Basis of safety: A concise communication method for critical process safety information



Process safety information (PSI) typically describes the process equipment, process chemicals, and how the process is intended to be operated. Lack of operator familiarity with this information can lead to process upsets, resulting in release of hazardous materials. The most critical of the PSI is that which pertains to the prevention of catastrophic incidents. By prioritizing PSI, emphasis can be placed on critical PSI during training, development of reference documents and assessment of operator competency. A Basis of Safety (BoS) document is described as a method to facilitate communication, learning and referencing of critical PSI by and for operators, engineers and managers. This BoS document for a process lists the worst-case incident consequences, the safety objectives that must be achieved, the control measures that implement these safety objectives, and the safe operating envelope for the process. By limiting the BoS contents to only that which pertains to catastrophic incident prevention, the highest emphasis on learning can be placed where it is most critical. © 2011 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Process Saf Prog, 2011