Sterilizing involves processes that can present pressure, temperature, and chemical hazards. Hazards including chemicals like ethylene oxide, a toxic and flammable gas, is used in many processes including sterilization. It is possible to create an explosive vapor-air mixture inside of sterilization or storage containers.
Risk management begins with performing at HAZOP (PHA) type of Process Hazards Analysis (PHA) on the process units and equipment. SIS should be used to protect equipment and personnel. Since the process includes flammable and toxic materials, fire detection coverage mapping is needed to place flammable gas, toxic gas, and fire detectors, especially around high probability leak sources. Gas dispersion modeling is commonly required to place gas detectors for the flammable and toxic gas and potentially toxic byproducts which can be especially problematic for indoor installations. Facility siting will be essential to keep potential consequences of process incidents from impacting occupied buildings and spaces like control rooms.