Process Safety Management (PSM)

Process Safety Management (PSM) and Regulatory Compliance

Engineer Viewing Circuitiazation Diagram

MISTRAS offers engineering consulting expertise to aid our client in developing, implementing, and maintaining a custom-tailored Process Safety Management (PSM) program.

MISTRAS’ PSM programs provide great value by establishing a holistic approach that enables our clients to go beyond regulatory compliance. Our programs encompass a variety of refining, petrochemical, and chemical plant assets from pressure vessels, storage tanks, and piping systems to pressure relief, vent, and emergency shutdown systems, all the way down to rotating equipment and controls such as sensors, alarms, and interlocks.

Process Safety Management (PSM) Program Development

Our engineering consultants advise process plants on the development of OSHA-compliant Process Safety Management (PSM) programs, critique existing programs using in-depth gap analyses, and modify existing programs using NDT technologies and risk based inspection (RBI) methodologies based on each facility's unique needs.

As stated in the PSM Standard, a sound MI program needs to illustrate several important factors:

  • The program needs to be based on "Good Engineering Practices.”
  • The program must be developed in a procedural fashion.
  • Plant inspections need to be carried out by certified inspection professionals.
  • Inspection results need to be documented and maintained in an organized fashion.
  • The program must meet the prevailing codes and standards available to industry.

While many current MI programs are focused on predicting or preventing pressure equipment failure, MISTRAS’ comprehensive mechanical integrity programs are offered as plant-wide initiatives to maximize safety and efficiency, with all solutions grounded in Recognized and Generally Accepted Good Engineering Practices (RAGAGEP).

Highlights of MISTRAS’ PSM programs include:
  • Grass Roots program development
  • Level I or Level II GAP analysis of existing programs
  • Traditional and advanced nondestructive testing (NDT/ANDT) support
  • PCMS Mechanical Integrity Software, MISTRAS’ industry-leading inspection database management system (IDMS)
  • PCMS Software implementation services
  • PCMS-embedded RBI calculators
  • MI implementation services
  • Program Management

Process Hazard Analysis (PHA)

MISTRAS’ Process Hazard Analysis (PHA) studies are a thorough, systematic approach for identifying, evaluating, and controlling the hazards of processes involving highly-hazardous chemicals, as required by the Occupational Health & Safety Association (OSHA).

As companies need to perform an initial hazard evaluation on all processes covered by this standard, MISTRAS’ experienced consultants have the technical expertise and industry knowledge to support them.

MISTRAS helps our clients first determine and document the priority order for conducting PHA, based on the extent of the process hazards, the number of potentially-affected employees, the age of the process, and the operating history of the process. PHAs must be updated and re-validated at least every five years.

The PHA methodology selected must be appropriate to the complexity of the process and must identify, evaluate, and control the hazards involved in the process. All PHAs must address multiple factors, including:

  • Hazards of the process
  • Identification of any previous incident that had a potential for catastrophic consequences in the workplace
  • Consequences of failure of engineering/administrative controls
  • Facility siting
  • Human factors
  • Qualitative evaluation of a range of the possible safety/health effects on the workforce if there is a failure of controls

Once the PHA is completed, MISTRAS supports our clients in addressing PHA findings/recommendations; ensuring that the recommendations are resolved in a timely manner; and documenting, maintaining, and communicating findings to employees whose work assignments may be affected by the PHA recommendations or actions.

Integrity Operating Windows (IOWs) and Management of Change (MoC)

In addition to the requirements above, the optimal PSM program includes integrity operating windows (IOWs) and management-of-change programs. In offering these solutions, MISTRAS’ enables our clients to get more value out of their PSM programs than standard regulatory compliance.

As defined in American Petroleum Institute’s (API) RP 584, integrity operating windows are established limits for process variables (parameters) that can affect the integrity of the equipment if the process operation deviates from the established limits for a predetermined length of time. In short, IOWs establish acceptable limits of process variations before an asset begins to incur damage.

MoC programs govern the documentation of changes that affect processes, such as an equipment, procedure, or chemical change.

These programs are most effective when they are fully-integrated into plant operations, as changes in one process can affect another that may be overseen by a separate service provider, increasing safety risks if the proper MoC steps are not taken. This makes MISTRAS uniquely-suited to support our clients in IOW program development and management.

MISTRAS offers subject matter experts (SMEs) in multiple engineering disciplines, and our inspection and maintenance services and plant-wide data-management software, PCMS, enable our clients to stay informed when process variables become unsafe and quickly take action to reduce risks to equipment and personnel.

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