SafetyCulture Summit 2021
A comprehensive guide about HAZOP: purpose, study and analysis process, importance to different industries, and an efficient tool to help streamline the HAZOP process
Published 18 Oct 2021
Hazard and Operability (HAZOP) is a systematic approach to determining potential problems that may be uncovered by reviewing the safety of designs and revisiting existing processes and operations in chemical, pharmaceutical, oil and gas, and nuclear industries.
HAZOP, also known as HAZOP study or HAZOP analysis, is a Process Hazard Analysis (PHA) method recognized in OSHA’s Process Safety Management (PSM) standard. It is a way to identify, evaluate, and control hazards and risks in complex processes. It involves highly hazardous chemicals that can cause significant injuries to workers and extensive damage to property and company reputation if not properly processed and handled. It helps the organization address:
HAZOP is a risk assessment approach that has become the de facto industry standard. It is a highly structured method of analyzing any possible deviation that can happen in a complex plant including chemical, pharmaceutical, oil and gas, nuclear, and mining industries. It is a crucial task that helps multiple industries to:
While risk assessments, HAZID, and HAZOP all aim to uncover safety risks in the workplace, there are differences.
You can use this HAZOP template when in the process of identifying risks in design, procedure, or operation. Using this HAZOP template to conduct a HAZOP analysis of your processes, you can:
Risk Assessment Template
For identifying hazards and determining their risk rating, use this risk assessment template to record findings and provide some details on the most applicable control measures that can be used to mitigate or eliminate the risks discovered during risk assessments.
Hazard Identification Template
This hazard identification template is used to easily identify and document potential sources of injury or damage from performing a task in a specific work area. It helps to implement adequate corrective measures to ensure the health and safety of all employees.
As HAZOP undertakes the careful review of complex processes involved in the handling and processing of chemicals and materials that can potentially harm workers and stakeholders if not properly contained and handled, it is important to follow the following steps:
HAZOP Stidy Process
Create a multidisciplinary HAZOP team composed of a team leader and members who can collaborate and provide different perspectives based on their fields of expertise at realizing sources of risks and possible deviations from design. An example of HAZOP team members would be design engineers, those who are very familiar with operations, and safety professionals.
When beginning a HAZOP study, it is important to identify the processes in operations, be familiar with the process/piping and instrumentation diagram (P&ID), and be aware of all the nodes.
P&ID are drawings or diagrams that provide the visual representation of interconnected processes, equipment, and controls in the physical plant. HAZOP nodes are sections in the entire process where changes happen and they need to be reviewed along with Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) so that parameters can be defined and deviations are identified.
Use this SDS template when identifying chemicals and other materials’ properties that can pose hazards to workers. Completed SDS in iAuditor can be easily retrieved during HAZOP reviews.
Define parameters or safe operating limits during the review of nodes so that deviations can be determined and guide words are selected.
Examples of common HAZOP guide words:
With the use of guide words, hazards can be clearly identified as they are the deviations that go beyond acceptable parameters or safe operating limits.
With hazards identified, the corresponding hazard mitigation or elimination strategies should be applied to maintain the safety of the workplace. With ongoing processes and production, monitoring should also be established to ensure that safeguards are still effective and safety procedures are being followed.
Monitoring is only effective when it is actually conducted regularly. With iAuditor of SafetyCulture as mobile safety monitoring software, you can ensure that safety checks and audits are conducted regularly through scheduled inspections and automated notifications. Administrators can schedule and assign inspections and be made aware if inspections are indeed being done on time and on a regular basis. Register here for free.
Another safeguard is to automate safety monitoring through sensors. Sensors can trigger automated notifications for intended personnel whenever safety parameters are exceeded in real-time.
The result of the HAZOP analysis can be used to help elevate safety within the plant and improvements in safety practices and processes should be communicated to as appropriate to employees.
An effective approach to training will also help hasten the implementation of changes and reinforce safety across the board.
HAZOP is rigorous and can take a lot of time and resources to complete, but by following HAZOP steps and using tools that can help hasten the process without compromising the quality of the process and its result, HAZOP can be effectively conducted and completed sooner and the workplace can be made safer and more efficient.
A HAZOP analysis is conducted by a suitably experienced multi-disciplinary team to thoroughly examine a planned or existing process. It helps identify and evaluate hazards that may endanger people or hinder efficient operation of the business. A HAZOP analysis is executed in four phases, as follows:
The definition phase typically begins with the preliminary selection of risk assessment team members. After building the team, they must clearly define their responsibilities and identify their objective and assessment scope including study boundaries, key interfaces, and assumptions.
During the preparation phase, the team should identify and locate supporting data and information to plan the study. They have to prepare the schedule, timelines, and template format for recording study outputs.
The examination phase begins with the identification of all elements such as parts or steps of the system or process to be examined. The team has to classify deviation using guide words on each element and identify consequences and causes of problems. They have to establish protection, detection process, and supporting mechanisms.
The documentation and follow-up phase utilizes HAZOP templates to finalize the output reports. It involves the review of recorded examinations, follow-up on implemented action plans, and re-study of any system parts if necessary before signing off the documentation.
Identifying hazards and deviations in plant environments is traditionally conducted using pen and paper. It is a cumbersome task that requires a lot of time and effort collating evidence into one document to hand over HAZOP reports. With iAuditor by SafetyCulture, a mobile inspection app, you can streamline the process of data gathering and reporting. iAuditor can help the organization to:
To get you started, check the below HAZOP example report.
This HAZOP example is a result of using this HAZOP template that you can download for free through the iAuditor app or as PDF.
Available on Android, iOS, and the web, iAuditor is a customizable mobile inspection app mainly used to improve and maintain safety and quality in numerous industries. iAuditor offers a number of ready-to-use quality and safety templates, as well as tools that can be used by organizations where HAZOP is crucial in maintaining safety and compliance with industry standards.
Jona Tarlengco is a content writer and researcher for SafetyCulture since 2018. She usually writes about safety and quality topics, contributing to the creation of well-researched articles. Her 5-year experience in one of the world’s leading business news organisations helps enrich the quality of the information in her work.
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