IEC 61511 is the standard that set the requirements for Safety Instrumented Systems (SIF). As part of this standard, a SIF is required to act within adequate response time to bring the process or a system to a safe state. This is called response time of a SIF and the time available to act before anything dangerous happens is called process safety time (PST). (See part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4  part 5, part 6, and part 8 for more information).

PST calculation and definition is a mandatory requirement for all the instrumented functions to which IEC 61511 is applicable.

In the previous parts (See part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6), I tried to define PST and calculation methodology, how to assess and explain the results and a sample calculation.

PST Calculation Terms of Reference (TOR)

This part suggests contents of a typical PST calculation terms of reference (TOR) to help setup the way forward for a process safety calculation.

In a typical TOR, one shall define roles and responsibilities of the PST calculation team member, what is expected as final result, calculation method, how to capture recommendation and possible follow up actions or extra steps/calculation still to do.

The PST calculation terms of reference is important as it defines and makes it clear how an specific PST is calculated, hence minimizing the need for extra meetings and discussions after the work is finished.

Try to cover following subjects as minimum:

  • What the scope of work is.
  • Roles and responsibilities.
  • How and where to gather data.
  • PST Calculation method for different SIFs.
  • Criteria for PST and SIF response time (SIFRT) comparison.
  • How the calculation will be checked and assessed.
  • Reporting of result, if a separate report is required.
  • How to capture recommendations and actions list.
  • Declines and calculation schedule.

Scope of work
It is very important to identify and agree which SIFs need PST calculation? Could you use PST of similar SIFs in other client’s asset? Which calculation you might delegate to the vendor.

Roles and responsibilities
Clearly identify who does what and the deadlines. In this way, you make sure that your target date could also met.
Important point is to make sure that your report or calculation is checked internally inside your organization or by others, before you discuss it with your client.

Approval of PST calculation TOR
Before starting your calculation and after PST TOR is drafted, it is wise to have a meeting with your client and agree on the PST calculation TOR. Then everything is set for starting the real work and calculation!
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