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HEALTH AND SAFETY BRIEFING
HAZAN is therefore the essential prerequisite for the complete risk assessment process, i.e. first analyse the hazards and then go on to assess the risks they present and determine what, if any, ameliorating measures should be taken.
For the hazard analysis to be complete it is essential that all the hazards present in the
defined system have been identified. Quantitative data based on past experience are the
most important means of identifying hazards and assessing potential frequency, although
for new processes and techniques experiential data may be limited.
Audits conducted by experienced assessors, who consider past experience and near misses
and procedures for dealing with emergencies and abnormal events, will identify hazards
effectively and produce a useful future record. Checklists can also be useful but can result
in limiting enquiry unless open questions are asked such as \u201chow is the system protected
against\u2026\u201d rather than \u201cis the system protected against\u2026\u201d. Checklists in themselves do
not provided quantitative ranking of hazards.
There are established indices such as the Dow Index and the Mond Index, which can be
used for systematically identifying hazards and providing a method of ranking priorities.
The Dow Index was originally developed by the Dow Chemical Company to assist in the
selection of fire protection methods. The guide has been updated several times but still
only covers process units rather than auxilliary plant such as power generators. The
Mond Index was developed by ICI for the chemical industry, after the Flixborough
disaster. It expands on the Dow Index to include wider consideration of continuous and
batch processes, loading and unloading and storage. It provides a more comprehensive
treatment of hazards from materials, reactions and toxicity. In summary:
Whatever technique is used, it is important to have the practical advice of those who
understand the system being modelled. An expert analyst, who is unfamiliar with the
specific system may be unaware of some factors that are taken for granted by the
In the end, when management is reviewing the analysis, it is important to confirm that the assumptions that have been made are reasonable and that the outcome appears to accord with experience. A thoroughly conducted hazard analysis provides a sound quantitative basis for decisions on ameliorative measures that it will be reasonable to take.
These Briefings contain a summary of recent Health & Safety issues, provided for general
information purposes only, and should not be relied upon as legal advice. The IEE has
tried to make the Briefings accurate and informative, but they have not been prepared by
a lawyer and may not constitute an up-to-date summary of the law. The IEE accepts no
liability for your use of these Briefings. Further details and information on broader
Health & Safety issues can be obtained from the Government\u2019s Health and Safety
Executive. Legal advice should be obtained on any specific issues.
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