Safety Planning

Safety planning should be an integral part of the design, construction, operation and maintenance of a system. Safety approvals should not be after thoughts or final hurdles to be overcome before a system can become operational. Initial safety approvals are just that, initial. Safety can only be assured if participants are vigilant in the maintenance of safety.

Safe practices in the production, storage, distribution, and use of hydrogen are essential to protect people from injury or death. These practices are also necessary to prevent damage to equipment and facilities. A significant accident in any hydrogen project, especially if it results in injury, could negatively impact the public's perception of hydrogen systems as viable, safe, and clean alternatives to conventional energy systems, and could reduce the ability of hydrogen technologies to obtain insurance, a necessary step in commercialization of any technology.

The goals of Safety Planning are to identify hazards, evaluate risks by considering the likelihood and severity/consequence of an incident associated with the hazards, and to minimize the risks associated with a system. To achieve these goals, various hazard analysis and risk assessment techniques are used, as discussed in the Hazard Analysis and Risk Assessment section, in conjunction with periodic safety reviews. The analysis, risk assessment, and reviews should be carried out by a safety planning team which includes members with sufficient knowledge and experience to assure rigor.

The core members of the safety planning team should include:

Safety Professional For larger companies, this could be a member of the environmental, health and safety organization
Project Leader(s) For a small project, this might be just the principle investigator or the project manager. For larger projects, discipline leaders would be included.
Operations Manager The person responsible for day-to-day operation of the facility
Maintenance Lead The person responsible for day-to-day maintenance of the facility
Workers Ideally, operations and maintenance personnel who have hands on experience with similar facilities. A description of specific involvement follows.
Subject Matter Experts This specific need depends on the nature of the project and the knowledge of the other participants. A description of specific involvement follows.















Safety Planning for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Projects instructs teams on the essential safety planning principles, safety plan content, and supporting plan documentation for effective safety plans. Applicable risk assessment methods, safety checklists, and selected examples are provided in the Appendixes.

Safety Planning for Low Volume Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Projects provides the same type of guidance, but is intended for systems that present the lowest level of risk.