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Hazard Identification is sometimes defined as: “The process of identifying and listing the hazards and accidents associated with a system.”
Hazard Analysis is sometimes defined as: “The process of describing in detail the hazards and accidents associated with a system and defining accident sequences.”
Preliminary Hazard Identification and Analysis (PHIA) helps you determine the scope of safety activities and requirements. You can identify the main hazards likely to arise from the capability and functionality being provided. Perform it as early as possible in the project life cycle. Thus, you will provide important early input to setting Safety requirements and refining the Project Safety Plan.
PHIA seeks to answer, at an early stage of the project, the question: “What Hazards and Accidents might affect this system and how could they happen?”
The aim of the PHIA is to identify, as early as possible, the main Hazards and Accidents that may arise during the life of the system. It provides input to:
- Scoping the subsequent Safety activities required in any Safety Plan. A successful PHIA will help to gauge the proportionate effort that is likely to be required to produce an effective Safety Case, proportionate to risks.
- Selecting or eliminating options for subsequent assessment.
- Setting the initial Safety requirements and criteria.
- Subsequent Hazard Analyses.
- Initiate Hazard Log.
Perform a PHIA as early as possible in order to obtain maximum benefit. Use it to understand what the Hazards and Accidents are, why, and how they might be realized. A PHIA is an important part of Risk Management, project planning, and requirements definition. It helps you to identify the main system hazards and helps target where a more thorough analysis should be undertaken.
Usually, PHIA is based on a structured brainstorming exercise, supported by hazard checklists. A structured approach helps to minimize the possibility of missing an important hazard. It also demonstrates that a thorough and comprehensive approach has been applied.
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