Process Safety Management
ABS Group has more experience in process safety management, both domestically and internationally, than any other firm that provides services in this area. Our experienced staff of engineers, auditors and process safety and risk professionals are considered among the best in the industry as evidenced by the reliance placed on us by various industry associations, government and public works agencies and a wide variety of private companies that handle highly hazardous chemicals and want to significantly change their level of process safety performance.
In fact, we believe that our breadth of knowledge and depth of experience working in the process safety field since 1977 is why many commercial clients and federal, state and local regulatory agencies worldwide often seek our help and guidance regarding catastrophic incidents that occur in their region. Learn more about our Process Safety Compliance expertise and Remote PSM Solutions.
Examples of our process safety management services include:
Asset and Mechanical Integrity
We have worked with many clients to audit, develop and implement management systems that help asset owners confirm the integrity (functionality) of their equipment. These programs have addressed all aspects of equipment integrity, including:
- Compliance auditing against regulatory, internal company standards and/or industry best practices
- ITPM strategies/plans that focus resources on the most important equipment failure modes (using techniques such as risk based inspection (RBI), reliability centered maintenance (RCM), criticality based maintenance (CBM), etc.)
- Quality assurance (QA)/quality control strategies/plans that help ensure ongoing equipment integrity through (1) appropriate design specifications and conformance with recognized and generally accepted good engineering practices (RAGAGEP); (2) supplier/vendor quality programs; (3) controls on receipt, storage and distribution of equipment/supplies; and (4) verifications of the quality of installation, fabrication, repair and replacement work
- Strategies/plans for developing procedures and training for maintenance technicians and others whose work directly affects equipment integrity to confirm that their work is performed in a safe and reliable manner
- Approaches for resolving equipment deficiencies in a timely manner
Our process safety management experts also have assisted many clients with the implementation of mechanical integrity programs by performing field condition assessments of equipment, collecting and validating inspection data, updating drawings for inspection points, populating data into maintenance management systems and assessing damage mechanisms for equipment.
ABS Group provides a full service solution to meet facility siting requirements for processes covered by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Process Safety Management (PSM) standard. These services offered through our Advanced Engineering division include flammable dispersion modeling, explosion modeling, building damage assessment, prediction of hazards to building occupants, fire modeling and toxic dispersion modeling. We also specialize in mitigation of facility siting findings. We can help you evaluate hazards as well as develop, execute and monitor mitigation plans or develop a corporate facility siting policy.
Incident Investigation and Response
Our personnel have performed hundreds of investigations, from minor to catastrophic safety incidents, quality issues, reliability problems, equipment failures, environmental releases/excursions, ship mishaps, software issues, nuclear occurrences and petrochemical/refining plant accidents. Through on-site support, investigation activities and follow-up, we can help you return to safe operations. Not only can we perform the investigation, we can manage the overall organizational response to the incident, including interfaces with regulators (OSHA, EPA, CSB, FDA, DOE, BSEE, etc.), insurance companies and attorneys. In addition to the causal analysis we perform to improve system performance, we may also help clients avoid significant litigation losses or achieve greatly reduced fines from regulators.
Management of Change
Our Process Safety Management (PSM) services include developing written procedures to manage changes for equipment, procedures, chemicals and operating and safety limits, as well as for personnel and organizational changes. The Management of Change (MOC) process addresses the technical basis for the change, safety and health impacts, time period for change and authorization requirements. Additionally, we will help you inform and train operations and maintenance employees and contractors before change is implemented and update process safety information and procedures as necessary.
Pre-startup Safety Review
For new facilities containing highly hazardous materials and facilities/equipment to be restarted after modifications/maintenance that require changes to process safety information, requirements must be completed before introducing highly hazardous chemicals.
The Pre-startup Safety Review (PSSR) must confirm that:
- Construction and equipment meet design specifications
- Safety, operating, maintenance and emergency procedures are in place and adequate
- A PHA has been performed (for new facilities), the recommendations have been resolved or implemented before startup and modified facilities meet MOC requirements
- Training of each employee involved in the operating process is complete.
Learn more about our recovery and startup services for Oil, Gas and Chemical Facilities.
Process Safety Information
Companies handling and processing hazardous materials must compile and maintain for the life of the process their chemical hazard information, process technology information and process equipment information. ABS Group can help you document that equipment complies with recognized and generally accepted good engineering practices. For existing equipment designed and constructed to out-of-date codes/standards, our staff will help you determine and document that the equipment is designed, maintained, inspected, tested and operated in a safe manner.
Learn more about our compliance management services addressing international requirements such as Control of Major Accident Hazards (COMAH) in the U.K. and the Seveso III Directive regulations in the European Union.
Our global network of process safety auditors have specific, practical industry experience and deep knowledge in the various PSM/RMP elements. Our reputation as a leader in this field is confirmed by our role supporting the U.S. Chemical Safety Board on issues of national significance. In addition, our personnel are familiar with issues targeted by OSHA regulators in National Emphasis Programs for both refineries and chemical facilities. This network of auditors has access to expert resources that can help augment your knowledge base and can be researched to provide good industry practices and benchmarking for technical questions that may arise during audits at client facilities.
PSM/RMP Program Development and Implementation
Our engineers are experts at developing and implementing PSM programs. We recognize that all companies are not the same and so we tailor programs to suit your unique needs. We consistently deliver programs that satisfy regulatory requirements and fit each company's organizational culture. ABS Group has model written programs for all of the OSHA PSM elements.
Additionally, we assist clients in implementing PSM programs that satisfy state regulatory requirements for their specific industry, such as the Cal/OSHA Process Safety Management for Refineries (Draft Regulation). This includes PSM elements such as safeguard protection analysis, hierarchy of controls analysis, damage mechanism reviews, process safety culture assessments and management of change.