Pressure relief system documentation: Equipment based relational database is key to OSHA 1910.119 compliance



Under OSHA 1910.119, all Process Safety Management (PSM) facilities are required to keep their pressure relief system design information current. This article demonstrates why a pressure relief system design verification effort must be based on an equipment list, rather than a relief device list, in order to ensure that every piece of equipment is adequately protected. The formerly common practice of simply checking the design bases of all existing relief devices is deficient is deficient since this technique does not systematically ensure that every piece of equipment is protected.

The “Berwanger Method” is a step by step process for designing or analyzing a pressure relief system to meet OSHA 1910.119 Process Safety Information (PSI) and Process Hazard Analysis (PHA) mandates. The method uses a relational database which tracks the relationships between protected equipment, potential overpressure scenarios, and protective devices.

The challenge facing an operating company does not end once the design basis has been “verified”—the design basis information must also be maintained and be readily accessible to avoid costly reinvention of the wheel down the road. The “Berwanger Method” also addresses these maintenance issues.