How Much Safety is Enough?

Using a risk-based approach on processing systems, engineers can cost effectively meet required safeguards without compromising operating safety. Current design codes and standards primarily seek to mitigate catastrophic consequences from process incidents. The standards guide engineers on equipment to avoid failures. Since the focus is on consequences, these design specifications may not fully address incident frequency and provide coverage for double or triple jeopardy. (Although, in many instances, the motivator for developing and adopting these guidelines was due to high equipment failures.)

Consequently, companies that seek sound guidance to correctly assess cost and benefit from loss control measures must broaden the approach and consider risk-based evaluation techniques.

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