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Process Hazard Analysis (PHA)

Definition - What does Process Hazard Analysis (PHA) mean?

Process hazard analysis (PHA) is a specialized field of work and study that entails using structured techniques to analyze industrial processes in order to identify possible hazards. PHA reports are used to determine what measures should be implemented in order to improve process safety, thereby minimizing potential risks and consequences related to chemical hazards. It aims to identify possible scenarios that could result in fires, explosions, chemical spills and the release of toxic fumes or chemicals by focusing on equipment capabilities and applications, instrumentation for monitoring processes, infrastructure, human activities and the possible consequences of external factors.

Safeopedia explains Process Hazard Analysis (PHA)

Various methods are applied to a PHA, and the appropriate methodology is determined by such factors as process complexity, duration, previous PHA methods for a specific industry, and whether or not the process is unusual. Methods include checklists, 'What If’ analysis or a combination of the two, hazard operability studies and failure mode and effects analysis are examples of other techniques commonly applied in a PHA.

PHAs are required by law in the United States for any industrial process that makes use of hazardous chemicals. In recent years, PHAs have expanded to include cyber PHA, which is applied to computerized systems in order to determine hazards stemming from possible cyber security incidents.

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