The safety integrity level (SIL) of equipment used in safety instrumented functions is determined by the average probability of failure on demand (PFDavg) computed at the time of periodic inspection and maintenance, i.e., the time of proof testing. The computation of PFDavg is generally based solely on predictions or estimates of the assumed constant failure rate of the equipment. However, PFDavg is also affected by maintenance actions (or lack thereof) taken by the end user. This paper shows how maintenance actions can affect the PFDavg of spring operated pressure relief valves (SOPRV) and how these maintenance actions may be accounted for in the computation of the PFDavg metric. The method provides a means for quantifying the effects of changes in maintenance practices and shows how these changes impact plant safety.

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