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Hazard & Operability {HAZOP}

HAZOP or what if reviews is usually intended to be a formal safety audit review of an essentially complete project design or modification to ensure that the probabilities or consequences of major accidents, have been eliminated or at least reduced to acceptable level prior to being in services.

HAZOP & what-if reviews are not intended to replace or duplicate a project design review. Usually complex or large project may require several levels of HAZOP or what-if reviews during their design phases.

The basic approach for these reviews is quite flexible. They can be used to analyze a variety of operations such as, oil and gas well drilling, production, refining, chemical processing, transportations, marketing, computer control logic.etc.

There are many methods of safety analysis reviews that are available and can be applied to a facility or project design to overcome Human errors and the various failures of the process system. The methods may be either Qualitative or quantitative in nature.

Qualitative Methods Are

Checklists. What-if reviews. HAZOP reviews. Preliminary hazards analysis.

For human errors may occur.

Quantitative Methods Are

Event Trees. Fault Trees. Failure Method and Effect Analysis. {FMEA}.

To evaluate Identified Hazards.

Human errors may be accidentally performed by all personnel Designers, Engineers, Operators, and Managers. Some theories attribute up to 90% of all accidents to Human Errors.


HAZOP and What-if reviews are basically a communication exercise. Information is presented, discussed, analyzed and recorded. Specifically the safety aspects are identified, to determine if adequate design measures have to be taken to prevent major accidents. Communication and evaluation are the prime factors of the procedures.


The primary objective of both HAZOP and What-if reviews are to assure that catastrophic Accidents will be avoided during the life time of the facility from the process under review.

Limitation of what if.

It is based on experience. It is not systematic.


It need a moderate level of skills to implement. It may be slower to implement than other methods. It need Trained and qualified team leader. It need a standard format with S. Guide words.

Advantage of What-if

It can be accomplished with relatively low level skills. It is fast to implement, compared with other qualitative techniques. It can analyze a combination of failures. It is flexible.

HAZOP advantages

It uses a systematic & logical approach. It can analyze a combination of failures.

It provides an insight into operability features.

Comparison Factor,
Experienced based Systematic Skill Speed

No Yes Moderate Slow

Yes Partially Low Fast




Team members Qualification & Responsibility:

Review team members or consultant should be chosen that are intimately familiar with the Hydrocarbon or chemical process under examination. The review team should also have a balanced number of individuals from different organizations such as company employees, consultants, equipment fabricatorsetc.

Team Members

Three types of individuals are needed to support a process hazard analysis. A Leader. A Recorder. And the Expert.

The experts are commonly:

A project Manger engineer who designed the facility. A person knowledgeable of how the facility will be operated. A person knowledgeable of loss and risk aspects associated with pet. Or chemical industry.

Minimum team members:

Team leader. Scribe. Project manager {Project, process, drilling, facility engineer}. Operations representative. Risk Engineering or safety rep.

Supplemental Members

The review team may be supplemented with additional personnel to augment the review process. Supplemental personnel should only be considered when a particular complicated aspect of the project needs further in-deep review.

Suggested supplemental personnel are selected from the following;

PSM coordinator. Maintenance representative. Corrosion representative. HSE representative. Process facility or construction engineer. Drilling engineers. Project designers. Operations technicians or supervisors. Specialized consultants. Equipment fabricators or vendor.

Team member Qualification

As a minimum about 20 total Man-years of experience in the petroleum or chemical industries should collectively be available from the technical team members excluding the scribe.

Team leader:

The team leader Should possess an engineering degree, or equivalent. 5 Years petroleum experience at-least. He also should be trained in the conduction of HAZOP & what if techniques Classroom training as leader, also actual review for one or two reviews.

Team leader and team members should not directly involved in the facility design.

Scribe: The scribe should be able to type a minimum 45 words per minute. {WPM} Computer skilled and petrochemical technical terminology. Previous experience in the safety reviews is not necessary.

Project Manager {project, process, drilling, or facility engineer}

The project manager may be project, process, drilling,.eng. Organize HAZOP or what-if reviews. Select team personnel and ensures their attendance. Supply required accurate and up-to-date drawings & data. Attend all review meetings. Provide project knowledge, process facility design, operating policyetc. Take corrective actions. Let the Management know of review activities. Review, comment, and approve the preliminary draft & final copies of the HAZOP & what-if reports. Follow through on action items.

Operations Representative;

Attend all review meeting. Provide operations knowledge, policies, procedures and facility practice. Respond to discussion of facility operations. Identify Maintenance concerns and requirements. Verify equipment tag numbers as requested. Review comments on the preliminary drafts.

Risk Engineer or safety Rep.

Attend all review meetings. Provide loss prevention knowledge, Environmental policy & practices. Confirm the company philosophy to risk acceptance and protection methodology. Respond to discussion of loss prevention. Provide knowledge on recent loss accidents applicable to the facility as necessary to discussion. Advise on process safety management goals. Review draft reports.

Supplemental team members

Attend review meetings as requested by project manager. Provide knowledge of polices and facilities practices in respect to the position individual represents. Respond to discussions during the review meetings. Review and comment on preliminary draft and reports as required.

Leadership Influence
The following practices will enhance the team leadership during the review. Look at things from the other person's perspective. Offer Genuine appreciation and praise. Harness the power without Enthusiasm. Respect the dignity of the others. Don't be overly critical. Give people a good reputation to live up to. Keep a sense of fun and balance.

Lines of communication;There is a direct relation between the number of the team member & the number of communication lines.
Number of team members. Number of communication Lines.

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

1 2 4 7 11 16 22 29

Efficiency Factors
Several factors have been noticed to influence the speed and accuracy of the review process.

The number of nodes in the review. The completeness of the design versus level of safety review desired. The experience of the review team. The effectiveness of the team leader. The language background of the review team. The number of the review team members. Use of consultants.


The need of consultant to lead a HAZOP or What-If review should be considered whenever the project design team support is unfamiliar or Experienced in the safety review process.

Qualification needed for consultant

Experience:As the role of the consultant is to lead & guide the review process it could be stated that he might not need to be particularly familiar with the type of facilities under review, this is not true since some knowledge of the basic hazards of the facility and substances involved are needed in order to provide adequate importance.


Consultant should have attended a recognize training class from a professional association sponsored course.


The consultant should usually have credentials that match his advertised experience. The credentials usually entail a recognized engineering degree, registration with the local government as practice Engineer, membership in loss prevention or engineering societies.


Independent view point. Process hazard review expertise. Impartial {Un-Paused}

Management support & responsibilities.

The ultimate responsibility for the safety of process facilities lies with the senior Management. A company's senior and local management should therefore ensure the appropriate process HAZARD analysis reviews are under taken.

Team members should be committed to a review once it is scheduled. The team concept suffers if a member is removed for other duties while involved in the review.

Review Application.
The bulk of process HAZARD analysis {PHA} in the petroleum and related industries will be either a HAZOP or what if reviews. Generally in the upstream sector, 60-80 % of the safety reviews will be what if review, while the down stream sector, 60-80 % will be HAZOP reviews.

Management should acknowledge the risk result of process hazard analysis reports. If the risks of the process hazard analysis are not acknowledged by Management, review team members will feel their efforts has be in vain and that recommendations do not have importance will suffer and therefore the quality will degraded.

The reviews will highlight operability issues and therefore process efficiency, the level of thought for engineering efforts will also be demonstrated. There may be case to eliminate some project design contractors from bid proposals where there has been history of extensive recommendations from HAZOP or what if reviews as a result of there work product.

Both HAZOP or what if reviews are generally organized and conducted in similar fashion. What-if style of process hazard analysis is a convenient method to use for a simple facility.

Process that contain unusual, complicated or extremely hazard materials should be reviewed by detailed HAZOP method to ensure major possible events have been accounted for which may not to the team.

Since what if reviews are somewhat considered without direction they are usually combined with simple checklist to improve their efficiency. If doubt exist as to what method to apply, the HAZOP method should be chosen over the what if method.

What-if review application.

Wellhead. Tank batteries. Pipelines. Production test facilities. Drilling operations. Wireline & workover operations. Pumping station. Multistage operation system. Water injection system. Gas compression system. Tank farm. Liquid loading facility. Marketing terminals. Un-manned offshore pltforms.

HAZOP Review Applications

Facilities with toxic or highly corrosive fluid Gas injection system. Gas loading facilities {Truck, Rail, Ship} LPG processing plant. LNG processing plant. Gas storage facilities. Manned offshore facility. Refinery Unit Process. Chemical plant unit process.

Leadership Influence
The following practices will enhance the team leadership during the review. Look at things from the other persons respectively. Offer genuine appreciation and praise. Harness the power without enthusiasm. Respect the dignity of the others. Don't be overly critical. Give people a good reputation. Keep sense of fun and balance.

Review Preparation & Set Up

There are three areas needed for a review to take place. The location. Administrative Support. Facility Documentation.

Location. The location of where review is held, should be determined by where the most amount of information and personnel knowledgeable in the facility design and operation are located. Typically new design will have the data at the engineering contractor's offices and the reviews will be held there.

Administrative Support. A conference room should be used for the team members to gather and conduct the review. The room shall have all necessary facilities for comfortable work. If the review is held overseas, may be translator is sometime used, also the portable computer may need special arrangements.

Facility documentations. The documentation should be accurate and up-to-date. If there are any changes even by the field it should be included in the drawing, if the drawings are incomplete its accuracy could affect the review results. Drawings should be provided to every team members, no larger than A3 [11x 17] Scale model of the facility may assist & add further understanding.

HAZOP& What if reference Data

Piping & Inst. Drawings {P & IDs }, that are will be as-built * Plot plan, or equipment & the main piping and elevation * Cause and effects charts [safe charts] & schedule of alarm and trip setting. * P & IDs for vendor packages. * System design philosophy & process description.* Fire & explosion protection system drawings. * Chemicals and physical properties.* Operating procedure & maintenance schedule.*

Process flow diagram. Electrical hazards area diagram.

Full description and system design calculations of emergency shutdown [ ESD] Design duties and basis of calculation of all relief valves, rupture disks, .etc Corrosion monitoring & prevention system. Engineering design data sheet. Data sheet for instrument & control valves.

Piping & materials specifications. Flare, vent and drainage header diagram. Electrical single line diagram. Instrumentation philosophy [local, Remote Control., ,hardwired, F. mode,

Environmental ambient data. Utility specifications. Design code [API ,ANSI, NFPA ..]. Managing levels, distribution of personnel, level of supv. Ergonomics or human factors features [ color code, practical use, accessibility, language & instruction. Loss history of similar facilities

Consequence and Likelihood data resources

The accuracy of the review is dependent on its input data, therefore it is imperative to have failure data and loss histories that accurately represent or can be related to the environment or facilities that are being studied. Wrong data will result in wrong results. For example, if the offshore environment of the North Sea is applied to offshore facility located in S. E. Asia, the basic air and water temperatures are different.

Nodes Identification

Before the review actually starts, the team leader and the scribe should identify, highlight and list the nodes that will be selected for the review. The team leader should confirm the selection with the project manager before the review being started. A facility or process is divided into systems and subsystems, these subsystems usually contain one or two components which are the nodes.

Guidelines for identifing and selecting the nodes.

Divide the facilities into process systems and subsystems. Follow the process flow of the system under study. Isolate subsystems into major components which achieve a single objective { i.e. increase pressure, remove water, separate gases, etc.}

Some typical nodes identified from petroleum or chemical industries

Free water knock out vessels FWKO. Distillation column. Multi-phase separator. Reactor vessels. Process towers. Mixing vessels. Pumping unit. Heat exchangers. Compressors. Metering skid. Flare. Fire pump. Cooling towers.

Review Methodology

The objective of the process hazard analysis is to identify possible unusual occurrences in the individual systems of the facility or the system and to anticipate the possible consequences. Where these occurrences are deemed not to be adequate, a recommendations for their improvement are provided.

A HAZOP study is undertaken by the application of formal, systematic, and critical examination of the process and engineering intentions of the process design. The potential for the hazards or operability problems are thus assessed, and malfunction of individual items of equipment and associated consequences for the hole system are identified. This examination of the design is structured around a specific set of the parameters and guidewords, which ensures complete coverage of all major possible problems.

The review meeting follows a structured format. The complete process to be studied is divided into discrete nodes. For each node, every parameter or guideword deviation is considered. For each deviation causes are identified. For each cause, consequences are identified, for each consequence, existing protection is identified. After considering existing protection, recommendation for action are made if remaining level of risk is considered unacceptable. Clarifying remarks are included as appropriate.

The HAZOP or What if Reviews has four primary aims.

To identify the cause of all deviations or changes from the design. To determine all major hazards and operability associated with these deviations. To decide whether action is required to control the hazard or operability problem. To ensure the actions decided upon are implemented and documented.

HAZOP Review Steps.

Define the assumptions about the facility to be accepted during the review steps. Define the boundaries and its operational mode/s of the facility under review. Select & confirm the scope of a node. Explain the general design intention and operating of the node. Specify the nodes process parameter .

Select process parameter {Pressure, Flow, etc.}and specify the design intention relating to this parameter. Apply a deviation { more, less, etc.} to the parameter and develop a meaningful scenario { causes/hazards } from the intention. Identify all scenarios { causes/hazards} of the deviation from the intention. Identify all major consequences associated with each cause without regards to safe guards. Specify predominate safe guards against each consequence.

Determine the probability and severity of each consequence, and document if desired, to assess the P. S. according to the safety Management Document. Make recommendations to mitigate the consequences if the probability/ severity are unacceptable. According to the company risk acceptance level. Reiterate above steps for, other guide words, Process parameters, nodes in review. The review team should rank all produced recommendations in priority of assigned arise for schedule of implementation. Ranking assist resource allocation. Prepare summary and listing of recommendations for priority ranking.

Credible Scenarios or Causes

The objective of performing a HAZOP or What if is to identify and develop credible process upset scenarios or causes which adversely impact, safety, health, environment, quality, productivity or public perception of the company.

Categorization of possible causes

Equipment Failure [i.e. spurious valve operation, pressure regulator failure, software bug, leakage, ruptures, excessive wear, .] Operational errors [opening or close wrong valve, valve left open or closed..] External Events [ fire in the area, external corrosion..] Product deviation[ change in GOR, BS & w pressure, sand production, nonconforming products.]