Despite investment of considerable resources to conduct process hazard analyses (PHAs), many companies are still experiencing a high rate of incidents and find that the causes of these incidents have not been identified and/or addressed in their PHAs. The main reason that PHAs are not effective is that adequate attention has not been paid to the quality of the PHA. Under the OHSA Process Safety Management (29 CFR 1910.119) Standard there are specific items that a PHA must address, including prerequisites (process safety information), scope, methodology, team composition and qualifications, documentation, communication and follow-up, and revalidation. Although these requirements help to assure some level of completeness and quality in the PHA, there is still considerable room for bias and inexperience to limit the quality of the final product. Quality issues in these areas are having a serious impact on the effectiveness of PHAs.
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