This May, I will be celebrating one year with Cornerstone Environmental Health & Safety (CEHS) and its safe to say I’ve learned a larger variety of environmental health and safety topics in the last 12 months than I did in the previous 11 years of my career in this field. The two factors that have contributed to that are that 1) previously I was laser focused on one silo of the environmental consulting world (transaction related projects such as Phase I Environmental Site Assessments) and 2) Cornerstone’s breadth of experienced staff and services.
A couple of weeks ago, I was able to participate in the Indiana Chamber of Commerce’s Safety & Health Conference with a couple of my colleagues: one of which is our Director of Safety Services and the other a senior level account manager who just celebrated 15 years with Cornerstone (and former loss prevention specialist). Needless to say, I learned a lot in a short amount of time simply chatting with these two and having full access to their knowledge while they spent the day with me at a trade show.
One of the biggest takeaways from our day together for me was learning more about risk management and our involvement in helping our client’s development programs and plans. So after the show wrapped up, I came back and did some digging into processes to get these programs in place for our client’s.
Process Hazard Analysis: A PHA is a systematic review of what can go wrong in a chemical process system. The intent of a PHA is to identify hazards that are associated with 1) chemicals within the system, 2) equipment components that comprise the system, and 3) operation of the system (so-called “human factors”). The review also considers hazards posed by citing of other concentrations of hazardous materials. A hazard analysis identified the hazards and potential release, fire, and explosion scenarios that have potential of injuring workers within the facility perimeter. EPA guidance on process hazard analyses contains a hierarchy of methods that may be applied, depending on the process, complexity, and sophistication of the process and operators.
Risk Management Program: The Risk Management Program (40 CFR Part 68) is designed to meet the requirements of the EPA Clean Air Act (CAA) Section 112R. The RMP includes a hazard assessment that details the potential effects of an accidental release, an accident history of the last five years, and an evaluation of worst-case and alternative accidental releases; Prevention Program that includes safety precautions and maintenance, monitoring, and employee training measures; and Emergency Response Program that spells out emergency health care, employee training measures and procedures for informing the public and response agencies (e.g the fire department) should an accident occur.
Process Safety Management Program: OSHA’s PSM of Highly Hazardous Chemicals (HHC’s) standard is found under 29 CFR 1910.119 and is intended to prevent or minimize the consequences of a catastrophic release of toxic, reactive, flammable or explosive HHC’s from a process. A “process” is defined as any activity or combination of activities including any use, storage, manufacturing, handling or the on-site movement of HHC’s.
I will go into greater detail on each in future posts and share some case studies.
Cassie Lee is an Account Manager and Business Development Professional with over a decade of experience in environmental consulting. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 317-983-1719 with any questions or for assistance on services mentioned in this post or otherwise. And be sure to connect with her on LinkedIn for notifications on future blog posts and updates.