Risk Based Inspection

A Risk Based Inspection (RBI) is basically a risk analysis of operational procedures. It assesses the safety risks and plant integrity that exists and further prepares it for possible inspections. The end result is a document that outlines, measures and defines organizational procedures based on standards, codes and best practices.

Generally, RBI’s are used when a company wants to change the required frequency of inspection for pressure-rate vessels. This is applicable to the mechanical integrity element of a Process Safety Management (PSM) plan.

Equipment used to process, store, or handle highly hazardous chemicals has to be designed, constructed, installed, and maintained to minimize the risk of releases of such chemicals. This requires that a mechanical integrity program be in place to ensure the continued integrity of process equipment.

Elements of a mechanical integrity program include identifying and categorizing equipment and instrumentation, inspections and tests and their frequency; maintenance procedures; training of maintenance personnel; criteria for acceptable test results; documentation of test and inspection results; and documentation of manufacturer recommendations for equipment and instrumentation.

Where there might be a bit of overlap/similarity in RBI and PSM is in the area of mechanical integrity with regard to structural engineering. Structural engineering is an important field of engineering that deals with the integrity of objects such as plant components or structures and serves the industry by performing analytical assessments, experiments, walkdowns or numerical modeling. Some companies specialize in supporting industrial process facilities and power plants.

In plants, the structural challenges are often related to pressure, temperature and dynamic forces. An example is the seismic adequacy of piping or components under power operation. Engineers perform seismic walk downs on a regular basis to screen for the seismic adequacy of systems. Several specialty engineers and contractors have undergone professional seismic training which also allows them to assess safety-related electrical components such as instrumentation and control components, etc.

Proper application of structural engineering expertise can help mitigate issues by ensuring that the plant and components are properly engineered. This will avoid machinery breakdown and costly plant outages. The goal is to support customers to achieve a safer and more efficient work environment along with enhanced plant durability.

Thus, for several aspects of RBI and PSM, an engineering firm with testing labs are ideal in providing a one-stop-resource for structural engineering issues including analyzing a problem, engineering a solution, verification, as well as oversight of fabrication and installation, as required.

Benefits to having Risk Management Services are:

  • Understand and address hazards that pose the highest level of risk to your process facility
  • Ensure compliance with relevant national, local and industry standards
  • Implement best engineering practices
  • Reduce overall level of risk
  • Increase productivity and employee morale
  • Make organization more competitive
  • Decrease insurance premiums
  • Combustible Dust Hazard Analysis (DHA) Explosion and Fire Hazard Evaluation

An onsite assessment provides an experienced engineer to visit a facility, evaluate its compliance with relevant national, local and industry standards and provide recommendations for risk reduction. Additional services can include deflagration vent sizing calculations, desktop reviews, equipment selection guidance, and training of personnel on combustible dust hazards as well as development of process safety programs to address these issues.

Risk-based inspection is a means of using inspection resources more cost-effectively and with confidence. The method ensures that you are complying with current safety regulations and also enables you to make inspection decisions informed by greater information and expertise, thereby saving time and money.

Plant operators face an increasingly complex challenge when managing the integrity of assets: to achieve operational excellence and maximum asset performance while minimizing costs and maintaining the highest safety and environmental standards.

Risk-based inspection principles offer an established methodology for efficient plant maintenance and, with Panorama’s expertise,we can work with you to develop cost-effective management solutions.

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