Miscellaneous Operation & Maintenance Process Design Safety / Loss Prevention

Pre-Startup Safety Review (PSSR)

What is the Pre Startup Safety Review or PSSR?

The PSSR is a safety review conducted prior to startup (commissioning) of a new or modified processing/manufacturing plant or facility to ensure that installations meet the original design or operating intent, to catch and re-assess any potential hazard due to changes during the detailed engineering and construction phase of a project. In other words, it ensures the “Ready for Start-up” status of process facility/units.

A Pre Startup Safety Review covers not only equipment, but also procedures and training.

Pre Startup Safety Review procedure/guideline is normally prepared as part of Pre-commissioning/ commissioning documentation.

What is purpose of the Pre Startup Safety Review?

  • To ensure that installation meets the original design and operating intent of process plant/facility
  • To ensure safety, operating, maintenance and emergency procedures are in place and adequate
  • To ensure appropriate safety reviews during engineering phase (HAZOP study, model review etc.) have been carried out and all action items have been completed
  • To ensure any site modifications during construction phase have been properly controlled and noted
  • To ensure training of each employee involved in the operating process is completed
  • In addition, the pre startup safety review plays an important role in large projects as it may give plant operators the authority to refuse or accept responsibility for a plant or equipment that they judge to be unsafe through the PSSR.

The main activities in a PSSR of a project

Following activities are carried out in a PSSR with coordination between Contractor and Owner of the plant / facilities:

  • Coordinate PSSR participation from knowledgeable Contractor and Owner personnel
  • Conduct Technical and HSE reviews of documentation and on site
  • Verify all construction and equipment is in accordance with safety, environmental and health regulation and standards.
  • Complete all corrective action items raised in the PSSR
  • Complete Post- Start-up corrective action items
  • Representative of the Project Owner sign the PSSR checklists  for approval of commissioning/start-up of the plant
  • Documentation of PSSR

Pre Startup Safety Review (PSSR) Practices

PSSR is conducted by a team, lead by a Leader. The leader is normally a representative of operation group because they are the ultimate customer of the facility. A PSSR normally consists of 3 steps:

1. Follow-up HAZOP Review: includes the following activities:

  • Investigation on the follow-up action items provided by project on recommendations from previous HAZOP study
  • Systematic review of all changes to the design since the previous HAZOP study

The support documents for follow-up HAZOP review should be:

  • Engineering Flow Schemes or PFDs
  • Utility Flow Schemes or UFDs
  • Lists of site modifications since the original HAZOP study
  • Process Safeguarding memorandum
  • Operating and control philosophy, Cause and effect diagram
  • Other support documentation

2. Documentation Review:
The documentation review is to check the availability and status of operating manuals, start-up/shutdown and emergency procedures. Following documents should be checked for availability and status:

3. Technical HSE Site Review: could be carried out when the construction is nearing mechanical completion (about 90-95 % completion) and the site is reasonably accessible. The site review will concentrate on such issues as:

  • Equipment operability and maintainability
  • Outstanding punch list items from mechanical completion associated with PSSR
  • Access and exit routes for operators and maintenance personnel
  • Small-bore connections
  • Location of emergency and safety equipment, warning signs
  • Safe location of vent lines
  • Locking systems

The PSSR checklists shall be completed by each discipline. A sample of operation checklist is given in following table:

Table 1 - Sample Operation Checklist


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