Process safety management

Process safety management (PSM) services

PSM ensure that safety management is adequate and compatible between one site and another so performance standards can be established and maintained

PSM services

From time to time, major accidents happen due to a lack of care in the development of equipment codes as well as an increased need in plant designer and operator expertise. Furthermore, many companies face major challenges related to the speed at which operations have to be installed, downsizing, changes to regulations, the environmental pressures which may cause process changes, the ageing of plant, and in some cases the acquisition of other company sites.

Despite all the challenges, a company must ensure that safety management is adequate and (if possible) compatible between one site and another so that performance standards can be established and maintained.

International process safety management (PSM)

PSM is a part of safety management, which focuses on the concerns of major hazards impacting safety, environmental damage and business losses. Oil & gas, process and chemical companies are significant users of PSM methods, particularly where there are hazardous processes or large inventories of flammable or toxic materials.

Regulators expect operators of volatile plants to implement measures to ensure that their plants are operated and maintained in a safe manner. PSM techniques are numerous - from process screening and concept selection, through hazard identification, consequence evaluation, risk assessment, ALARP study, pre-start-up action response auditing, to inspection and auditing during operation.

The major aim of PSM is to develop plant systems and procedures to prevent unwanted releases, which may ignite and cause toxic impacts, local fires, or explosions in plants - affecting nearby communities. In addition, PSM can also address issues related to the Operability, Productivity, Stability, and Quality output of processes, leading to the specification of safeguards against undesirable events.

Proper safety management results in reduced exposure to lawsuits, penalties, public liability claims, and hikes in insurance premiums. Other intangible benefits include retention of corporate image. The principles of PSM apply throughout the lifecycle of a plant or installation to ensure that the facilities can be managed safely and achieve acceptable levels of business risk overall.

Key Benefits of PSM

  • Prevent unwanted hydrocarbon or chemical releases
  • Ensure and improve operability, productivity, stability and quality
  • Reduce exposure to lawsuits, penalties and public liability claims
  • Protection of corporate image
  • Thorough lifecycle management of plant to ensure that the facilities can be managed safely and achieved acceptable levels of business risk overall

Our approach for process safety management (PSM)

Different PSM tools are used during various stages of an operation’s lifetime. For example, HAZID is undertaken during the earlier stages of a project in order to ensure hazard awareness during the design, whereas, topics such as hazardous area classification, SIL assessment, and fire consequence evaluation are conducted during the design as well as during the operation.

Bureau Veritas provides clients with recommendations to determine what studies are appropriate for any stage in a facility’s life. We also provide a response to client requests for specific work or for enhancements to their PSM program.

Why choose Bureau Veritas for PSM services?

  • The quality and depth of our process safety experts enable them to advise your organisation with realistic solutions. 

  • Bureau Veritas engineers apply international best practices which distinguish our consulting services, and continue to advance to ensure world-leading innovation reaches your organisation first. 

  • In addition to working with countless clients, our PSM experience comes from a diverse range of industries across multiple sectors such as the oil & gas, manufacturing, power and utilities, nuclear and pharmaceuticals.

  • Our broad base experience uniquely qualifies us to help your organisation achieve sustainable improvements in process safety management. 

  • Productivity, reliability and quality improvement, and significant direct and indirect costs of safety incidents are avoided.

  • Unlike our competitors, we recognise that one solution does not fit everyone. We work closely with you, based upon your specific needs to determine which PSM improvements are appropriate, and help you innovate new processes or revamp an existing programme. 

  • We can help you plan, design and develop your programme, converting industry standards into site-specific procedures and provide implementation support. 

  • And as you continue to refine your programme, we can perform gap analyses and help you sustain and improve your performance for optimum results.

Process safety management - FAQ

How does PSM relate to techniques such as HAZOP studies and check-lists?

HAZOP, consequence analysis, etc. all serve as components of PSM. The PSM adviser chooses techniques to incorporate, in a particular study, and meet the client safety management system and/ or to suit the legislative requirements.

How does PSM differ from workplace health & safety?

Process safety management focuses on the prevention of fires, explosions, and chemical releases that can result in substantial financial loss and long-term damage to the business.

In contrast, workplace health & safety is focused on injuries to employees resulting from accidents such as falls, chemical splashes, or limbs getting trapped in machinery.