The title of this Safety Moment is derived from a scene in Shakespeare’s Hamlet in which the hero disparages the meaning of what is written in the book in his hand.
In this Safety Moment we discuss the topic of “safe limits” as used in process hazards analyses.
During hazard analyses one sometimes hears statements on the following lines.
One of the philosophies behind Process Safety Management (PSM) is that each chemical process is unique. Therefore it is not possible to have a prescriptive standard that tells operating companies what to do. Instead, companies have to identify the unique hazards associated with their facility, and then implement corrective actions based on a risk-ranking methodology. For this reason, facilities covered by PSM standards have to conduct a series of Process Hazards Analyses (PHAs), often using the Hazard and Operability (HAZOP) methodology.