Process Safety Engineering

Exponent is a leading consulting firm in the investigation and prevention of chemical and industrial process accidents, with an almost 50 year history in incident investigation, failure analysis, and safety consulting.  The wealth of knowledge gained from thousands of process safety related investigations in industrial, chemical, oil, and gas facilities provides a valuable reservoir of lessons learned. Exponent’s consultants assist clients in evaluating risk, investigating failures and process upsets, and in identifying and evaluating preventive measures in a manner sensitive to both risk and financial sustainability.  Exponent’s multidisciplinary teams of professionals leverage this knowledge base, along with their expertise in the various aspects of plant design, implementation, and operation, to assist clients’ efforts to understand the limits and capabilities of their process plants and perform root-causes analyses.

Our Approach

Exponent combines its experience from reactive failure analysis with its interdisciplinary internal network, substantial laboratory facilities, and over 750 technical consultants to tackle the most complicated process safety incidents and challenges that clients face.  Our project experience ranges from the analysis of small equipment failures to investigation of the catastrophic loss of entire production facilities.  Exponent’s consulting staff is located in 20 offices in the United States and 6 offices internationally, giving Exponent the ability to respond quickly and efficiently to problems across the globe.

Our capabilities and expertise are further evidenced by our participation, as chairs and committee members, on many of the industrial standards and guidance documents that plant operators look to for process safety guidance (e.g., NFPA, ASME, ASTM, API, ISO, and the Hydraulic Institute). Our professionals publish numerous papers in their field of expertise and Exponent is also a corporate member company of the Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS).

Examples of our Services

Our services span the elements of Process Safety Management, and the life cycle of an industrial facility, from process design, construction, operation, and maintenance to facility decommissioning:


  • Accident and Incident Investigation 
    • Origin and cause investigations
    • Root cause analysis
  • Process Safety Engineering
    • Design review and feasibility studies 
    • Process hazard analysis: PHA, FMEA, fault tree analysis, HAZOP, LOPA, etc.
    • Process data analysis, fault detection, and fault diagnosis 
    • Risk assessment 
    • Quantitative/probabilistic risk analysis 
    • Fire & explosion risk analysis 
    • Site security and vulnerability analysis 
    • Human factors 
    • Asset integrity of rotating and static equipment 
    • Consequence analysis
    • Hot work safety analysis
    • PSM program consulting
    • Pre-Startup Safety Review
  • Process Engineering
    • Process plant performance 
    • Process economics
    • Process dynamics and control system analysis 
    • Piping network analysis
    • Heat exchanger design analysis and energy integration

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