What would you do if you heard one of your employees was hurt on the job? Would you make sure they were okay? Or would you make sure it wouldn’t happen to anyone else?
If you run a company, you want to provide the best work environment for everyone. Luckily, there’s an easy way to do that.
Implementing risk based process safety practices can help avoid accidents before they occur.
Keep reading to find out more about these practices and how they can keep you and your employees safe on the job.
What Are Risk Based Process Safety Practices?
Risk based process safety practices layout guidelines for keeping people safe while working. The right practices cover all areas of safety and health, and they account for things that other safety practices can miss.
Some safety practices consider changes only after something goes wrong. However, risk based process safety practices plan for potential issues.
Instead of waiting for something to happen, these practices consider any issue that could occur.
These programs can help reduce injuries and illnesses since they can account for them before they occur. Implementing one of these practices can help cut down on costs, and it can help make the work environment safer.
Companies that use risk based safety practices can reduce workers’ compensation claims and keep workers from getting sick.
What to Consider in Risk Based Process Safety Practices
Risk based process safety practices can be beneficial for workers and employers. However, there are a few things to consider when choosing such practices.
First, you should consider if you have any safety practices in place. Of course, switching to a new process will be a change no matter what.
However, it can help to have some sort of safety procedure. If you don’t currently have any safety practices in place, you will need to work with your staff to implement the new procedures.
Bigger companies may need to spend more time briefing different departments on the changes. While that can take time and money, changing to a risk based process safety practice can save money and time in the long run.
You should also consider the work environment of your employees. For example, employees in a factory will face different potential hazards than those in a restaurant or retail store.
Government vs. Industry Regulations
When searching for the right risk based process safety practices, you should consider governmental and industry regulations.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a U.S. government agency that sets standards for workplace safety. They help govern such practices as the Process Safety Management (PSM) Rule and state-specific regulations.
Also in the U.S., the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) set the Risk Management Program (RMP) Rule. It covers how to manage certain chemicals safely and what to do in an emergency.
In some cases, there are also industry guidelines to follow. The American Institute of Chemical Engineers covers how to use and manage hazardous materials.
Also, the Chemical Manufacturers Association has a set of guidelines.
Regardless of your industry or location, following regulations from expert groups and agencies can be a great tool for creating risk based process safety practices.
The Best Risk Based Process Safety Practices
No two companies are exactly alike. Depending on the materials you work with and the work you do, you may need more or less risk based safety practices.
When choosing which practices to implement or which agencies and organizations to follow, you should consider a few options.
You can compare and contrast the regulations of each, and you can determine which practices are best for your employees.
One of the excellent standards for determining process safety incidents is API 754. It separates safety issues into different tiers.
The process can also predict which events are tied to processes, and it provides more guidelines for these events.
Tier 1 Process Safety Events tend to have the worst outcomes since they come from the release of chemicals or materials. Specifically, the release was not planned or controlled.
Tier 2 Process Safety Events are similar to Tier 1, but they aren’t as disastrous. Workers and employers should still avoid these events, but they also come from when someone releases materials accidentally.
Tier 3 Process Safety Events demonstrate a need for safety systems. However, they don’t involve the release of materials like the previous tiers.
Tier 4 Process Safety Events apply to performance and processes at a specific worksite. They aren’t as consequential as other tiers, but you should still plan for them.
Process Safety Management (PSM)
If you or your employees work with hazardous chemicals, you should be aware of the Process Safety Management (PSM) Rule. The rule covers how to manage such chemicals safely.
It covers safety from the time of set up to hazard analysis. The OSHA set up the rule to evaluate and prioritize hazardous materials.
When following the rule, you should also take action to reduce the risk of accidents. You should also review the elements involved in process design.
Unfortunately, the PSM rule doesn’t require facilities to use risk-based safety practices. However, the rule does work well with such processes.
If you want to ensure you follow U.S. guidelines and that you consider risks, the PSM is worth considering. It may not be the perfect option, but it can be good in conjunction with other methods.
Risk Management Program (RMP)
The Risk Management Program (RMP) Rule comes from the Environmental Protection Agency. It refers to a part of the Clean Air Act of 1990, and it stipulates that some facilities have a risk management plan.
If your workplace deals with certain high explosives, flammables or toxic substances, you must create a plan to mitigate risks.
Specifically, facilities must have:
- A hazard assessment program
- An emergency response program
- A prevention program
- A system for creating and carrying out the risk management program
The prevention program can and should include risk based process safety practices. To prevent incidents, it’s important to consider the materials you work with.
Then, you can create a plan to keep people safe when working.
Depending on your state, you should review any specific regulations in place. While not all states have individual guidelines, some do.
Not only can it help you set up risk based process safety practices, but it can ensure you follow the laws in your area.
Minimal Risk and Maximal Reward
Setting up risk based process safety practices is essential for any facility that works with hazardous materials. However, any workplace with the potential for injuries can also benefit.
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