Navigating the intricacies of a Process Safety and Scoping Review (otherwise known as PSSR) is a vital task for ensuring the safe and efficient operation of any new or modified process. Understanding the proper way to conduct a PSSR is key to preventing accidental chemical incidents and ensuring the safety of all involved. This process involves multiple steps, from identifying changes in the workplace to conducting safety, technical, personnel, and post-startup assessments. Each step ensures that the construction adheres to design specifications, adequately trains employees, and aligns the process with the management of change requirements.

Guidelines for Effectively Implementing a Process Safety and Scoping Review (PSSR)

A PSSR is conducted prior to any new or modified process beginning operations to ensure construction adheres to design specifications, affected employees receive training and the processes meet any management of change requirements.

An effective PSSR review also offers the chance to identify and rectify deficiencies, making a successful PSSR a critical element in the prevention of accidental chemical incidents.

PSSR StepKey ActionsSignificance
Identify the change.Assess the need for change, ensure an unbiased review team, and record all findings.Identifies potential risks, ensures objectivity, and provides a basis for future improvements.
Conduct a safety assessment.Utilise the PSSR checklist, assess individual situations, and recommend protective measures.Verifies proper safety procedures, ensures training compliance, and identifies unsafe conditions.
Conduct a technical assessment.Inspect equipment and documentation; involve competent personnel.Ensures equipment readiness and compliance with safety standards.
Conduct a personnel assessment.Honest and constructive employee assessment: assemble a multidisciplinary team.Improves employee performance and safety and ensures the right team for PSSR.
Conduct a post-startup assessment.Use a comprehensive checklist, manage changes effectively, and complete all action items.Confirms safety and compliance post-implementation and highlights the need for ongoing monitoring.

Identify the change

While it may not be possible to completely eliminate all risks and hazards, appropriate safety measures in your workplace can effectively address potential issues before they escalate into serious problems.

Ensuring accurate implementation of the PSSR procedure is a key aspect of any change to a process facility. To achieve this, it is crucial to select reviewers who are not directly involved in the change project, as this will prevent negative impacts from schedule pressures and pride of ownership on the review process. In addition, forming teams consisting of employees from various departments will encourage a cross-disciplinary approach and ensure the identification of all potential risks associated with the change during the review process.

After deciding that change is needed, the PSSR team must determine if it can implement it successfully. Assessing whether their team can effectively manage the risks associated with a particular change, such as equipment damage or employee injury, is essential.

Recording all information gathered during a PSSR review is also crucial for the success of the review, as it allows teams to promptly and safely identify areas that need improvement and make necessary adjustments. For instance, the team might need to train additional employees or improve documentation processes. Afterwards, organizations can use this data to update PSSR guidelines and enhance future reviews. Organisational technology can come in handy by making it easier to collect ideas quickly, complete formal analysis completed quickly and document the review process, ultimately leading to rapid changes that are implemented safely and quickly.

Conduct a safety assessment

The PSSR checklist can help verify that appropriate procedures have been implemented to control risks when implementing new equipment or processes. The checklist ensures that all employees have received the necessary training on how to use this process or machinery and understand its impact on existing workplace safety procedures, including the implementation of locks and tagout systems for equipment and machine guarding protection against workplace hazards such as falls or exposure to dangerous chemicals.

However, it’s essential not to regard PSSR as simply filling out forms or checking boxes on a checklist. A competent PSSR team must assess each situation individually and recommend protective measures consistent with the risk control methodologies outlined by their hierarchy. A great PSSR team consists of members with varied skills who possess expertise both inside and outside their work area for maximum insight into all possible risks.

The PSSR provides one final opportunity for project teams associated with changes to ensure no unsafe conditions exist prior to initiating them and potentially hazardous chemicals entering operation. Therefore, project teams must thoroughly identify and resolve any issues to reduce the chance of accidents or incidents happening.

PSSR can also play an essential role in meeting regulatory requirements, with many regions having stringent standards and protocols regarding manufacturing plant operation and safety standards. An efficient PSSR process ensures that your facility complies with these regulations, potentially avoiding legal implications or penalties during audits by authorities. Meridian, a comprehensive software solution, can easily provide auditable proof of successful implementation of PSSR.

Conduct a technical assessment

The Process Safety Safety Review (PSSR) process is an integral component of start-up and restart processes and ensures equipment will be ready for operation when required. An appropriately qualified person must conduct a comprehensive inspection of both the process and associated equipment, as well as documentation such as operating instructions and maintenance records.

Competent individuals are defined as those trained to complete specific tasks safely, possessing knowledge, skills, training, education, experience, and determination to do it without harm. Most regulatory agencies and safety standards, including OSHA, require competent individuals as part of the PSSR process. Therefore, all personnel involved should receive training on this process to effectively identify and address potential hazards.

To conduct a successful inspection, it is imperative that the appropriate team be in place. Assemble a multi-disciplined group of professionals from design and construction, engineering, instrumentation and controls, maintenance operations, and safety departments for review and any follow-up activities.

Furthermore, the team should have enough authority to postpone startup if the PSSR detects any significant issues. This step can prevent injuries to employees, equipment damage, and production losses; hence, its leader must possess enough personality, skills, knowledge, and determination to resist pressure to allow a deficient process to start up.

The team should receive a checklist to assist them in reviewing the equipment or processes. In addition, the team should also receive any relevant documents to assist them in conducting PSSR reviews.

Conduct a personnel assessment

Assessing employees should always be conducted honestly and constructively, enabling them to accurately assess themselves. Doing this helps them recognise their weaknesses and strengths so they can develop as individuals. In addition to pinpointing areas requiring improvement, recognising positive attributes and accomplishments also improves morale while motivating workers to continue working hard in the future.

Assessment can be an intimidating experience for employees. To make sure everyone stays safe during this process and gets useful feedback that helps improve performance and maintain safety in the workplace, it’s crucial to create an enabling environment and be patient while conducting this assessment. Our goal should be to give each employee feedback they can use to increase performance while improving safety within their workplace environment.

Assign a leader to lead your PSSR team. This leader should have enough authority to postpone the startup of any processes with major deficiencies should they become apparent during an assessment, resisting pressure to allow deficient processes to start up and resisting pressure to allow deficient processes into operation if any are applied; they must possess the personality, skills, knowledge, determination, and organisational authority necessary to do this effectively.

Assembling an appropriate multidisciplinary team of personnel is also key for conducting the PSSR and any follow-up activities successfully. The ideal multidisciplined team would consist of representatives from design and construction, engineering, instrument and control engineering, maintenance operations, and safety departments. With these members present, the team should assess the overall condition of facility equipment and address any issues identified by plant management. Additionally, they should ensure that all necessary steps for an efficient PSSR process have been completed and that all required documents have been provided for its success.

Conduct a post-startup assessment

PSSRs aim to assess whether changes you intend to implement are safe before they take place, so it’s essential that you follow all necessary steps and avoid common pitfalls when conducting one.

Assemble an appropriate team to conduct the review. This should include individuals from design and construction, engineering, safety, maintenance, instrumentation and controls, and operations, as well as anyone with sufficient knowledge and experience to assess whether a process can safely start up again or restart safely.

After assembling your team, it is time to conduct the review. Using a PSSR checklist ensures all necessary details are included without leaving anything out. A comprehensive checklist should include sections for items such as legal compliance, equipment verification, and operational procedures, as well as comments and signoff.

As part of your review process, it’s vitally important that an effective change management system be in place. An effective change management system increases the visibility of the review and ensures all required approvals are secured before altering an existing process.

Ensure successful completion of all action items and satisfactory completion of your PSSR at the end of the post-startup assessment process. This may involve the formal completion of hardcopy or electronic documentation as well as a physical review of the facility itself and verification that all construction and equipment comply with safety, environmental, and health standards and regulations.

It is important to note that PSSR should not replace regular checks on new and modified facilities. Such inspections will not detect any new risks introduced during construction that may not have been anticipated by the operators.