What is a Mechanical Integrity Assessment?
The experts at Asset Optimization Consultants ensure that your company meets the highest standards of development, implementation, and maintenance of Mechanical Integrity, including readiness for the National Emphasis Program (NEP) as well as compliance with OSHA requirements.
Our consultants have designed and implemented hundreds of sustainable Mechanical Integrity Programs, which include an MI Assessment. A Mechanical Integrity Assessment is an interdependent assessment of your:
- People - AOC closely aligns its approach to delivering performance improvement to the Human Performance Improvement (HPI) model from the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD). HPI is a results-based, systematic process that identifies performance problems, analyzes root causes, selects and designs actions, manages interventions in the workplace, measures results, and continually improve performance within an organization.
- Process - This includes the work process and the procedures as well as Key Performance Indicators (KPI's) to measure the effectiveness of the MI work process.
- Technology - These are the tools/software used to facilitate the work process.
As a result of a Mechanical Integrity Assessment, you are directed on a path forward that:
- Elevates your existing MI program
- Minimizes the risks of production loss and release of hazardous chemicals
- Closes gaps in regulatory compliance
- Achieves best practices
How is a Mechanical Integrity Assessment performed?
Our consultants begin with a visit to your plant to build rapport with your staff as well as become familiar with your existing work processes and procedures, level of personnel qualifications and responsibilities, and technologies for tracking and reporting current work processes. Following our initial visit, we provide assessments in these 11 sessions:
Administration and Management
A good Mechanical Integrity System can only be implemented and improved with strong leadership that is supported from the top of the organization. This session addresses the commitment of the site to Mechanical Integrity. Key points include the development and documentation of a mechanical integrity manual and work processes, assignment of responsibilities, employee involvement, compliance audits, and the interaction between other PSM elements.
Documents and Information
Procedures and the control of data play important roles in the implementation of an MI system. The MI system should be based upon a well-prepared set of controlled procedures that describe the objectives to be completed, the manner in which they should be completed, and assignment of responsibilities. In addition, the collection of data should be managed in a manner that makes your data useful and available.
The training session addresses the current training that is performed at the site. Training is a required element to assure that all employees who work in a process that contains hazardous chemicals receive training in process overview, safety, and job tasks. The training program must include a training effectiveness evaluation and an opportunity for retraining when necessary.
Planning and Scheduling
This session addresses the plan, schedule, and tracking of activities related to Mechanical Integrity. Inspections, tests, and preventative maintenance activities must be performed on a scheduled basis, and the correction of deficiencies must be tracked. A deficiency in these areas is defined as a nonconformance that must be corrected now or later. OSHA 1910.119(j) requires the documentation and tracking of deficiencies until they are corrected.
The Quality Assurance element is necessary to assure that new projects, new construction, maintenance materials, and spare parts are suitable for their intended use. This session evaluates the effectiveness of the QA/QC functions.
Relief/Vent Systems and Components
This session evaluates the effectiveness of the current system for inspecting and testing pressure-relieving devices, which are part of the pressure-containing envelope. They provide primary protection in the prevention of catastrophic releases of hazardous materials by providing a means for the controlled release of excessive process pressure.
Piping Systems and Components
This session ensures compliance with the standards and requirements issued by the American Petroleum Institute. In the past, few industrial sites had an effective program in place for inspecting and testing piping systems. However, the OSHA regulation has defined piping as part of the process system which must be tested and inspected to assure mechanical integrity.
Pressure Vessels and Storage Tanks
Pressure vessels and storage tanks are specifically addressed in the PSM regulation as part of the pressure-containing envelope. This session ensures compliance with these regulations.
Emergency Shutdown and Control Systems
Process controls provide operating information in order to monitor the conditions within the process that contain process changes in equipment and controls. This session addresses emergency shutdown systems, which provide a way to prevent the development of release conditions and to minimize the effects of a release.
This session ensures regulatory compliance of rotating equipment in "covered" processes are included in the Mechanical Integrity system since they provide primary protection in the prevention of the catastrophic release of highly hazardous materials. The OSHA regulation specifically identifies pumps as covered process equipment, but further clarification from OSHA has confirmed that other rotating machinery such as compressors and turbines are expected to be included in the program as well.
OSHA expects electrical systems to be included in a mechanical integrity program because they supply energy to electrical rotating equipment and the critical control systems. With regard to electrical classification, electrical systems are part of the required process safety information. To properly perform this classification, records must be maintained of the inspections and work performed on the electrical systems in the various covered processes. Strengths of the electrical systems test and inspection program will be evaluated as per NFPA 70B and NFPA 110 for inspecting and maintaining emergency power generators.