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Hazard and Risk Assessment

Process safety should ideally be in-built within the process design. However, elimination of all risks associated with operating a process unit cannot be fully eliminated and this identifies the need to provide other Risk Reducers. How do we identify that risks have been reduced to a 'tolerable' level. An internationally recognised method is to carry out a Hazard and Operability, (HazOp) study. This HazOp methodology provides a systematic approach of identification of potential hazards, causes, consequences and existing risk reducers.

Although HazOp study is usually thought of as if it were purely for safety and legislative reasons a good HazOp study is one that is structured and timed to save money. HazOp studies are done for sound financial reasons. A mis-timed HazOp study may comply with the legislative requirements but will waste substantial sums of money for no good reason at all. A well-timed, well-run, structured HazOp study will always save you money.

The main HazOp study is stage three in the hazard analysis process. It is carried out at the final design stage but before final placement of orders. Doing it at this stage means that all design and specification details are available and if additional requirements are identified they can still be incorporated without incurring excessive additional costs and delays to project implementation. The HazOp is a vital tool in the identification process for the need for Safety Instrumented Function, (SIF) and with suitable guide words meet the requirements of the DSEAR/ATEX 137 risk assessment.

Rowan House have developed a software package HAZ1508 which records the HazOp and provides a method for determining if a SIF may be required and its Safety Integrity Level, (SIL). This enables the potential SIF to be reviewed by all engineers and minimise the number of safety critical loops by optimised other available layers of safety thereby saving substantial sums of money both in capital outlay and in reducing running costs.

COSHH is the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations and these regulations are related to the EU's Chemical handling directives. The main requirement is to catalogue all chemicals that are being handled, minimise their impact by practical means wherever possible and to maintain comprehensive safety information. It is therefore sensible to build up a library of chemical suppliers' material safety data sheets (sometimes referred to as MSDS) which are readily available from all suppliers of chemicals.

Rowan House are well positioned to help you gather the chemical safety data that you need and make the appropriate risk assessment s for developing a strategy to optimise safety in the workplace.

Rowan House Ltd, Festival House, Jessop Avenue, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL50 3SH
Telephone: +44 (0) 1242 633 805