How do I initiate a Project Safety Analysis (PSA)?

This Guide to Project Safety Analysis is provided as a convenient tool to initiate the PSA process. Instruction handout.

For each project with significant hazard potential conducted by Engineering employees in Engineering facilities, the Faculty or Principle Investigator(s) must initiate a Project Safety Analysis (PSA) on each new project, before the project begins. The Engineering Program began requiring PSA in Feb-1996. In Spring 2001, TAMU began requiring safety analysis and planning for activities and projects of recognized student organizations, academic class projects, and other activities of concern.

What is Project Safety Analysis?

PSA is a procedure to increase the knowledge of hazards in a project, operation, or activity by identifying the potential for loss and risk, early in the project planning process.

Incorporating PSA into the planning stage of a project will aid in identifying and preventing EH&S situations, during and following the project. For example: identifying the equipment, chemicals, materials and procedures to be used, allows us to foresee potential hazards, select appropriate protective equipment and controls, identify personnel training needs, and plan for ultimate disposal of left-over equipment, materials and wastes.

Purpose of PSA:

To provide faculty and researchers with the opportunity to review the environmental health and safety aspects of the research project to be undertaken, to identify potential risks and hazards, to implement safe standard operating procedures (SOP's) and to implement necessary protective controls. This will help protect the researchers, graduate students, and staff involved with the project, as well as conserve environmental resources and facilities.


All Faculty and Principal Investigators (PI's) shall file a written report on the environmental health & safety aspects of each research project prior to the initiation of that exercise. The Project Safety Analysis (PSA) shall identify potential hazards and risks by the use of system safety analysis techniques, and shall detail the engineering and administrative controls that will be necessary to protect the researchers, graduate students, and staff as well as the occupants of the building, and the environment. The PSA will identify the costs, and the source of adequate funding, to implement necessary controls and abate hazards. It will identify necessary personnel training needs. The PSA will identify a plan for ultimate disposition of leftover instrumentation, equipment, materials and wastes; and for mitigation, decontamination and cleanup. The completed and approved PSA will serve as the "Operational Procedure (SOP) and "Safety Manual" for the referenced project.

Extent of Applicability:

Recognizing that no activity is without some degree of risk, and that certain routine risks are accepted without question by the vast majority of persons (for example: machine shops that do not handle hazardous materials, cars used for personal transportation, etc.) the applicability of this analysis has been limited to those academic and research projects that involve hazards not routinely encountered and accepted in the course of everyday living by the vast majority of the general public.

The analysis of a project which involves only hazards of a type and magnitude routinely encountered and accepted by the public will require justification which can be referenced to a recognized source.

Assistance in Conducting PSA:

The Office of Engineering Safety is available to work with the Faculty/PI and research staff to identify potential hazards of the project and to identify necessary protective control measures.