- After performing hazard identification in existing operations, the next component of a successful process risk management program is evaluation and interpretation of the hazards. This activity usually entails an evaluation of both the potential consequences of a hazard and its likelihood of occurrence. These evaluations may be either qualitative or quantitative. The goals of such evaluations are to determine the significance of a given hazard, to prioritize the hazard for the most cost-effective application of risk—mitigation measures, to help develop risk reduction measures, and to help identify residual risk requiring management attention.
- Risk analyses are site specific and should consider and reflect local meteorological conditions and surrounding populations. If they are qualitative, the output of such studies is usually a prioritized or grouped listing of hazard scenarios. If they are quantitative, they can be used to produce overall measures of risk, such as risk profiles, risk contours and/or individual risk levels.
- Management systems designed to support this component must assure that many technical issues are handled consistently and in a manner appropriate to the issue under study. The management system should offer guidance as to the frequency with which such evaluations should be carried out. Frequency may be influenced by many factors, such as the inherent hazards of chemicals involved and the proximity of vulnerable populations and facilities. In implementing risk analysis program, the management system should specify the internal review procedures to employ, and when to use qualitative vs. quantitative analysis.
- Control of risk analysis is often achieved through a requirement for management and staff signoffs, the establishment of schedules for individual studies, and specification of reporting requirements.
- The management system should indicate where the responsibility for risk analysis lies. The responsibility for carrying out such studies may initially be at the corporate level as a few trial or benchmark studies are done. In some cases, these studies are introduced through the engineering department. Ultimately, however, the responsibility is usually at the facility level.
- If an organization is using detailed quantitative analyses, then ongoing support from trained specialists will be required.
- Reference: CCPS(1989) Guidelines for Technical Management of Chemical Process Safety