Layer of protection analysis as a multifunctional team problem solving tool


  • Originally presented at the Global Congress on Process Safety, AIChE Spring 2016 Meeting, Houston, Texas, April 11–13, 2016


Layer of Protection Analysis (LOPA) has been widely adopted as a method of organizing and quantifying hazard rates. Frequently, an initial LOPA may indicate that a risk target has not been met and that a scenario requires additional layers of protection. Unlike Fault Tree Analysis, the inherent simplicity of the LOPA format makes it conducive for use directly as a problem solving tool in a team environment to close risk gaps. Teams at Air Products with representatives from operations, process controls, process design and process safety, have effectively used the LOPA format in problem-solving sessions to identify and improve components of the analysis involving human error, controls architecture, and inherently safer process designs. This multifunctional team approach has resulted in broader ownership of the safety analysis by the full team of stakeholders, and this has ultimately led to more cost effective solutions. The benefits of multifunctional team review are illustrated with a case study example. © 2016 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Process Saf Prog 36: 257–263, 2017