An international producer of plant-based extracts operates a facility in New Jersey that utilizes technology and extraction techniques developed in Europe. The company wanted to improve the performance and efficiency of its extraction processes by refurbishing the process units, which were developed for European requirements. The company retained Antea Group to support its current Process Safety Management (PSM) compliance efforts related to its manufacturing processes and propose changes to maintain compliance after the refurbishment. The major area for support was the carrying out of Process Safety Analyses (PHA) for the processes. Key process hazards considered were related to the usage of various flammable organic solvents.
Antea Group provided direction, facilitation, and documentation for a series of PHAs. A hazard and operability study or “HAZOP” technique was used for the PHA studies. A HAZOP is a structured and systematic examination of a complex planned or existing process or operation using guide words in order to identify and evaluate problems that may represent risks to personnel, equipment, or the environment. This analysis considered process design and equipment information along with process safety information to provide a systematic study of potential hazards that could arise out of day-to-day operations. The hazards were analyzed for their probability of occurrence and the severity of their outcome in order to define and catalogue process risks. The analyses also considered current or recommended control measures that will either prevent or mitigate the risks.
Client benefits included having a systemic and comprehensive study that helped to assure OSHA (under 29 CFR 1910.119(e)) and NJ DEP compliance and to manage process risks. Identified process risks were evaluated as to their impact on people, the environment, and business continuity and managed accordingly. The HAZOPs provided systematic hazard identification, risk assessment, and a roadmap for mitigation of potential hazards and non-compliance issues.