure that your contractor is able to accommodate your construction strategy, whether for an entire new plant or for the retrofit of an existing plant to include a new SIS.

After construction and installation, but before any process materials are introduced into the system, it is important to test how the entire process functions and how all of the component pieces of equipment and instrumentation interact with one another. Each SAT is unique to each project, and is typically carried out by a team drawn from construction contractor, equipment vendor representatives, and plant operations and maintenance.

Validation of a safety instrumented system ensures the SIS and each safety instrumented function perform the way they were designed to perform. The process of validation combines field tests, calibration, and simulations to confirm that SIFs and the SIS work correctly. A validation plan depends on both the system requirements and the characteristics of the individual components. Skilled instrument mechanics are an important part of validation. Validation should be carried out after the process and control systems have been installed but prior to the introduction of any process or utility hazards.

Training appears in the project safety lifecycle twice: in the project implementation phase and in the operation phase. A safe operation depends on operation and maintenance personnel understanding their process and its safety features before it ever starts up, and on ongoing training in variety of topics. Bluefield Process Safety has developed a range of courses to meet these training needs, and is able to develop and conduct specific training as is required.

The pre-startup safety review (PSSR) is not just a requirement before introducing chemicals into a process covered by the Process Safety Management (PSM) Standard, but the best practice for starting any process. Bluefield Process Safety can assist in planning a PSSR and where needed, can participate in conducting a PSSR.

Operation

Operation is core to the plant and represents the phase of the safety lifecycle where the plant spends most of its time. With a well designed process, good management, a dedicated operating team, and a little luck, a SIS will sit quietly in the background, never called upon to do a thing. Nonethless, the operating team needs to remain ever mindful of the potential for deviations and how all of the risk reduction measures in the plant work together to keep them safe.

Training appears in the project safety lifecycle twice: in the project implementation phase and in the operation phase. A safe operation depends on operation and maintenance personnel understanding their process and its safety features before it ever starts up, and on ongoing training in variety of topics. Bluefield Process Safety has developed a range of courses to meet these training needs, and is able to develop and conduct specific training as is required.

Similar to validation, proof testing is the defined procedure of confirming that the SIS and its SIFs are functioning correctly and as they were designed. Each SIF must be tested in its entirety, either as a complete loop or component-by-component. When proof testing happens by component, separate components of the same control loop may be tested at different times and at different intervals.

Proof test and proof test intervals are established at the time the SIS is specified. Probability of failure on demand for each SIF depends not only on the quality of the components used, but on the proof test interval. Once the proof test is designed and the interval established, it typically falls to intrument maintenance staff, either from the plant or the instrument vendors, to perform the proof testing. Bluefield Process Safety does not include instrument mechanics on its staff that can perform proof tests, but is certainly able to review proof testing procedures to assure they cover the entire loop, and to do calculations necessary to determine appropriate proof test intervals.

Inspection is the fairly simple act of observing whether components in the plant, particularly components of an SIS, are in good shape. They may be still working and able to pass a proof test, but be suffering from fatigue, corrosion, loose or missing parts, or other conditions that compromise the integrity of the process. Inspection alerts the plant to problems without waiting for an actual failure.

Inspections are not complicated, but they need to be done and done by personnel who know what they are doing and what they are looking for. Bluefield Process Safety has developed inspection procedures for use by clients or by Bluefield staff to conduct process inspections.

Whatever combination of preventative, predictive, and corrective maintenance is appropriate for your facility, good maintenance is critical to the ongoing safety of an operation. Whether a component is covered under the Mechanical Integrity provisions of the PSM standard or not, proper maintenance procedures and effective maintenance staff keep a process functioning efficiently. Failure rate calculations all assume that a discovered failure will be repaired promptly; a neglected failure quickly compromises any assessment of the safety of a facility.

MOC is the process of identifying, analyzing, and tracking any adjustments to the process or equipment. OSHA’s PSM standard requires plants to monitor any change to the process that is not a “replacement in kind” and how it affects the hazards, production, operations, and safety of the process. Once these effects are identified, the standard also requires the plant to update any procedures, safety functions, hazard analyses, or other documents as appropriate. MOC has become such a standardized practice that most plants should have a system in place. Some facilities have found it useful to have Bluefield Process Safety review their MOC policies and procedures to assure they comply with regulatory requirements and the specific requirements of safety instrumented systems.

As the exit from an otherwise eternal safety lifecycle, decommissioning is the process of safely shutting down the process for the final time and then safely deconstructing and disposing of the equipment. Decommissioning is often overlooked when the process is designed, and procedures are typically developed near the end of the process’s useful life; however, decommissioning is an important element of safe process management. The gravest concern is that any decommissioning activity not interfere with or inadvertently impact other processes that are remaining active. Careful consideration must be taken to ensure that utilities or safety equipment for processes still in use are not damaged or removed along with the decommissioned process.

Training Courses

Training appears in the project safety lifecycle twice: in the project implementation phase and in the operation phase. A safe operation depends on operation and maintenance personnel understanding their process and its safety features before it ever starts up, and on ongoing training in a variety of topics. Bluefield Process Safety has developed a range of courses to meet these training needs, and is able to develop and conduct specific training as is required. Bluefield Process Safety will train your staff on site and provide certificates of completion. Please contact Bluefield Process Safety  for pricing and scheduling of a training session.

Summary

This 10 hour course was designed by OSHA for managers, engineers, technicians, mechanics, operators, and other personnel that work in any manufacturing facility. It includes required core topics, elective topics, and additional topics you can choose that are especially suited to your organization. It can be scheduled to be completed in one very long day, or more typically, over two days, or even in a series of one-hour sessions scheduled over the course of time (up to six months).

This course establishes a familiarity with the OSHA standards that are most commonly cited and covers the key requirements of OSHA compliance.

Students receive a manual for reference. OSHA provides certification in the form of wallet cards that Bluefield Process Safety will mail to each participant who successfully completes the course.

Prerequisites

N/A

Outline

Core Topics (seven hours total)
Introduction to the OSH Act and OSHA (2 hours)
Walking and Working Surfaces
Exit Routes, Emergency Action Plans, Fire Prevention Plans
Personal Protective Equipment
Electrical
Hazard Communication

Elective Topics (at least two topics for an hour each)
Hazardous Materials (PSM and HazWOpER)
Machine Guarding
Bloodborne Pathogens
Ergonomics

Additional Topics (these or elective topics to complete 10 hours)
HazOps
Lockout/Tagout
Permit Required Confined Space Entry
Incident Investigation
Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment
Safety Culture and Ethics
Product Liability and Safety

Summary

This is a one-day course intended for process safety personnel who participate in or lead incident investigation teams. This course goes more in depth than the incident investigation awareness training that may be included as part of OHSA 10 Hour Training.

This one-day, instructor-led course uses a combination of lecture, discussion, and hands-on exercises to teach the skills necessary to effectively function as the leader of an incident investigation committee, and to analyze incidents in a systematic manner that assures improvement of the process that generated the incident. Students will leave the course ready and able to complete and lead incident investigations and improve overall safety.

Prerequisites

None

Outline

ESH Management Theory
Human Behavior
The Incident Analysis Process
Interviewing Techniques
Photography
Incident Statements

Summary

This half-day instructor led course covers the complete Safety Lifecycle. This course is for professionals responsible for implementing process safety in a technical or industrial environment, including those responsible for specifying and implementing Safety Instrumented Systems (SIS). It is also an excellent introduction for anyone seeking a better understanding of the safety lifecycle. The IEC 61511 standard will be referenced and used as a guide through the analysis, realization, and operation of an SIS. Exercises will include process hazard analysis, SIL determination, SRS definition, and SIF design.

Prerequisites

None

Outline

Introduction to the Safety Lifecycle
Regulations and Standards
Process Safety Information
Hazard Identification
Tolerable Risk
Risk Analysis
Safety Integrity Levels
Safety Instrumented Systems
Safety Requirements Specifications
Implementation
Validation
Pre Startup Safety Review
Operations and Maintenance
Proof Testing and Inspections
Functional Safety Management
Quality Systems and Documentation

Summary

This is a one to two-hour class. It is general awareness training intended for personnel that work in a facility with processes covered by OSHA’s Process Safety Management standard: managers, engineers, technicians, mechanics, operators, and others.

The course introduces workers to the OSHA PSM standard and its 14 elements with special emphasis on employer and employee responsibilities under the standard. Each participant receives copies of the presentation material and accompanying notes.

Prerequisites

None

Outline

The Regulations
Background
Contents of the Standard
Covered Processes
Comparison with RMP
Covered Processes
Risk Management Planning
Traps and Pitfalls
Elements of PSM
Employees
Information
Review and Analysis
O & M
Focus on Selected PSM Topics
Process Hazard Analysis
Pre-Startup Safety Reviews
Mechanical Integrity
Management of Change
Help and Information
OSHA
Trade Groups
Consultants

Summary

This is a half day course. It is intended for personnel that are responsible for ensuring OSHA’s Process Safety Management standard is being effectively and fully enforced at their facility.

The course refreshes workers to the OSHA PSM standard and its 14 elements before applying the standard hands-on to practical application scenarios and instructor-lead review of company safety procedures. Each participant receives copies of the presentation materials, example scenarios, and accompanying notes. With sufficient time to prepare, the example scenarios will be adapted to incorporate the facilities own PSM-covered process and documentation

Prerequisites

Basic awareness of the OSHA PSM standard (TC-204 or equivalent)

Outline

29 CFR 1910.119 Process Safety Management
Compliance Audits
Documentations
Field Conditions
Mechanical Integrity
Recommendations Tracking
Compliance Audits
Incident Investigations
Process Hazards Analysis
Management of Change
Pre-Startup Safety Reviews

Summary

This is a very full one-day course for process design engineers responsible for preparing piping and instrument diagrams as part of front-end engineering design packages.
This is not a course on drafting standards. Instead, it is intended for process engineers who must start with a clean sheet of paper and prepare P&IDs, but who do not have a mentor in their organization to guide their efforts. The course includes examples and exercises that are completed individually and in groups.

Prerequisites

Experience or training reading P&IDs (TC-222 or equivalent).

Outline

Flow Diagrams
Introduction to Flow Diagrams
Lead Sheets
Electrical and Instrument Symbols
Process Equipment Symbols
Piping
Drawing Interpretation Exercise
Reviewing, Revising, and Issuing Flow Diagrams
Review PFDs
Electrical and Instrument Review of P&IDs
Reviewing Equipment and Lines on P&IDs
Overall P&ID Reviews
Making Revisions and Management of Change
Issuing Drawings
Cost of Revisions
P&ID Review Exercise
Preparing Process Flow Diagrams
Before Starting
Laying Out PFDs
PFD Streams
Material Balances
Heat Balances
Material and Heat Balance Exercise
Preparing Piping and Instrument Diagrams
Before Starting
Laying Out P&IDs
Piping and Equipment
Electrical and Instrumentation
Operating and Safety Considerations
Equipment Data
P&ID Preparation Exercise

Summary

This is a half day course intended primarily for inexperienced engineers and technicians with little or no experience with process flow diagrams and piping and instrument diagrams. It helps organizations avoid the costs and delays that result from misunderstanding drawings. It exposes students to all of the elements of PFDs and P&IDs and teaches students how to read and interpret these fundamental drawings.

Students receive copies of the presentation.

Prerequisites

N/A

Outline

Introduction to Flow Diagrams–BFDs, PFDs, EFDs
Instrument Symbols
Electrical Equipment
Process Equipment Symbols
Piping
Lead Sheets
Issuing P&IDs
Drawing Interpretation

Summary

This one day course is a hands-on, instructor-led course. This course is for process safety personnel who have participated in Process Hazards Analysis and want to learn how to facilitate a PHA. The course includes a review of several PHA techniques (including HazOp, WhatIf, Checklist), and gives guidance on when each of those techniques may be preferred over others. It then focuses on the PHA technique most widely used in the chemical process industries, the HazOp. The course addresses how to prepare for a PHA, how to identify PHA nodes on a P&ID, how to conduct a PHA (including tips on keeping the team moving and dealing with disruptive team members), and the format for compiling and reporting the results of the PHA. The course concludes with a discussion of how to estimate the time and cost of a HazOp and other PHAs.

Prerequisites

Experience participating in at least one PHA (recommended).

Outline

Introduction
PHA Background
Regulatory Compliance
Techniques for Conducting a PHA
What If
Checklist
HazOp
Other Requirements
Preparing for a PHA
Defining Nodes
Team Selection
Conducting a PHA
Guide Words
Working with a Scribe
Compiling a PHA
Reporting Format

Summary

Students will gain understanding of what elements make up risk, the amount of risk tolerated in society, and the amount of risk tolerated in organizations and industry (specifically the process industry). Students will also engage in practical exercises to allow them to set risk tolerance criteria that are useful as a design basis.

Prerequisites

N/A

Outline

Hazards vs. Consequences vs. Risk
Likelihood and Consequence Analysis
Quantification of Risk
Risk Benchmarking
ALARP
Prevention vs. mitigation
SIL overview
Optional Topics:
Environmental Risks
Community Risks
Commercial Risks

Summary

This course is for process safety personnel who quantify the consequences of safety incidents for the purposes of quantifying risk off the plant site.

The US EPA’s guidance documents on off-site consequence analysis (OCA) describe how the consequence component of risk should be determined for both worst cases and alternative cases. While other tools are available, the EPA OCA guidance is widely used, and the basis of comparison for most discussions with the public. This one day course explains the theory behind these EPA-approved techniques, and trains students in their use through a combination of lecture, discussion, and hands-on exercises. The course wraps up with an exercise in the use of the EPA software, RMP*Comp, and a review of the requirements for an EPA Risk Management Plan.

Prerequisites

Experience assessing consequence.

Outline

Toxic Gas Releases
Liquid Spill and Vaporization
Vapor Cloud Explosions
BLEVE (Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapor Explosions)
Pool Fires
Jet Fires
RMP*Comp
EPA Risk Management Plans

Summary

This is a half day course to train process safety personnel to participate in and facilitate LOPA teams for the purposes of estimating the likelihood component of risk.

This LOPA technique is endorsed by the Center for Chemical Process Safety and widely accepted in the process industries. This course prepares students to develop scenarios, evaluate safeguards as potential layers of protection, and use appropriate probabilities to calculate frequency, or likelihood, of safety critical scenarios.

Students receive a copy of the Bluefield Process Safety LOPA tool, and training to calibrate it to their organizations own risk tolerance criteria.

Prerequisites

N/A

Outline

Understanding Layers of Protection Analysis
Introduction
Layers of Protection
Risk
Overview of LOPA
Event Tree Analysis
Elements of LOPA
Limitations of LOPA
Using Layers of Protection Analysis
Initiating Events
Enabling Conditions
IPLs—Rules
IPLs—Types
Calculations
SIL Assignment
Special Topics
Multiple Functions
Operator Response
Plant Operations as Tests
Demand
Bluefield Worksheet

Summary

This one hour course applies to anyone within the process industry that is involved in establishing or assigning Safety Integrity Levels. Students need not be the engineers or supervisors responsible for verifying SIL effectiveness.

Course material will review the risk and tolerable risk, discuss and evaluate tools to compare risk with risk tolerance criteria, practice calibration of tools to applicable criteria and process variables at the client company, and discuss how to evaluate results from the tools to achieve SIL values.

Prerequisites

Competent understanding of components of risk and tolerable risk criteria.

Outline

Review of Assessing Risk
Likelihood and Consequence Components
Tolerable Risk Criteria
Reference Data
Tools for Calculating and Comparing Risk
Calibrating Tools to Established Tolerable Risk Criteria

Summary

This half day course introduces students to the Safety Instrumented Functions and helps them to understand different considerations and techniques required to effectively design SIFs.
This is a hands-on, instructor-led course that uses a combination of lecture, class discussion, and exercises to teach the material. Students will work individually and in groups to develop and evaluate different functions. Students will receive copies of presentation and supplemental notes.

Prerequisites

Basic knowledge of safety instrumented systems (TC-201 or equivalent).

Outline

Introduction
Background
Safety Instrumented Functions
General Design Issues
Basic SIF Design
Proof Testing
Response Time
SIF Bypasses
Multiple Devices
Multiple Sensors
Multiple FCE(1oo2)
Grouping
Sharing Devices
Specific Design Issues
Pump and Discharge
Double Block and Bleed
Unit Isolate and Bypass
Valve Position Switches

Summary

This half day course is open to all process industry professionals who are asked to verify or modify Safety Integrity Levels or who audit Safety Instrumented Systems. Students review math and theory involved in SIL establishment, then learn to use industry software to validate and audit established SILs.

Prerequisites

Experience with Safety Instrumented Systems and knowledge about SILs.

Outline

Standards
Modeling SIFs
PFD and PFDAVG Equations
Verification Software