Preliminary Hazard Analysis (PHA)

Last Updated: March 6, 2019

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

Preliminary hazard analysis (PHA) is a semi-quantitative analysis performed with the intention of identifying all potential hazards and accidental events that can cause an industrial accident.

This type of analysis ranks the identified accidental events according to their severity and proposes hazard controls and follow-up actions.

Safeopedia explains Preliminary Hazard Analysis (PHA)

There are several formats of preliminary hazard analysis that can be used under different names, such as Rapid Risk Ranking and Hazard Identification (HAZID). PHA should be carried out in the early stages of a project and continue throughout the system or product's life cycle to identify those accidental events that should be subject to a more-detailed risk analysis.

As a broad, initial study, the preliminary hazard analysis focuses on identifying immediate hazards, assessing the severity of potential accidents that could occur because of these hazards, and identifying safeguards for reducing the risks associated with the hazards. By identifying weaknesses early in the life of a system, PHA aims to save time and money that might be required for major redesign if the hazards were discovered at a later date.

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