How to Generate Hydrogen Gas without Really Trying: A Process Hazard Analysis Case Study
Lacheta, Darrin; Lacheta, Darrin; Lacheta, Darrin
(Tosoh SMD, Grove City, OH)
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Whether or not your company is required to comply with OSHA’s Process Safety Management standard performing process hazard analyses can be a valuable exercise. Companies that perform process hazard analyses are experiencing a continuing reduction in the frequency and severity of industrial accidents. However, no process hazard analysis method can identify all hazard scenarios. Perhaps the most difficult aspect of process hazard analysis is detecting new or previously unrecognized hazards. Seemingly innocuous process changes can have serious unintended consequences. A manufacturer of high purity metal products discovered this when they began processing high purity aluminum using a water jet cutter. Before long the process tanks were bubbling with hydrogen gas. Performing a process hazard analysis prior to introducing new materials to the production process may have uncovered this previously unknown hazard. This presentation will help the audience define process hazard analysis and provide examples of the benefits to be gained from performing process hazard analyses.