The American University in

Cairo

NASP

Introduction to HAZOP
HAZARD and OPERATABILITY
HAZOP Studies

Background
A HazOp study identifies hazards and
operability problems.
The concept involves investigating
how the plant might Deviate from the
design intent.
If, in the process of identifying
problems during a HazOp study, a
solution becomes apparent, it is
recorded as part of the Hazop result.

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HazOP study was developed to
supplement experience-based
practices when a new design or
technology is involved.
Its use has expanded to almost all
phases of a plant’s life.

Concept
The HazOp concept is to review the plant
in a series of meetings, during which
multidisciplinary team methodically
“brainstorms” the plant design following
the structure provided by the guide words
and the team leader’s experience.
The best time to conduct a HazOp is when
the design is fairly firm, at this point the
design is well enough defined to allow
meaningful answers to the questions
raised in the HazOp process.

Continue
At this point it is still possible to
change the design without a major
cost.
HazOp can be done at any stage after
the design is nearly firm. For
example: many older plants are
upgrading their control and
instrumentation systems.
It is very effective to examine a plant
as soon as the control system
redesign is firm.

The success or failure of HazOp
depends on several factors:
1. The completeness and accuracy of
drawings and other data.
2. The technical skills of the team
3. The ability of the team to use the
approach as an aid to their
imagination in visualizing
deviations, causes and
consequences.
4. The ability of the team to
concentrate on the more serious
hazards which are identified.

Definitions

STUDY NODES
The locations (on piping and
instrumentation drawings and
procedures) at which the process
parameters are investigated for
deviations.

Deviations
These are departures from the
intention which are discovered by
systematically applying the guide
words (e.g. “more pressure”)

Causes
These are the reasons why deviations
might occur. Once a deviation has
been shown to have a credible cause,
it can be treated as a meaningful
deviation. These causes can be
hardware failure, human errors, an
unanticipated process state (e.g.
change of composition), external
disruptions (e.g. loss of power), etc.

Consequences

These are the results of the
deviations should they occur
(e.g., release of toxic materials).

Guide Words
These are simple words which are
used to qualify or quantify the
intention in order to guide and
stimulate the brainstorming process
and so discover deviations.
Each guide word is applied to the
process variables at the point in the
plant (study node) which is being
examined.

For example
Guide Word

Parameter

Deviation

NO

FLOW

NO FLOW

MORE

PRESSURE

HIGH
PRESSURE

AS WELL AS

ONE PHASE

TWO PHASE

OTHER THAN

OPERATION MAINTENANCE

HAZOP GUIDE WORDS
AND MEANINGS
Guide Words Meaning
No
Less

Negation of the design
intend
Quantitative Decrease

More

Quantitative Increase

Part of

Qualitative Decrease

As Well As

Qualitative Increase

Reverse

Logical opposite of the
intend
Complete Substitution

Other Than

•It is not unusual to have more than one deviation from
the application of one guide word. For example:
“more reaction” could mean either than a reaction takes
place at a faster rate, or that a greater quantity of product
results.
•When dealing with a design intention involving a complex
set of interrelated plant parameters (e.g., temperature,
reaction rates, composition, or pressure), it may be better
to apply the whole sequence of guide words to each
parameter individually than to apply each guide word
across all of the parameters as a group

Guidelines for Using Procedure
1. Define the purpose, objectives, and
scope of the study
2. Select the team
3. Prepare for the study
4. Carry out the team review
5. Record the results
* Some of these steps can take place at
the same time.

1- Purpose, Objectives and Scope
of Study
Check the safety of a design
Decide whether and where to build
Develop a list of questions to ask to
supplier
Check operating/safety procedures
Improve the safety of an existing
facility
Verify that safety instrumentation is
reacting to best parameters.

Specific consequences to be
considered
Employee safety
Loss of plant or equipment
Loss of production
Liability
Insurability
Public safety
Environmental impacts
For example, a HAZOP might be
considered to determine where to build a
plant to have the minimal impact on public
safety. In this case, the HAZOP should
focus on deviations which result in off-site
hazards.

2- Select the Team
5 to 7 members
Design Engineer
Process Engineer
Operations Supervisor
Instrument Design Engineer
Chemist
Maintenance Supervisor
Safety Engineer (team leader)

3- Prepare for the Study
Obtain the necessary data (drawings,
line diagrams, flow sheets, plant
layouts, isometrics, etc.
Convert the data into a suitable form
and plan the study sequence
Arrange the necessary meetings

4- Carry Out the Team Review

5- Record The Results
The recording process is an
important part of the HAZOP.
It is useful to have the team
members review the final report and
then come together for a report
review meeting.
The first HAZOP form should be filled
out during the meeting.

Example
Consider, as a simple example, the
continuous process shown in the figure.
In this process, the phosphoric acid and
ammonia are mixed, and a nonhazardous product, diammonium
phosphate (DAP) results if the reaction of
ammonia is complete.
If too little phosphoric acid is added, the
reaction is incomplete and ammonia is
produced

For Study Node 1
1. NO:
a: no flow at study node number 1
b: consequences: excess ammonia in
reactor and release to work area
c: causes:
* valve A falls closed
* phosphoric acid supply exhuasted
* plug in pipe, pipe rupture
d: suggested action: automatic closure of
valve B on less of flow from phosphoric
acid supply

II. LESS
A. less & flow – reduced flow at
study node 1
B. Consequences: excess ammonia
in reactor and release to work
area.
C. Causes:
- valve A partially closed
- Partial plug or leak in pipe
D. Suggested Action: Automatic closure
of valve B based on reduced flow in pipe
from phosphoric acid supply.

III. MORE
A. More & Flow Increased flow at
study node 1
B. Consequences: excess phosphoric
acid degrades product but presents
no hazard to workplace.

IV. PART OF
A. Part of & Flow: Decreased concentration
of phosphoric acid at study node 1
B. consequences: excess ammonia
C. causes:
- vendor delivers wrong material or
concentration
- error in charging phosphoric acid supply
tank
D.suggested action: add check of
phosphoric acid supply tank concentration
after charging procedure.

V. Other Than
A. Other than & flow: material other than
phosphoric acid in line A
B. consequences: depend on substitution,
team member assigned to test potential
substitutions based on availability of other
materials at site and similarity in
appearance.
C. Causes:
- Wrong delivery from vendor
- wrong material chosen from plant
warehouse
D. Recommended Action: plant procedures
to provide check on material chosen
before charging phosphoric acid supply
tank.

Example
Consider a chemical reaction between two
substances X and Y to form a product Z,
where the concentration of raw material Y
must never exceed that of X, otherwise an
explosion will occur.
Starting with the pipeline from the inlet of
the feed pump that delivers the raw
material X to where it enters the reaction
vessel.
The design is examined and the operation
analyzed for possible malfunction.
Keys or guide words (Does not, more) are
used to conduct the examination of the
system.

The collapse of the interior of a steam-jacketed chemical
vessel.
The purpose of the vessel was to mix various
chemicals in the presence of catalyst.
At the time of failure the steam valve on the inlet to
the jacket was closed since steam heating was not
required for the particular part of the process being
carried out that time.
At a certain point in the process the mixing of
various chemicals resulted in a high temperature
being generated.
On the day of the accident ass the steam heating
was not required, the valves on the steam jacket
inlet and the condensate outlet were in the closed
position and condensate water lying in the jacket
became heated by the chemical process within the
vessel.
The water in the jacket was flashed off into steam
and it was estimated that a pressure in excess of
28.5 kg per square cm could have been produced
resulting in the collapse of the inner bottom of the
vessel.

A hand-operated vent valve was fitted
directly to the jacket and the normal
procedure when shutting off the steam
heating was to leave the valve open.
On this occasion it had inadvertently been
left closed.
The steam line to the jacket was protected
by a suitable safety valve but as the steam
inlet valve on the jacket was closed the
safety valve was isolated.
The above accident could have been
prevented by the provision of a separate
safety valve fitted to the jacket.

Guide
Word

Deviation

Possible Causes

More of

Steam
a) Increase in
Safety valve
Regularly
pressure in
pressure in steam opens
inspect
jacket
main
safety valves
exceeds safe b) Product reaction
Collapse of vessel Install safety
working
heats condensate
valve in
pressure
in jacket to 230
jacket
degree C with
valves A, B, C
closed

Reverse Flow of heat Heats any

Consequences Action
Required

Collapse of
reverses
condensate present vessel if valves
from reactor in jacket to reaction A, B, C are
to jacket
temperature of 230 closed
degree C (equivalent
to 400 psi)

Install
safety
valve in
jacket

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