White Papers

PDF icon“MOC Impact Workflow to Ensure that Relief Systems PSI is Updated with Changes.”

Authors: Dustin Smith, P.E. & Achilles Arnaez, P.E.
Date: 2013

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“The Process Safety Management (PSM) Standard requires that covered facilities manage change through a Management of Change (MOC) program. A robust MOC program effectively identifies and analyzes changes. Observation has shown that many MOC processes have deficiencies in training[1], whereas the Authors have observed that other facilities with effective MOC processes employ checklists and workflows to help MOC facilitators identify when engineering expertise is needed (e.g. Preventative Maintenance updates or changes in engineering documents / Process Safety Information (PSI)). It is important to note that PSI encompasses an array of information, which in addition to process safety, is also utilized to make decisions associated with...”

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PDF icon“OSHA Published Requirements for Relief Systems Documentation”

Authors: Dustin Smith, P.E. & Thuc Ngo
Date: 2016

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“Relief systems are an important element in the Occupational Safety and Health Association (OSHA) Regulated Process Safety Management (PSM) standard. Yet, industry audits continually report deficiencies in relief system documentation that are manifested from inaccuracies and incompleteness. There is no disagreement concerning how essential these relief systems are to preserving the health of personnel and the integrity of equipment, but misunderstandings, negligence, and...”

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PDF icon“Consequence Analysis of Atmospheric Discharge from Pressure Relief Devices Qualitative and Quantitative Safety Screening”

Authors: Dustin Smith, P.E. & John Burgess, P.E.
Date: 2013

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“The design of relief/venting systems is imperative in facilities because existing installations or other design requirements frequently result in the potential for atmospheric releases. To ensure atmospheric discharges are to a safe location as required by good engineering practice [e.g. ASME Section VIII UG-135 (f)], facilities should consider the qualitative requirements, decision making processes, and quantitative methods summarized in this paper. This paper can be used as the basis for analyzing new and existing facilities. The first section of this paper details qualitative considerations to ensure that the discharge location is safe. The following sections provide quantitative and semi-quantitative means to verify that the concentration of flammables and toxic material is within specified limits. The final portion of this paper contains information typically required to perform dispersion modeling. The purpose of this paper is to simplify existing methods, such that typical plant engineers with everyday tools can screen most atmospheric releases.”

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PDF icon“Validating a Relief Device Stability Model”

Authors: Dustin Smith, P.E.
Date: 2012

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“In November 2011, Hydrocarbon Processing published a paper that documented a method to determine if relief devices were susceptible to chatter. Other methods are being developed to determine the chances of chatter for a specific installation; however, the model discussed in the published paper is the only screening method that places the relief devices into two categories: (1) those installations that may chatter and (2) those installations that need no further review. The goal of any experimental comparison is that it will error on the side of predicting chatter, but will be reliable enough to screen valves. Since the publication of that article, the Oil & Gas industry has continued to struggle with the issue of…”

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PDF icon“Things Plant Engineers Should Know about Reviewing Relief Valve & Flare Action Items”

Authors: Dustin Smith, P.E. & John Burgess, P.E.
Date: 2011

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“This paper serves as a resource for Plant Engineers who are in the process of understanding and reviewing relief and flare system action items and the task of complying with regulatory compliance. Throughout the process of implementing and maintaining a PSM Program, action items are created. The methodology instructs the Plant Engineer on the basics of how to review these action items, what kind of action items to expect, how to quickly verify if the action items are correct and if corrective action is warranted.”

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PDF icon“Cautions When Using Full-Bore Relief Devices”

Authors: Dustin Smith, P.E. & John Burgess, P.E.
Date: 2013

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“Although full-bore relief devices are not “common”, the most common place that full-bore devices have been seen is in natural gas pipelines, where they are sized for full flow in the event of a blocked outlet. They have been found installed on multi-stage gas compressor systems, as well as on low pressure/ large relief load systems such as the FCC Fractionator. Full-bore devices are not typically installed as part of the initial design, but are considered after the equipment and nozzles are already specified or built, and aren’t large enough for a standard PSV to have adequate capacity.”

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PDF icon“Assuring Safe Operation in Fulfilling Action Item Requirements”

Authors: Dustin Smith, P.E. & John Burgess, P.E.
Date: 2013

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“The purpose of this paper is to clarify the requirements of a tracking system for the resolution of action items as laid out in the PSM standard. The intent is to assist employers at facilities covered by the OSHA Process Safety Management (PSM) standard, 29CFR1910.119, in ensuring their systems comply with both the requirements and spirit of the regulation. PSM related action items require tracking and documentation in a system that ensures the timely resolution of these items.”

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PDF icon“Minimal Requirements for Relief Systems Documentation”

Authors: Dustin Smith, P.E. & John Burgess, P.E.
Date: 2013

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“This short summary lists the requirements for relief system related PSI and how other PSM elements tie into relief systems documentation. This short paper is meant to provide insight into how Smith & Burgess LLC approach relief systems documentation work. We satisfy the listed regulatory requirements; while leaving a system, which can be maintained by a knowledgeable process engineer.”

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PDF icon“For Overpressure Protection in SRU’s Lots of Things are Changing…”

Authors: Dustin Smith, P.E. & John Burgess, P.E.
Date: 2013

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“For overpressure protection in SRU’s lots of things are changing. Old school overpressure protection was provided by the exclusion block valves and an open path to the atmosphere via an incinerator or blowing through the liquid seals into the sulfur pit. A typical Claus Plant with a Scot Tail Gas treater is shown in the diagram...”

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