Combustible Dust Testing

Laboratory testing to quantify dust explosion & reactivity hazards

Flammable Gas & Vapor Testing

Laboratory testing to quantify explosion hazards for vapor and gas mixtures

Chemical Reactivity Testing

Laboratory testing to quantify reactive chemical hazards, including the possibility of material incompatibility, instability, and runaway chemical reactions

DIERS Methodology

Design emergency pressure relief systems to mitigate the consequences of unwanted chemical reactivity and account for two-phase flow using the right tools and methods

Deflagrations (Dust/Vapor/Gas)

Properly size pressure relief vents to protect your processes from dust, vapor, and gas explosions

Effluent Handling

Pressure relief sizing is just the first step and it is critical to safety handle the effluent discharge from an overpressure event

Thermal Stability

Safe storage or processing requires an understanding of the possible hazards associated with sensitivity to variations in temperature

UN-DOT

Classification of hazardous materials subject to shipping and storage regulations

Safety Data Sheets

Develop critical safety data for inclusion in SDS documents

Biological

Model transport of airborne virus aerosols to guide safe operations and ventilation upgrades

Radioactive

Model transport of contamination for source term and leak path factor analysis

Fire Analysis

Model transport of heat and smoke for fire analysis

Flammable or Toxic Gas

transport of flammable or toxic gas during a process upset

OSS consulting, adiabatic & reaction calorimetry and consulting

Onsite safety studies can help identify explosibility and chemical reaction hazards so that appropriate testing, simulations, or calculations are identified to support safe scale up

Mechanical, Piping, and Electrical

Engineering and testing to support safe plant operations and develop solutions to problems in heat transfer, fluid flow, electric power systems

Battery Safety

Testing to support safe design of batteries and electrical power backup facilities particularly to satisfy UL9540a ed.4

Hydrogen Safety

Testing and consulting on the explosion risks associated with devices and processes which use or produce hydrogen

Spent Fuel

Safety analysis for packaging, transport, and storage of spent nuclear fuel

Decommissioning, Decontamination and Remediation (DD&R)

Safety analysis to underpin decommissioning process at facilities which have produced or used radioactive nuclear materials

Laboratory Testing & Software Capabilities

Bespoke testing and modeling services to validate analysis of DD&R processes

Nuclear Overview

Our Nuclear Services Group is recognized for comprehensive evaluations to help commercial nuclear power plants operate efficiently and stay compliant.

Severe Accident Analysis and Risk Assessment

Expert analysis of possible risk and consequences from nuclear plant accidents

Thermal Hydraulics

Testing and analysis to ensure that critical equipment will operate under adverse environmental conditions

Environmental Qualification (EQ) and Equipment Survivability (ES)

Testing and analysis to ensure that critical equipment will operate under adverse environmental conditions

Laboratory Testing & Software Capabilities

Testing and modeling services to support resolution of emergent safety issues at a power plant

Adiabatic safety calorimeters (ARSST and VSP2)

Low thermal inertial adiabatic calorimeters specially designed to provide directly scalable data that are critical to safe process design

Other Lab Equipment (DSC/ARC supplies, CPA, C80, Super Stirrer)

Products and equipment for the process safety or process development laboratory

FERST

Software for emergency relief system design to ensure safe processing of reactive chemicals, including consideration of two-phase flow and runaway chemical reactions

FATE

Facility modeling software mechanistically tracks transport of heat, gasses, vapors, and aerosols for safety analysis of multi-room facilities

Blog

Our highly experienced team keeps you up-to-date on the latest process safety developments.

Process Safety Newsletter

Stay informed with our quarterly Process Safety Newsletters sharing topical articles and practical advice.

Resources

With over 40 years of industry expertise, we have a wealth of process safety knowledge to share.

Recent Posts

Need an On-Site Process Safety Assessment or Professional?

Posted by The Fauske Team on 09.03.14

By Richard S. Kwasny, PhD ChemE and Martin P. Clouthier, MS, PEng, Fauske & Associates, LLC

Background                                          

Many organizations benefit from a variety of administrative and technical support to help lineFauske & Associates, LLC testing lab management and professionals deal with their day-to-day safety needs. If the available guidance has informational gaps, affected personnel/groups will tend to develop their own strategies and practices to deal with each situation in a way that works for them. However, there are times when the formal and informal safety information systems are inadequate to deal with technical, administrative, or compliance requirements because specialized knowledge is needed.

The decision to use a process safety consultant to fill information gaps is an important one that many managers, engineers, and chemists need to make at various stages in their career. The purpose of this article is to present guidelines to facilitate this decision making process. 

How Do You Know if You Need an On-Site Assessment/Survey? 

The need for a process safety consultant can stem from any of the following issues: 

  • Subject matter expert knowledge and experience is needed to observe operations and make independent recommendations in an unbiased manner for a specific engineering/technical issue.
  • Engineering expertise for a variety of technical issues that arise throughout a facility or process lifecycle (e.g., design, operation, management of change) is needed to ensure there is a basis of safety for hazards where there is a potential for unacceptable consequences. Examples of hazards where mitigation is often warranted are:
    • Combustible dust fires and explosions
    • Gas and vapor flammability
    • Electrostatic accumulation and incendiary discharge (ignition)
    • Transport and storage of dangerous goods
    • Process development/analytical laboratories
  • Management has become aware of a cluster of incidents or near-misses at one or more sites and needs an independent, authoritative opinion as to whether the causal analysis and preventative actions put into place are adequate to prevent reoccurrence. 
  • Technical support is needed to ensure process safety for highly energetic reactions or reactions with thermal runaway potential which could adversely affect personnel, damage capital equipment, and/or cause business interruption or environmental damage.
  • Expertise in facilitating or leading process hazard analyses (PHA) within a team environment, by adding specialized and expert knowledge to identify likely process deviations, recognize existing safeguards, and develop practical and cost-effective recommendations as needed to bridge safety gaps.
    • Compliance with the a variety of standards such as, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) or National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards, e.g., OSHA Process Safety Management Standard (PSM) 29 CFR 1910.119 Process Safety Management of Highly Hazardous Chemicals; NFPA Standard 654: Standard for the Prevention of Fire and Dust Explosions from the Manufacturing, Processing, and Handling of Combustible Particulate Solids, 2013 Edition.

Safety Assessments/Surveys                                                                                                                                

Safety reviews and assessments/surveys can fall into two broad categories:

  • Desktop reviews: Some projects do not need an on-site assessment because they have a limited scope but there is a need for an independent third party assessment. This type of assessment requires the client to supply adequate process safety information to allow for a proper assessment of the critical issues and to determine the basis of safety for each hazard. The scope and requirements for each project are summarized in a proposal to the client. After the assessment has been completed, a final report is issued, with recommendations, as appropriate.  
  • On-site assessments: The scope and timing of the project is determined by the client in discussions with a senior consulting engineer and/or a Risk Management Services group and formalized in a proposal for engineering services. Key documentation and the processes are reviewed on site. A typical agenda would include an opening meeting, facility/equipment walk-through to make observations, interviews as needed to verify records and documentations, and a closing meeting to review highlights. A complete and comprehensive report containing all site observations, measurement results (if taken), and recommendations with interpretations to provide for safer operation is ideal.

Process Safety Integration and Leadership

Seek leaders in process safety testing and consulting. Look for a one-stop source for all your process safety assessment requirements. Your choice should include an organization where process safety consulting engineers possess a wide variety of skills and experience in conducting safety assessments for all facets of industrial operations. Scope of involvement can vary from a single, specific issue at one facility to working on multiple issues at a variety of sites on a national or global basis.

A significant advantage in partnering with an engineering testing lab such as Fauske & Associates, LLC is that FAI is an ISO/IEC 17025 and ISO 9001 accredited organization, with a fully integrated consultancy that includes comprehensive laboratory services offering standardized and customized testing in the following areas:

  • Combustible dust
  • Flammability
  • Electrostatics
  • Chemical reaction calorimetry for heat balances and scale-up studies
  • Emergency vent reactivity testing (adiabatic calorimetry) for emergency vent design using DIERS calculations including API fire-sizing
  • UN-DOT transportation testing

This integrated approach allows for a seamless transition from research and development and material testing to practical solutions for our clients’ process safety needs.

For further information, please contact Ms. Amy Theis, P.E., Director of Risk Management Services, Fauske & Associates, LLC at +1 630-887-5211 or theis@fauske.com.

Process Safety Management (PSM) Overview

Topics: Combustible dust, risk management, process safety, severe accident, chemical reaction, emergency relief system design, chemical

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