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Safety & Risk Management

Continuous Assessment Test (Portion taught by P. K. Ghosh)

16 December, 2017 (1.30 pm – 2.15 pm)

Answer all Questions (Total marks=12)

Q1. (5 marks)
(1) (a) Differentiate between hazard and risk. (1 mark)
Hazard - Something that has the potential to do harm;
Risk - The actual likelihood of harm and quantification of impact
(b) Show with the help of a sketch how low, moderate and high safety risk is projected
graphically (2 marks)

X-axis – Consequence Severity; Y-axis – Incident Probability

(c) Consider the hazard of a runaway reaction causing high temperature and pressure
and potential rupture in a batch chemical reactor. What approach would you take to
design the reactor to contain the hazard passively? (2 marks)
Assume the maximum adiabatic pressure for reaction is determined to be x psig. Run
reaction in a (x+a)psig design reactor. Hazard (pressure) still exists, but it is passively
contained by overdesigning the pressure vessel.
Q2. (5 marks)
(2) (a) Define the term “Flashpoint”. (1 mark)
Flashpoint: The flashpoint of a flammable liquid is the temperature at which the vapour
pressure of the substance is such as to give a concentration of vapour in the air that
corresponds to the lower flammability limit or LFL
(b) Consider an old vessel full of volatile fuel that needs to be taken out of service
safely. What risk is posed in carrying out the operation in the manner shown in the
figure? How would you minimize the risk? (2 marks)
If the operation is practiced in the manner shown, one may enter into the
flammability zone which should be avoided. Accordingly, a better approach is
shown in the figure below:

(c) Briefly explain the four broad approaches through which a fire can be extinguished.
(2 marks)
Fire can be extinguished by
(1) Cooling the fuel by removing heat (e.g., by applying water)
(2) Smothering by cutting off oxygen supply (e.g., by applying foam, carbon
(3) Starving the fire by removing the fuel (e.g., stopping gas flow during a pipeline
(4) Inhibiting by stopping the chain reaction (e.g., by applying dry chemical
Q 3 (2 marks)
Indicate five important reasons why laboratory safety demands separate attention.
Seven important reasons are given below. Students may think of other important reasons also.
1. Whereas in a factory, a few processes are undertaken on daily basis, and with greater
certainty of outcome, new things are experimented with routinely in the laboratory on daily
basis with consequently much greater uncertainty in so far as hazards are concerned
2. In a factory experienced and well trained workers carry out the activities, whereas research
personnel in research institutes are generally not trained rigorously posing greater risk and there
is high turnover
3. In many laboratories there is high degree of congestion and many reactions are occurring
simultaneously with little understanding of the consequences of one reaction on another,
especially if an accident occurs
4. There is no control over solvents and chemicals stored in the laboratory and in many cases
each lab looks like a mini store
5. There is little control on working outside of regular hours
6. There is inadequate waste disposal arrangement in most cases and many things are thrown
down the sink with little understanding of the consequences of such action on researchers and
the public at large
7. The one redeeming feature is that laboratory reactions are typically carried out on small