Pre-Startup Safety Review (PSSR)

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Good maintenance practices can have a major impact on the overall cost and performance of any facility. One such practice is the pre-startup safety review (PSSR), which involves comprehensive safety checks to ensure that all necessary equipment is in good working order before startup or restarting following routine maintenance, upgrade projects, repairs, and other changes. This review process plays an integral role in reducing downtime due to potential safety hazards and expensive failures. Read on to learn more about what makes PSSR vital for businesses operating industrial machinery.

Why is the Pre-Startup Safety Review Important?

A pre-startup safety review is the last stage before launching an updated or new process online and is not only required by OSHA (the Occupational Safety and Health Administration) but is also a key component of any process safety management (PSM) program. Despite this, there is frequently a temptation to accelerate this process or ignore crucial PSSR components because of time or financial restraints. Furthermore, for facilities with a lot of assets, this is a persistent problem. The purpose of PSSR is to prevent workplace accidents, equipment damage, and employee injuries. Yet, a poorly executed PSSR can result in serious catastrophes or even fatalities. It’s crucial to take this procedure seriously and get it right.

Benefits of PSSR

Ultimately, if you implement PSSR well, it can aid in making sure that newly upgraded procedures and resources:

  • Meet the design specifications for their proper design and installation
  • Possess sufficient and comprehensive safety, maintenance, operations, and emergency procedures
  • Ensure you have complete and all necessary information
  • Meet the process plant’s or facility’s original design and operating intent
  • Have completed the appropriate safety reviews

Additionally, PSSR can assist in making sure that the appropriate policies and procedures paperwork is in place and that your team completes all necessary training.

Common Pre-Startup Safety Review Challenges

With a process that relies on people to implement, having buy-in at all levels is crucial. So, the following challenges frequently manifest when time is limited and work stress is high:

  • Not performing a PSSR after a process change or a prolonged equipment breakdown.
  • Your team lacks the size, training, or resources required to successfully finish the PSSR.
  • Skipping or missing portions of the PSSR.
  • Overlooking important safety features in the review.
  • Missing the necessary approval steps for the PSSR before starting or restarting the process.

The Steps of a Successful PSSR

Getting PSSR right requires juggling a lot of moving pieces. Moreover, keeping things organized and clear can be challenging. Effective change management and document management are necessary for the proper execution of PSSR.

1. Make Sure You Have a Change Management Process

This entails making sure the right individuals are on board and that they are changing their behavior to accept the new procedure you are trying to introduce. A change won’t be successful if your staff doesn’t accept it, use it, and benefit from it.

2. Include Team Members in the Review and Approval Process

You should put together a multidisciplinary, all-inclusive team to assist with the PSSR and any related activities. This should involve staff from a wide range of departments including design and construction, engineering, safety, maintenance, instrumentation and controls, operations, and supervisors.

3. Include PSSR in Your Ongoing Maintenance and Operations Process

PSSR is a type of preventive action, but it is also a component of continuous improvement. There will always be change, and it needs to be regularly evaluated to assure safety and effectiveness.

4. Include All Relevant Departments

Engineering and maintenance are the most obvious departments to include in PSSR duties. However, in today’s context of increased monitoring and regulations, maintenance and operations cannot be efficiently run without including safety and compliance groups.

Making Workplace Safety a Priority

Pre-startup safety reviews are essential to the smooth and successful operation of any organization or business. These comprehensive reviews evaluate a facility’s equipment and operations before they become operational, ensuring that the highest safety standards are met. For maintenance managers, business owners, and maintenance and lubrication technicians alike should not take this review lightly; it is key for protecting personnel and property from potential harm due to hazardous conditions.

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