Industrial accidents are usually accompanied by negative consequences for human life, property, and environment. Simultaneously, accidents can provide new knowledge of chemical processes and their properties. These accidents and their analysis are usually complicated, but they are important sources of information that highlight the dangers of neglecting safety in chemical companies, and the results are also used to improve risk assessments.
The aim of this hazard identification method is to use past accident results to prioritize efforts by focusing on the critical points of a process, prior to making a detailed quantitative assessment.
The critical points (for example pipelines, vessels, etc.) are identified before making the detailed analyses such as FMEA, HAZOP, etc. Results of this method are the input to quantitative assessments, including: (a) estimation of event frequency, (b) estimation of the consequences, (c) comparison with the hazards, and (d) decisions and actions. The most difficult and timely step is the estimation of the consequences of accident scenarios. This hazard identification method focuses on the critical points of a process before making quantitative assessments; therefore it enhances the quality of risk assessments while reducing the costs.
This article describes a selection method to identify the major sources of potentially serious accidents with consequences beyond the boundaries of the premises. This method can be used to compare different technologies in the assessment process and assist in prioritizing efforts to reduce risks. This method is used for the installation of new equipment and controls, and it is also used to schedule training and maintenance on the systems with the highest potential hazards. The maintenance and training schedules are also prioritized based on the hazard ratings. © 2008 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Process Saf Prog, 2008