We offer fire risk analyses at several different levels, ranging from a basic Level 1 Oxygen Hazard Consult (OHC) to a formal Level 3 OFRA with a comprehensive technical report. Your customized solutions may also include specialized services like Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA), Materials Flammability Analysis, an Oxygen Cleaning Review (OCR). Other specialty testing services such as oxygen compatibility testing are available when additional data is required.

WHA maintains a unique materials compatibility database to support our analyses, so our recommendations are grounded in real test data, not just expert opinion.

Industry Experience.

WHA is experienced in performing hazard analyses for a number of industry applications including:

  • Industrial Oxygen Piping and Equipment. Examples include:
    • Air Separation Plant Piping and Valves
    • Industrial Processes (Methanol Generation, Ethylene Generation, Gasification Processes)
    • Steel Mill Oxygen DistributionSystems
    • Hydrometallurgy and other Metals Refining Processes
    • Waste water Treatment Plants
  • High-Pressure Oxygen Storage and Distribution Systems. Examples include:
    • Oxygen Cylinders and Associated Equipment
    • Medical Oxygen Equipment
    • Aerospace Propulsion and Breathing Gas Systems
    • Cylinder Filling Plants
  • Low-Pressure Oxygen Supply Systems. Examples include:
    • Oxygen Concentrators, Ventilators, and Other Medical Oxygen Systems or Components
    • Hyperbaric Chambers (Consistent with the Oxygen Safety Requirements in ASME PVHO-1)

The OFRA Approach.

Our approach is consistent with industry standards for performing oxygen hazards analysis on systems and components per ASTM (G 88, G-63, G-94, and others), CGA (G-4.4), EIGA (IGC 13/12, 200/17), ISO (ISO 15001) and NASA (TM-2007-213740).


Fire Risk Analysis Levels.

  • Level 1: OHC
    Oxygen Hazard Consult

    High-level review intended to provide rapid feedback. Typically appropriate for remote review.

  • Level 2: OHR
    Oxygen Hazards Review

    Same approach as a Level 1 OHC, but includes a short summary report documenting the results.

  • Level 3: OFRA
    Oxygen Fire Risk Analysis

    Our most detailed and extensive oxygen hazards analysis for systems and components.


Oxygen Hazards Consult (Level 1).

An oxygen hazards review (OHR) is a high-level review intended to provide rapid feedback on the design and operation of a component or system intended for oxygen use. The consult typically includes review of system materials, operating conditions,  and component/system function to assess ignition probability and consequence and provide a preliminary assessment of compatibility. Because of its high-level nature, OHCs are typically appropriate for remote review and verbal feedback via teleconference or web conference.

Oxygen Hazards Review (Level 2).

The oxygen hazards review (OHR) uses the same approach as a Level 1 OHC, but includes a short summary report documenting the results. The report includes comments and observations relating to operating conditions, materials flammability, ignition probability, ignition consequence, along with recommendations as needed to achieve a low ignition probability and low fire consequence.

Formal Oxygen Fire Risk Analysis (Level 3).

The WHA signature oxygen fire risk analysis (OFRA) method is our most detailed and extensive oxygen hazards analysis for systems and components.  The Level 3 OFRA method provides formal documentation of each phase of the analysis process with thorough referencing to supporting data for rating materials flammability, ignition probability, and fire consequence.  This risk analysis approach is also consistent with the qualitative risk analysis approach outlined in ISO 14971 for medical devices.

A formal OFRA report typically includes the system-level component listing and analysis results (if applicable) and individual component OFRA worksheets that document the component piece-part analyses of material flammability, ignition probability, and ignition consequence. The report discusses all results and provides recommendations as needed To achieve a low probability of ignition and a low consequence of ignition.

Fire Risk Analysis Types.

  • System-Level

    Analyzes the fucntionality of an oxygen system as a whole. (May include component-level analysis.)

  • Component-Level

    Analyzes the components indeded for use in oxygen systems.

  • Materials Flamability Analysis

    Analyzes the materials intended for use in oxygen components.



System-Level Fire Risk Analysis.

WHA performs system-level oxygen fire risk analyses to identify factors that affect potential ignition and propagation of fire throughout an entire system. WHA’s system-level analyses primarily focuses on the relationship between components within a system to identify hazards by considering system layout, operating procedures, compatibility of materials, and function of components within the system.

A system-level OFRA includes three important steps:

  1. Obtain system drawings or schematics that show oxygen flow and list all system components.
  2. Create a listing of all oxygen-wetted components.
  3. Evaluate the general severity of each component by considering operating conditions, material flammability, major ignition mechanisms, and personnel exposure.
  4. Make recommendations to lower the severity of the component, if needed, through changes to the system materials, design, procedures, or barrier protection.


Component-level Fire Risk Analysis.

WHA performs component-level oxygen fire risk analyses by evaluating the component’s internal oxygen-wetted piece-parts, including their flammability, potential ignition mechanisms, fire propagation, ignition consequence, and likelihood of fire based on history of use.  Material compatibility is based on relevant test data from standard testing and custom testing.

WHA is experienced in performing hazard analyses for a number of component types including:

  • Valves (Ball, Globe, Butterfly, Gate, Plug, Needle, Safety, Check, Flow Control)
  • Regulators
  • Valve Integrated Pressure Regulators (VIPR) or Integrated Valve Regulator (IVR)
  • Compressors
  • Medical Equipment: Portable Oxygen Cylinder/Regulator Setups, Ventilators, Concentrators
  • Diving Equipment: Regulators, Nitrox Systems
  • Oxy-Acetylene Welding Equipment
  • Liquid Oxygen Vessels
  • Specialty Designed Oxygen Components/Systems


Material Flammability Analysis.

Materials flammability analysis is our most limited-scoped hazard analysis type. It may be offered independently or as part of a larger component-level or system-level analysis. Our engineers evaluate the material in its specific oxygen configuration and application, and apply relevant materials test data, to help evaluate its situational flammability. If no data is available but required to accurately assess the material’s situational flammability, we are able to provide comprehensive compatibility testing services to generate the data necessary for the analysis at the WHA Test and Training Facility.

Failure Modes & Effects Analysis.

A Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) is often required as part of a system-level or component-level OFRA to ensure that failure modes do not produce additional oxygen hazards. This in-depth review considers a system’s design and systematically identifies of all credible single point failure modes (SPFs) and their potential effects on the system and its surroundings.

The following are examples of common failures modes in pressure-system equipment for consideration based on component type:

  • Pressure Regulator: Fail Open, Fail Closed, Oscillates, External Leakage, Internal Leakage
  • Filter: Clogs, Passes Contaminants
  • Relief Valve, Burst Disc: External Leakage, Fail to Relieve, Fail Open
  • Check Valve: Fail Open, Fail Closed, External Leakage, Internal Leakage
  • Quick Disconnect: Fail to Separate, Separate Prematurely, Leak Before/After Disconnect
  • Manual Valve: Fail Open, Fail Closed, External Leakage, Internal Leakage
  • Pump: Fail On, Fail Off
  • Flow Meter: Erroneous High Indication, Erroneous Low Indication
  • Orifice: Clog
  • Flex Hose: External Leakage
  • Heat Exchanger: External Leakage, Internal Leakage

Let’s talk.

We’re in the business of finding answers. Contact us to request a free consultation with one of our experienced engineers. We can help you understand your needs and identify the best options for your organization.

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