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1 Pitfalls with HAZOP, Optimization of PHAs & Sizing of Nodes 7-1


Pitfalls with HAZOP,

Optimization of PHAs &
Sizing of Nodes
Pitfalls with HAZOP
Inadequate Preparation
Slows team down
Excessive man-hour consumption

Do Not Assume Everyone Understands HAZOP

Prepare team. This objective can be achieved through the services of risk
management consultants.

Wrong Team Players Can Damage HAZOP

Typically you need:

FacilitatorIScribe (Facilitator can usually function as scribe)

Process Engineer
Plant Operator
Plant Maintenance
Instrument Engineer
Mechanical Engineer (Part-time)

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Pitfalls with HAZOP, Optimization of PHAs & Sizing of Nodes 7-2

Do Not Have Too Many or Too Few People

More than 10 persons are hard to control; wasted man-hours.
3 persons or less: input too limited.
Optimal number: 4 to 6.

Avoid Getting Sidetracked

Avoid getting off topic.
Avoid "hobby horses".
Avoid redesigning during HAZOP. identify Action Items for further study.

Do Not Run HAZOP Sessions for Excessively Long Periods

Use the Right Type of PHA Methodology in Relation to the

Risk of the Unit
Guide Word HAZOP for high risk units, e.g., where y~essur-eis above 1,000psi.
What if1Checklist for medium risk units.
Checklist for low risk units.

If You Decide not to Evaluate a Specific Deviation for a

Specific Node, Make Sure You Fully Understand the
The criterion for rejection is, primarily, that n o cause exists for the deviation
coming from either withill or outside of the node. Under these conditions record
no cause for deviation.

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Pitfalls with HAZOP, Optimization of PHAs & Sizing of Nodes 7-3

It is irrelevant whether the consequences of the deviation impact the node in

question or other nodes. These are not criteria for rejection of the deviation.
Build-up of node deviation data is time consuming in the first place. However,
once this data bank of information is established the HAZOP will proceed much
The secret of saving time and maintaining efficiency is not by rejecting valid
deviations but by ensuring that each node is not undersized, thereby avoiding
unnecessary repetition.

Address Group Participation

Avoid team sessions being dominated totally by one or two people.
Ensure everyone is encouraged to input. Use "round table" techniques. Share the
responsibility of the HAZOP.

Make Sure You Always Address Hazards and Risk Items.

Some HAZOPs have addressed everything but these items!

Are you protected against major hazards such as:

Overtemperature & BLEVE potential?
Loss of containment?
Toxic releases, e,g., Hydrogen SulJide?
Explosions, especially with respect to buildings such as control centers?

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Pitfalls with HAZOP, Optimization of PHAs & Sizing of Nodes 7-4

When Listing Action Items

= Record the drawing number(s) with the Action Itelm so that it can be easily traced.
Record the Action Itein so that it can be acted upon by the responsible person
designated to execute it. Avoid indecisive instructions such as "Consider
Do not propose Actions that are just "wish list". Excessive nu~nbersof Actions
tend to devalue their worth. Be critical, but not over or under zealous.

Prioritize Your Analyses

Analyze the most hazardous units first, e.g., hydrocrcrcker.
Some operatioils need early HAZOPs, e.g.,,ful*nacestart-ups.
Some equipment needs early analysis, e.g., sour gas compressors, hjjdroge~~

Avoid Using HAZOP as a Design Tool

HAZOP is an audit tool.
Be wary of the expression "Leave it until we do the HAZOP, we will consider it

Just Doing HAZOP Isn't the End of the Story, It's Just the
Follow Management Programs that specifically address the full spectrum, e.g.,
API 750, OSHA 1910.1 19.

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Pitfalls with HAZOP, Optimization of PHAs & Sizing of Nodes 7-5

Optimization: When to Do What

Grass Root Design (or New Unit)

Phase 1: Conceptual hazard review of process.

Example: Preliminary Hazards Analysis: process concerns, maximum
inventories, eflects on layout of worst credible scenario.

Phase 2: Use of Checklists during preparation of P&IDs.

Phase 3: What iUChecklist on client approval issue of P&IDs.
Phase 4: . Guide Word HAZOP on P&IDs issued for construction.

Note: Often Phase 3 is final & PHA is either Guide Word HAZOP or What if7Checklist on
detailed issue of P&IDs.

Revamp Projects

Phase 1: What iflchecklist on client approval issue of P&IDs.

Phase 2: Guide Word HAZOP on P&IDs issued for construction. (Or single
Guide Word HAZOP or What iflchecklist on detailed issue of P&IDs).

Existing Units

Step #1: Establish priority for units, Risk ranking, e.g., Dow F&EI.
Step #2: Perform What iUChecklist or Guide Word HAZOP.

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Pitfalls with HAZOP, Optimization of PHAs & Sizing of Nodes 7-6

Choosing & Sizing of Nodes for

The Concept of Nodes

In HAZOP, the term "node" is used to describe the selection of one or more items of
equipment as a focal point of study. A node could be as small as a line, a pump, a vessel or
a heat exchanger, or as large as an entire process plant. The practicality of not only
selecting nodes, but also of sizing nodes, is of critical importance.

Early Method of Assigning Nodes

Let us examine the early method for assigning nodes for Guide Word HAZOP.

Consider a vessel where there are a number of lines entering the vessel and a number of
lines leaving the vessel. The early method was to take each of the lines entering the vessel,
in turn, and treat them as separate nodes, applying deviations, such as High Flow, LowNo
Flow, Reverse/Misdirected Flow, High Pressure, Low Pressure and so forth. Each line
leaving the vessel was also treated as a separate node. The vessel itself was not treated as a
separate node because it was considered to be adequately addressed by applying deviations
to the entry and exit lines.

Later Methods of Assigning Nodes

Following on from the early method of line-by-line assignment of nodes, the concept of
compound nodes was devised. With compound nodes, a section of routing, say, involving
feed piping from a feed vessel, a centrifugal pump, a control valve set and a heat exchanger
supplying a reactor vessel would be considered as a single node.

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Pitfalls with HAZOP, Optimization of PHAs & Sizing of Nodes 7-7

In time, compound nodes were expanded considerably to typically include all of the
equipment shown on one or more piping and instrument diagrams (P&IDs).

Experience Gained in Choosing & Sizing Nodes

The early methodology of choosing single lines as nodes, although comprehensive, proved
to be extremely time consuming and resulted in extensive repetition of recorded data. This
led to extreme fatigue and loss of interest by HAZOP teams, resulting in low-efficiency

Increasing the size of nodes to take into account more equipment items was found to result
in less repetition, greater progress and more efficient HAZOPs.

Maximizing Node Sizes

For the relative newcomer to HAZOP, small node sizes, even those confined to single
lines, can have the benefit of familiarization with the HAZOP methodology. Thus, as
greater familiarity and confidence are gained with the HAZOP methodology, the node size
can be increased to include more equipment.

What therefore is the practical and optimized limit to node size?

Given that small node sizes are inefficient, very large node sizes may also be inefficient
when they become unwieldy and hard to handle.

In general, the optimum node size can include multiple items of equipment, provided that
they share a common function.

When there is a discrete change in functionality, this becomes a demarcation point, and one
or more additional nodes need to be designated to reflect the different functional groupings.

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Pitfalls with HAZOP, Optimization of PHAs & Sizing of Nodes 7-8

By way of example, where a complete P&ID, several P&IDs or several sections of one or
more P&IDs have a common functionality, this can be deemed as a discrete node. For
example, a fired furnace oil heater may show the following main components:






Figure 7-1: P&ID of a Furnace Oil Heater

The furnace oil heater may be designated as a complete node. Alternatively, the process
flow (oil side, including the heating coil) could be designated as a node, the burner
management system (fed by natural gas) could be counted as another node and the firebox
itself as a third node.

One of the questions frequently asked is "If I create a large node, won't I perform a less-
thorough HAZOP than if I break it down into multiple smaller nodes?" The answer to this
question is that a number of experienced HAZOPers have tried both methods and have
found that relatively little, if anything, is lost by choosing large nodes. In fact, with large

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Pitfalls with HAZOP, Optimization of PHAs & Sizing of Nodes 7-9

nodes there is usually a better overview of systems. As well, important synergies and
interactions are maintained, while repetition is minimized.

This speeds up the entire HAZOP process, making it more interesting for the HAZOP team
as a whole, and overall gains usually exceed potential losses.

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Pialls with HAZOP, Optimization of PHAs & Sizing of Nodes 7-10

SUGGESTED READING (URLs current at time of publication)

"Guidelines for Hazard Evaluation Procedures" by AIChE, CCPS, 2"dedition, 1992 plus
"Guidelines for Hazard Evaluation Procedures" by AIChE, CCPS, 1st edition, 1985
"HAZOP and HAZAN" by T.Kletz, pub by IChemE, 1992
"Oversights and mythology in a HAZOP program" by W.J. Kelly, Hydrocarbon Processing,
October 1991, pages 114 to 112
"Hazard and Operability Studies", by M.Lihou (Website) I fim.htnl
"Process Hazards Analysis" by I.Sutton, published by SWISutton & Associates, 2002

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