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

One of These Things is Not Like the Other: Differentiating HAZARD and RISK in Safety?

Posted by Sara Peters on 08.07.18

By Sara Peters, Sr. Customer Communications & Brand Specialist, Fauske & Associates, LLC

Fauske Chemical WheelAs a writer, a thesaurus is one of my most frequently utilized tools. So when I set out to write this blog it occurred to me how strange it feels to go against my norm. You see, if you look up the word ‘hazard’ in the thesaurus, one of the synonyms listed for it is “risk”. So I might use risk and hazard interchangeably in a narrative to avoid being completely repetitive. However, in the language of chemical engineering, the industry in which I work, these two words are not equal or interchangeable at all.

According to the American Chemical Council, the difference in meaning between the two words is described as follows:  Risk is “the possibility of a harmful event arising from exposure to a chemical or physical agent, for example, under specific conditions.” And, Hazard is “the inherent properties of a substance that make it capable of causing harm to human health or the environment.” So to break it down,  the hazard is associated with the material, but the risk is associated with the manner/environment  in which it is used.

As an example, in any one of our labs at Fauske & Associates, LLC, one can find materials that are considered hazards. Meaning that due to their composition, those materials can have a damaging effect on anyone or anything they come into contact with. The risk factor of those materials refers to the likelihood of that dangerous material actually causing harm based on how it is handled.  Risk in these instances can be impacted by variables such as condition or frequency of exposure. The hazards posed by the materials are part of our business.  So, to mitigate their risk in our labs we follow rigorous chemical safety protocols to ensure safe operating conditions including considerations of instrumentation, temperature, pressure, engineered safety controls, proper personal protective equipment (PPE), good housekeeping, storage, etc. 

To simplify the idea further, think of a car.  A car is a useful form of transportation which is a good thing, but it can be considered a hazard due to how its many components and systems function.  Sitting in a garage or parking space and not running, there is minimal likelihood that it will inflict any harm on a person or the environment, but when it is being driven down the road, or on the highway, it can have potentially negative impact on both, thereby creating risk.

Now you might be wondering why this is important.  Mostly, because it is helpful in demonstrating how meanings of words can be interpreted differently according to the context in which they are used.  And, the main takeaway here is that in the scientific context of chemical process safety; risk and hazard are different and safety measures that are applied should be based on one (the risk) and not the other (the hazard).

It is important to evaluate and identify the hazards that are part of a process.  This can be accomplished through various means including combustible dust and vapor/gas flammability testing to characterize material hazards, calorimetry testing to characterize desired and undesired reactions and emergency relief design calculations.  Risk can be gauged using tools such as safety walk downs, quantitative risk assessments, process hazard analyses (PHA),  combustible dust hazard assessments (DHA), desktop reviews etc. where one can study the probability of an accident occurring along with how catastrophic the accident would be.   

The information gleaned from understanding the hazards and likelihood of occurrence in a facility are critical to developing an effective safety plan based on “real world” risks to prevent accidents from occurring.  If you have questions regarding hazard or risk mitigation, our experts are here to help.  Contact us at info@fauske.com, 630-323-8750 to learn more.

 Combustible Dust Case Study

Topics: testing

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