PHA Team (Part 3)


A PHA is performed by a team. This important distinction differentiates it from other process safety audits and inspections. At minimum, the PHA team must consist of team members with expertise in both engineering and process operations. At least one employee who has experience and knowledge specific to the process being evaluated must be on the team. One team member will be designated “team leader”. This person must be knowledgeable in the specific PHA methodology being used. Our experience has shown that the number of facility employees that participate in the PHA is directly correlated to the quality of the PHA. It is beneficial to have a team comprised of personnel with diverse expertise. For example, when performing a PHA of an ammonia refrigeration system it is ideal to have team members with backgrounds in refrigeration, maintenance, management, human resources, and safety. For companies that rely heavily on outside contractors, it is helpful to have a contract employee participate on the team as well.

When performing PHAs in California, it is important that the leader be familiar with the expectations of the local CUPA. At minimum, the PHA methodology must be selected with CUPA input. A CUPA representative may desire to participate as a team member in the PHA which can add value to the team because of their experiences with diverse chemical processes.

This is Part 3 of a series on PHAs. You can access previous blogs in this series below:

  • Part 1: PHA Overview
  • Part 2: Scheduling a PHA

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