Implementation Issues of PSM in a Fertilizer Plant: An Operations Engineer's Point of View

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In this article, guidelines are provided for implementation of the elements of process safety management (PSM) such as management of change (MOC), process hazard analysis (PHA), incident investigation, emergency planning, and response. The role of mechanical integrity, operating procedures, compliance audits, pre-start-up safety review, contractors, training, work permits, and process safety information for implementation of the PSM in a fertilizer plant are discussed. Implementation of MOC is an important step for the adoption of PSM standards and a necessary condition for internal and external audits of the plant. There are many issues linked with implementation of PHA like plant modifications, shut downs, and production losses as well as the behaviour of the design engineer whenever modifications are required. Consequence analysis, an evaluation of an incident in terms of its effects on environment, equipment, and people is of great help. Incident reporting for a company can be improved by ensuring confidentiality and not exposing the reporting person. Improvement in the operating procedures and preserving mechanical integrity of the process plant are necessary conditions for the implementation of the standards. Internal and external audits of the company are the most important part of the PSM implementation. In general, the PSM implementation requires much effort and time but pays off well if implemented fully. © 2013 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Process Saf Prog 32: 59–65, 2013