Industrial risk assessment studies are needed to demonstrate compliance with national regulatory norms to show achievement of corporate safety (or security) goals. They can also be useful to optimize the industrial process with regard to the risk from losses or damages.
Our experts can perform a risk assessment for various industries, with support from the client regarding the specific aspects of the process or technology in question. An industrial risk assessment usually includes the following tasks:
- Identification of major hazards or operability issues related to the process and its design. Major process hazards usually include the release of hazardous materials and/or energy. The focus is on addressing incidents, which may impact on public health and safety, worker safety in the workplace, economic loss, the environment, the company’s reputation, or other similar aspects (which may, also, be specified by a user). The input to this task is obtained from different sources which include interviews and discussions with process specialists, as well as the process and instrumentation diagrams and other documents describing the details of the process design and operational aspects.
- Assessment of adequacy of the safety protection layers. In this task the safeguards are identified and assessed which were put in place by designer to mitigate against hazardous events relating to major process hazards (as defined under previous task). The adequacy is assessed in terms of the frequencies calculated from the likelihood of each hazard cause (expressed per year or per hour of operation) and the probabilities of failure on demand of the safety protection layers. These frequencies are compared against the tolerable frequencies derived, for example, from the regulatory requirements or company policies (depending on the purpose of the study). In such a way, those safety protection layers or safeguards are identified which do not meet the allowable risk for a particular hazard, which is the input for the next task.
- Recommendations. Reasonable recommendations are made for the parts of the process where a hazard generates a residual risk that needs further risk reduction. Basically, additional protective layers or safeguards (or improvements to the existing ones) are recommended to decrease the risk of the consequences because of the deviation (or hazard cause) being analyzed.
- Validation. The methodology of validation is to calculate the probabilities of failure on demand of the identified additional (or modified) safety protection layers, and then derive the new frequencies from the likelihood of each hazard cause and the failure probabilities of the respective protective layers. If the frequencies of all the causes are less than the tolerable frequencies, the study is complete.
A number of methodologies and frameworks exist, including HAZID, HAZOP, FMEA, What-If, Event Tree Analysis, Fault Tree Analysis, etc. In many cases, the targets as well as calculated results of an industrial risk assessment study are provided as numerical values associated with a risk matrix such as the one shown below.