Hazard and operability studies(HAZOP) is a methodology for identifying and dealing with potential problems in industrial processes, particularly those which would create a hazardous situation or a severe impairment of the process and is commonly known as HAZOP. It is also called Hazard and Operability Analysis and is said to be the most widely used method of analysis of hazard in the process industries that is the chemical, petrochemical and nuclear industries.
The method applies to processes that are existing or planned for which design information is available. This commonly includes a PFD, which is examined in small sections, such as individual items of equipment or pipes between them and for each of these a design Intention is specified. The Hazop team then determines what are the possible significant and Deviations from each intention, feasible Causes and likely Consequences. It can then be decided whether existing, designed safeguards are sufficient, or whether additional actions are necessary to reduce risk to an acceptable level based on Hazop studies.
There are few guide words which forms the basis of Hazop:
NO OR NOT = Complete negation of the design intent
MORE = Quantitative increase
LESS = Quantitative decrease
AS WELL AS = Qualitative modification/increase
PART OF = Qualitative modification/decrease
REVERSE = Logical opposite of the design intent
OTHER THAN = Complete substitution
EARLY = Relative to the clock time
LATE = Relative to the clock time
BEFORE = Relating to order or sequence
AFTER = Relating to order or sequence
The team comprises of:
Study leader (Chairman) = someone experienced in Hazop but not directly involved in the design, to ensure that the method is followed carefully
Recorder = Secretary or scribe to ensure that problems are documented and recommendations passed on
Designer = representative of the team which has designed the process to explain any design details or provide further information
User = representative of those who will use it to consider it in use and question its operability, and the effect of deviations
Specialist (or specialists) = someone with relevant technical knowledge
Maintainer = someone concerned with maintenance of the process.
The key feature is to select appropriate parameters which apply to the design intention and these are general words such as Flow, Temperature, Pressure, and Composition. It can be observed that variations in these parameters could constitute Deviations from the design Intention. In order to identify Deviations, the Study Leader applies a set of Guide Words to each parameter for each section of the process.
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