- When an equipment change is being contemplated, there should be careful consideration of the process safety implications. The organizational responsibility for approving such changes should be clearly defined, and approval only should occur after an appropriate review has been completed. The implementation of the change should be limited to the specific equipments changes that have been reviewed and approved. There should be control over the equipment change process, achieved through mechanisms such as requiring documentation of all work performed, and having both operating and maintenance personal sign off on the agreement of the work done with the approved work orders.
- Many equipment changes will require a corresponding change in process conditions. Major new equipment should be included in capital appropriation requests and be reviewed as part of any new capital project. There are however, certain types of equipment changes made in the field that are not included in a capital project review: Some are process improvements, piping rearrangements, experimental equipment, temporary equipment, decommissioning, change in materials of construction, change in computer programs and change in instrumentation.
- Although many changes may appear harmless, without proper review process hazards can be created. Equipment changes not covered by capital project reviews must still be controlled by a review and approval procedure. There should be systems for assuring that these changes are identified in advance so that a review will be scheduled. Appropriate personnel should be involved in the review. A checklist of issues to be considered helps assure appropriate review. Completion of the review should be documented to assure accountability and facilitate subsequent audit.
- Reference: CCPS(1989) Guidelines for Technical Management of Chemical Process Safety
Management/Management of change