Spearheading workplace safety with our innovative SHIRAM methodology

Spearheading workplace safety with our innovative SHIRAM methodology

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December 13th, 2019

Stahl’s Global SHE & Process Safety Manager, Alexis Pey, presented the Stahl Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment Methodology (SHIRAM) at the Inspire 2019 user conference in Barcelona. SHIRAM is the innovative methodology that is being used in all Stahl sites worldwide to identify and assess process hazards.

Methodology developed by Stahl

The SHIRAM methodology has been developed in-house to provide an appropriate answer to growing demands from authorities. It is also the result of a holistic assessment of the methodologies considered as best practices for risk assessment in the process industries: HAZOP, ZHA, LOPA and SIS-SIL. This holistic assessment was possible due to the broad experience that Alexis Pey gathered in his former role in process safety consulting for 18 years.

Stricter legislation for workplace safety

Authorities worldwide, but especially those dealing with Major Accident Hazards in Europe, require clear and transparent explanation from the industry what hazards have been identified and which measures are taken to reduce the risks to an acceptable level. This means, for instance, that a safety measure is assigned to always ensure the same level of risk reduction, meaning subjective or biased assessments are minimized as much as possible.

Shifting perspectives on risk assessment

The introduction and use of safety-instrumented systems (SIS) has changed the game in terms of the reliability expected from a system. Alexis recalls that when he started in process safety consulting, a hazardous deviation that required two independent failures in a system to take place was considered remote enough to not be taken in account. In the same sense, in many risk assessments, the most remote frequency was “once in the life of the facility” which was usually considered to be a span 50 years. Nowadays authorities are broadly requiring a risk boundary for the population around a chemical site of once in one million years. This means that if a single person would be permanently located next to a chemical site, he would only be fatally injured one time in a million years.

SHIRAM explained

Without going into too much detail, a very interesting characteristic of SHIRAM is that the methodology integrates, in a clear and effective way, the characteristics of a risk identification methodology for discontinuous processes. This is combined with a clear definition of the safety layers involved in each scenario and the risk reduction factors, which are typically considered when it comes to defining the integrity required in a SIS.

By integrating these three concepts, SHIRAM is highly effective and leads the team straight to the point in terms of defining the safety strategy of each scenario and setting, when necessary, an action plan, as well as supporting its prioritization in a clear way. Finally, the driving principle for the SHIRAM methodology is aimed to ease the participation of relevant people in the session even without former experience. In addition, the methodology is structured in a way in which, in case of a process deviation, the scenario can be easily identified so that the potential outcome and safety measures to take can be quickly checked by personnel in charge of the processes.

Learn more about workplace safety at Stahl and our Safety, Health & Environment (SHE) policy.

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Spearheading workplace safety with our innovative SHIRAM methodology
Alexis Pey
Global SHE & Process Safety Manager