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Safety System Bad Actor Identification – Inherited Gaps

Imagine you have just completed, after 6-months of team time, your PHA and LOPA for your largest and most profitable unit.  A much deserved congratulatory pat on the back is warranted. After a very brief respite and celebration, the real work begins in order to cost effectively remove risk from the unit.  Your study has identified 10’s to 100’s of hazardous scenarios that do not meet your corporate risk criteria.  Some of these include recommendations by the study team.  However, depending on your organization, not every scenario that fails to meet the corporate risk criteria has to have a recommendation.  Let’s call all of these scenarios that fail to meet your corporate risk criteria your “inherited gaps”.

Figure 1: Sample Hazardous Scenario with an Inherited Gap

We need to systematically review all of these existing gaps and determine the best method to close the gap or possibly accept the risk as an organization if viable closure options are not available.  What is the most efficient way to analyze, prioritize, and ultimately get a project funded to close gaps and fix problems? 

Steps to success:

  1. Leverage the “proposed” data fields in your PHA and LOPA tool for consequence, protection layers, frequency modifiers, etc. to conduct the “What If” Option Engineering review on ways to close each of the gaps.
  2. Select the “best” project type to close the existing gap (e.g., facility siting, inherently safe process design, Consequence Study, PSV sizing / Upgrades, Safety Instrumented System (SIS) Upgrade, BMS Upgrade, Independent Protection Layer Addition / Upgrade, etc.).
  3. Assign projects to an “owner” who is ultimately responsible for moving the project through the funding stage gates.
  4. Assign a high level +/- 50% cost estimate to close each gap.
  5. Review the gap closure plan with operations and projects team, gather their input, and modify steps 1 and 2 accordingly.
  6. With the Gap Closure Plan finalized, it’s time to begin setting priorities and budgets.
  7. Review the relative risk reduction of each project type.
  8. Review the dollar value and relative risk unit per project type.

As gap closure projects can have a significant impact on lowering you risk profile, we need to provide management tools to support project justification and lead to informed and timely decisions.  What if there was a software tool that could facilitate the above 8 steps and yield a variety of reports and KPIs that allow you to communicate existing gaps and closure plans to management, operations, projects, etc.?  What if this same tool could track closure over the next month, or even years, as the projects are executed and ultimately commissioned?

Figure 2: Biggest Bang for the Money to Reduce Risk

What if you could communicate a single KPI to management that represents the entire risk status of this process unit?  What if this KPI automatically updates based upon plant operational data?  What if you had real-time status of the existing gap closure projects and impact on the overall risk profile? 

Figure 3: Functional Safety Index™ - Inherited Gap Contribution

Contact the aeShield team to see how the next generation of risk analysis tools can revolutionize your business and how you manage risk.

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