HAZOP Facilitation


R4Risk has experienced HAZOP facilitators available to chair your HAZOP.  Their independent facilitation skills will ensure that the HAZOP is conducted efficiently and delivers a balanced output, highlighting potential issues identified with the design or system under analysis.

A HAZOP is a structured team-based method for the systematic review of the design of a process plant.  It is an extremely flexible approach and can be applied to both proposed and existing systems.

A HAZOP is carried out by a multi-disciplinary team, led by an experienced facilitator.  The benefits of a HAZOP include:

  • Identification of process and equipment hazards and operability issues
  • Identification and correction of potential deviations from the design intent of the system
  • Capture of information required for the documentation of safety systems.

A HAZOP would normally be carried out during the design of the facility or modification.  This enables the learnings derived during the HAZOP to be put into practice before the design has been finalised.

The basic concept of a HAZOP study is to review a full description of the system and to question every part of it.  The aim of this is to discover what deviations from the original design intent may occur and what the possible causes and potential consequences of these deviations may be.  This is done in a systematic manner by applying suitable guide words and deviations.  Important information to capture during the study includes:

  • Design intent
  • Deviations from the design intent
  • Causes of deviations
  • Consequences of deviations (in terms of hazards and operability issues)
  • Safeguards (controls).

Where the consequences of deviations may generate a hazard or operability issue, the study team would make recommendations to address the issue.

The HAZOP guideword approach may be used to analyse a wide range of systems.  These include:

  • New process plants
  • Existing process plant
  • Process plant modifications
  • Batch operations
  • Materials handling operations
  • Construction / demolition.

When conducting a HAZOP on an existing plant, a large number of recommendations may be generated.  This creates the problem of deciding which recommendations to implement first, as there will nearly always be const constraints.  R4Risk has risk-ranking techniques that can be used to assist the client to prioritise the recommendations to enable them to be implemented in line with the client’s risk management strategy.

A HAZOP can be a time-consuming process and therefore when making recommendations, it is important to ensure that the HAZOP does turn into a “design review” (a common pitfall), as this will quickly waste the time of the study team.  The purpose of the HAZOP is to identify issues that can then be resolved by the relevant person or groups of people outside the HAZOP meeting.  The presence of a strong independent facilitator is important to enable the HAZOP to retain its focus and keep moving through the design.

R4Risk can provide experienced independent facilitators for to run HAZOP studies.  The presence of an independent facilitator is important.  It ensures that issues identified are analysed in a balanced manner and that the HAZOP does not gloss over issues due to the personal views of any individual team member.

R4Risks’ HAZOP facilitators have conducted numerous HAZOPs across a broad range of industries, and have the experience and skill to maximise the efficiency of the HAZOP process.  As part of R4Risk’s HAZOP services, a technical secretary (scribe) and software can be provided for the recording of the HAZOP minutes.


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