HAZARD IDENTIFICATION, RISK ASSESSMENT AND CONTROL MEASURES FOR MAJOR HAZARD FACILITIES Hazard identification

The Regulations require the employer, in consultation with employees, to identify: a) b) all reasonably foreseeable hazards at the MHF that may cause a major accident; and the kinds of major accidents that may occur at the MHF, the likelihood of a major accident occurring and the likely consequences of a major accident.

The importance of getting the hazard identification right
Major accidents by their nature are rare events, which may be beyond the experience of many employers. These accidents tend to be low frequency, high consequence events as illustrated in Figure 1 below. However, the circumstances or conditions that could lead to a major accident may already be present, and the risks of such incidents should be proactively identified and managed.

Figure 1: HAZID focus on rare events

Some significant challenges in carrying out an effective HAZID are: d) e) Past. Figure 2 below illustrates the range of tools that can be used to identify past.HAZID must address potentially rare events and situations to ensure the full range of major accidents and their causes. This should then trigger further HAZID studies and risk assessments. the HAZID will need to consider past. present and future hazards To identify all hazards. present and future hazards . at the MHF or similar facilities. employers should: a) b) c) d) a) b) c) identify and challenge assumptions and existing norms of design and operation to test whether they may contain weaknesses. the need for a combination of expertise in HAZID techniques. present and future conditions. provide an indication of what has gone wrong in the past and what could go wrong in the future. To achieve this. with the identification of control measures as appropriate. and ensuring objectivity during the HAZID process. hazards and potential incidents. human and engineering) is properly considered. depending on the nature of the facility to ensure that the full range of factors (e. and learn lessons from similar organisations and businesses. Past. the possibility that a combination of different HAZID techniques may be needed. obtaining information on HAZID from a range of sources and opinions. Past incidents. think beyond the immediate experience at the specific MHF. recognise that existing controls and procedures cannot always be guaranteed to work as expected. present and future hazards. The management of change process described in the SMS should identify new conditions during the planning of modifications or new activities. knowledge of the facility and systematic tools. substantial time is needed to identify all hazards and potential major accidents and to understand the complex circumstances that typify major accidents. A wide range of hazards and potential incidents will be present in the facility.g. New hazards and incidents could be created in the future as a result of planned or unplanned changes.

Hazard identification processes and techniques HAZID techniques  The flowchart below summarises all the steps needed in a HAZID process and how those steps relate to one another. HAZID process .

awareness and understanding of the risks of major accidents at the facility.Risk assessment Risk assessment aims The aims of risk assessment are to: a) provide a basis for identifying. defining and justifying the selection of control measures for eliminating or reducing risk. evaluating. . and to therefore lay the foundations for demonstrating the adequacy of the standards of safety proposed for the facility. b) provide the employer and employees with sufficient objective knowledge.

basis for selection or rejection of control measures and the associated justification of adequacy. disseminated and maintained. Risk assessment can be a useful tool. The risk assessment process should provide the following in relation to control measures: a) c) identification or clarification of existing and potential control measure options. improving the decision-making process and providing a basis for allocating resources in the most effective manner. and b) evaluation of effects of control measures on risk levels. which can save or optimise the use of resources. For example. the reliability and availability of control measures influence the likelihood of an incident occurring. The management of knowledge generated in the risk assessment will also greatly assist the efficient development of a safety report for the facility. By evaluating options for control measures within the risk assessment the employer should be able to determine what additional benefit is gained from introducing additional or alternative control measures. The range of control measures that should be considered in the risk assessment is addressed later in this guidance material. The risk assessment should evaluate the range of control measures in terms of viability and effectiveness to provide a basis for selection or rejection of each control measure: a) Viability relates to the practicability of implementing the control measure within the facility. and b) Effectiveness relates to the effect of the control measure on the level of risk.c) capture knowledge of risk of a major accident at the facility so it can be managed. while the functionality and survivability of the control measures during the incident influence the consequences. For example. If these do not result in any reduction in risk. d) basis for defining performance indicators for selected control measures. . Specific studies may be carried out as part of the risk assessment to evaluate these issues for individual or groups of control measures. The employer should look for gaps in the existing control regime. if the employer intends to base the safety report largely on the facility’s compliance with specific codes or standards. Overall framework and principles for risk assessment There are fundamental questions most forms of risk assessment attempt to address to ensure the risk assessment is comprehensive and systematic. the basis for rejection is apparent. for example by handling assumptions and actions arising. the risk assessment should address corresponding issues such as the basis of the codes and standards and their applicability to the facility. and d) provide practical effect to the employer's safety report philosophy. where the introduction of further control measures may be necessary. by determining the effectiveness and costs of different control options. Identifying and evaluating control measures using risk assessment The risk assessment should consider a range of control measures and provide a basis for the selection of control measures.

process or device that is intended to eliminate hazards. It is the principal tool that delivers safe operation. prevent hazardous incidents from occurring or reduce the severity of consequences of any incident that does occur. Choosing the best control measures and being able to demonstrate their effectiveness is a critical feature of compliance with the Regulations. procedure. Control measures The previous sections discussed key elements for the range of control measures that should be in place at an MHF. This section provides more detailed guidance on how to select and judge the effectiveness of specific control measures. including any system. A tool that does not address any variability or uncertainty in the nature of the hazards and incidents identified can fail to generate the necessary understanding and provide no basis for differentiating between control measures.Basic questions within risk assessment The risk assessment should use assessment methods (quantitative or qualitative or both) that suit the hazards being considered. they may include high-level procedures or detailed operating instructions and . Control measures are not only physical equipment. A control measure is the part of a facility. This means that the tools employed must be selected according to the nature of the risk.

is critical to safe operation. They must be implemented under and fully supported by the managerial elements of the SMS. An example: Identification of scenarios and control measures. in that they reduce the consequences of incidents. The employer should identify control measures carefully for the MHF. Control measures as “barriers” to major accidents con seq uen ces Control measures can be identified while identifying hazards and during the risk assessment. and ultimately the harm that may be caused to people. in that they eliminate. Control measures may be proactive. Understanding what part is a control measure. dangerous goods warehouse . to avoid unnecessary effort or confusion via assessing measures that are not relevant to major accidents. Employers should be able to identify a range of control measures immediately. both the existing measures and possible alternatives.information systems. property and the environment in the event of a major accident. the occurrence of a major accident as a result of these hazards. prevent or reduce the likelihood of incidents. Checklists of "typical" control measures may be able to assist in the process. Control measures can be regarded as the “barriers” between the hazards of an MHF. or they may be reactive. The table below is an example of the consequences and key control measures that might apply for a warehouse. The specific nature of each hazard and the associated part of the facility should be considered when identifying control measures. and how it actually controls or affects hazards and risks. but these should not be used in isolation. This understanding is also essential to the safety report and the associated justification of adequacy of the adopted control measures.

 Fire escalation.  Fires in packaged goods areas. in pallet storage stacks. Key Controls  Drum inspection and handling procedures  Ignition source control  Fire fighting equipment  Housekeeping  Ignition source control  Smoke detection and automatic vents  Separation and segregation rules  Stacking restrictions  Fire fighting equipment and emergency response .Scenarios  Flash or pool fires from puncturing drums containing flammable liquids. or amongst general rubbish.

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