Saving time is not the same as efficiency; in fact that is why we wrote the paper “Efficient Hazard Evaluation” which you can download from our website’s home page. Since our staff (combined with the previous staff I managed at another company) have led more than 10,000 HAZOPs, and run more documented experiments during these HAZOPs than others, we have had a chance to see what works and does not work to increase effectiveness and efficiency. In the case of PHA/HAZOP, effectiveness and efficiency are tied together for many of the best-practice rules that we follow.

For effectiveness during PHA/HAZOP of any mode of operation, one KEY focus is to make sure Brainstorming is Maximized; because if brainstorming is diminished, then accident scenarios are missed and therefore IPLs are not there when you need them. Take just one small item in the paper on this topic of maximizing brainstorming. Implementing that item will increase brainstorming (and usually saves times), since keeping the brain from burnout or boredom increases brainstorming ability. For instance, take the rule: “Do Not use an LCD projector for team meeting notes during the meetings” (only do so on confusing points, as an exception); this can save 20% or more of team meeting time and also increases the brainstorming effectiveness because the team is not reading and editing what is on the screen. Also: “Use Linking between Consequences and Causes to build scenarios more thoroughly” … this also happens to be faster, once you practice it a few times.

For effectiveness overall, MAKE SURE that the Non-Routine modes of operation are PHA/HAZOPed. This requires a 2 guideword HAZOP or What-if (and in some cases a 7-guideword HAZOP) of the step-by-step procedures for startup and shutdown and lighting furnaces and online maintenance. This will enhance HAZOP results/outcomes tremendously since 75% of the major accidents occur during these modes of operation. The same paper discusses using the savings in wasted time (dulled brainstorming) to analyze these non-routine modes of operation. Also note that the new section 9.1 of the CCPS/AIChE textbook, Guidelines for Hazard Evaluation Procedures, 3rd edition, 2008, was added for the purpose of giving this part of the hazard analysis (i.e., non-routine modes of operation) the Focus; that chapter of the newest edition also explains how to effectively and efficiently perform this analysis of non-routine modes of operation.

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