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3.2.8 Decide on Need for Action
Regardless of the PrHA methodology, the team evaluates each accident scenario to determine
whether design and/or operating changes are needed to further protect onsite workers. These
judgments are usually based on risk rather than on either likelihood of occurrence or severity of
consequences. For example, an event such as a seal water leak may be quite likely, but if the
consequences are negligible, no safety-improvement recommendations are warranted.
Similarly, if the consequences of a given accident are severe but the likelihood of occurrence is
remote, then no safety-improvement recommendations may be warranted.
Qualitative evaluation often places the risk associated with each accident scenario into one of
three categories: (a) the risk is too high, or a code violation is uncovered, such that design
and/or operating changes are clearly warranted; (b) the risk is trivial or negligible, such that
changes are clearly not warranted; or (c) the risk is borderline, and the decision is not clear-cut.
In the last case, closer examination is needed to better define the accident scenario itself, its
likelihood of occurrence, or the severity of its consequences. This closer examination can take
the form of field inspections, examination of historical records, operator interviews, material
testing, consequence modeling, and/or the use of more rigorous analysis methods, such as
quantitative FTA
Presentation of Results
The critical results of a PrHA are a list of action items. Action items are written by the PrHA
team any time additional effort is warranted to further analyze a specific accident scenario,
eliminate the hazard, or reduce risks. Action items are not usually specific corrective actions.
Rather, they alert management to potential problems that require action. Sometimes, action
items suggest alternatives or recommend safety improvements. However, if a problem is
simple, if a PrHA team is quite experienced, or if there is only one solution, an action item may
recommend a specific corrective action.
All action items are presented to management for review and evaluation, and for determination
of what, if any, corrective actions should be taken to eliminate hazards or reduce risks. Because
many action items may be generated during a PrHA, the team may choose to rank the items
according to the probability of occurrence and/or the severity of the consequences of their
corresponding accident scenarios.
If the PrHA team is quite experienced, they may rank the action items according to the
anticipated time and resources needed to implement changes. Or the team may make safety
improvement and implementation recommendations. Ranking of action items or safety
improvement recommendations may be valuable to management in several ways. It shows the
significance that the PrHA team places on each item. It also allows management to prioritize
the immediate efforts of corrective action and resolution. If resources are scarce, the ranking
may affect the implementation schedule.

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