An oil refinery located in a major metropolitan area used a hydrogen fluoride (HF) alkylation process. HF is a liquid at ambient conditions, but, on release to the atmosphere, it forms a highly toxic vapor cloud which can remain at ground level and drift for a long distance. Moreover, if it comes into contact with water it forms highly corrosive hydrofluoric acid.
Overview (BSEE Risk)
As part of its Well Control Rule BSEE appears to have made a major change in the manner in which offshore risk is to be managed. Section 250.107(a)(3) states,
[y]ou must protect health, safety, property and the environment by utilizing recognized engineering practices that reduce risks to the lowest level practicable when conducting design, fabrication, installation, operation, inspection, repair, and maintenance activities.
Risk matrices are widely used in the process industries. Details vary considerably from company to company, particularly with regard to the size of a risk matrix, but generally a process such as the following is used.
1. A hazard is identified.
2. The consequence of that hazard is determined. The most important consequence is usually do with safety, but environmental, economic and public relations impact can also be considered.
Event Tree Analysis (ETA) uses the same logical and mathematical techniques as Fault Tree Analysis. However, whereas a fault tree analyzes how an undesirable top event may occur, an event tree considers the impact of the failure of a particular component or item in the system, and works out the effect such a failure will have on the overall system risk or reliability. Event trees use an inductive approach, whereas fault trees are deductive. Event trees were developed for the nuclear industry. They are much less widely used in the process industries.
The post Risk Management Professional discussed some of the attributes that help make a successful risk management/process safety professional. This post to do with the risk management consultant takes a look at a related topic: the attributes of an effective process risk management consultant and the additional attributes and skills that he or she should possess.
There has been much discussion in recent years as to how to develop new and improved cultures within the process industries. There appears to be an implicit assumption in these discussions that ours is the first generation to wrestle with the problem of creating a new culture. Nothing could be further from the truth. Indeed, it can be instructive to examine how previous generations affected cultural change with respect to industrial safety and environmental performance, and to consider how their techniques and approaches may apply to our times.
The material in this article is taken from Chapter 12 of the 2ndedition of the book Plant Design and Operations.
The first step in the design and development of a system to prevent, control and extinguish fires is to identify the various release scenarios that could lead to an explosion and/or fire. This is often done through use of a hazards analysis technique such as HAZOP (Hazard and Operability Study) or a “What If” study.
Note: The writer does not possess special knowledge of the nuclear power industry, has not worked in a nuclear power plant and is relying entirely on public information gleaned mostly from the Internet to write this material. Hence it is more than likely that many of the thoughts and conclusions presented here will have to be updated or changed as new data or insights are provided.