PREPARING FOR THE ANALYSIS.
For a what-if/checklist analysis, the PrHA team leader
assembles a qualified team and, if the process is large, divides it into functions, physical areas,
or tasks to provide some order to the review. The important aspects of preparing for a what-if
analysis, which also apply to the what-if/checklist analysis, are discussed in Section 4.2 and are
not repeated here.
For the checklist portion of the analysis, the PrHA team leader obtains or develops an
appropriate checklist for the team to use. This list need not be as detailed as those used for a
standard checklist analysis. Rather than focusing on a specific list of design or operating
features, the checklist used here should focus on general hazardous characteristics of the
DEVELOPING WHAT-IF QUESTIONS.
Section 4.2 describes the approach the PrHA team uses to
develop questions about potential accident scenarios.
USING A CHECKLIST TO COVER THE GAPS.
After the team members have identified all of the
questions in a particular area or step of the process, they apply the previously-obtained or
prepared checklist. The team considers each checklist item to determine whether any other
potential accident scenarios exist. If so, these scenarios are added to the what-if list and
evaluated in the same way. The checklist is reviewed for each area or step in the process.
EVALUATING THE QUESTIONS.
After developing questions involving potential accident
scenarios, the PrHA team considers each one; qualitatively determines the possible effects of the
potential accident; and lists existing safety levels to prevent, mitigate, or contain the effects of
the accident. The team then evaluates the significance of each accident and determines whether
a safety improvement should be recommended. This process is repeated for each area or step of
the process or activity. The evaluation may be performed by specific team members outside the
team meeting but must be subsequently reviewed by the team.
DOCUMENTING THE RESULTS.
The results of a what-if/checklist analysis are documented like
the results for a what-if analysis (see Section 4.2). The what-if/checklist analysis method
usually generates a table of potential accident scenarios, consequences, safety levels, and action
items. The results may also include a completed checklist or a narrative. The PrHA team may
also document the completion of the checklist to help illustrate the completeness of the analysis.
For compliance with the PSM Rule, detailed explanations of the analysis action items and
recommendations should be provided to management for review, and transmitted to those
responsible for their resolution.
4.3.3 Limitations of the What-If/Checklist Analysis
Combining the what-if and checklist analysis methods emphasizes their main positive features
(i.e., the creativity of what-if analysis and the experience-based thoroughness of a checklist
analysis) while at the same time compensating for their shortcomings when used separately. For
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