Written by: Adam M. Musthafa, Sr. Process Safety & Sr. Operation Management Specialist, LebSolution
One of the most basic concept of risk management is “Paying Acute Focus in Higher Risks”. A company cannot be expected to eliminate or mitigate “ALL” risk of its operations at once. With limited time and resources good management practice should be applied in selecting which risk is to be mitigated at a particular time frame. One of the methodologies is to screen all risk of an operations to find its top “Major Hazard” or “Major Risk”. Thus, Major Hazard Identification becomes a critical activity in risk management, especially for major hazard industries like oil and gas, and petrochemical.
Major Accidents are those that involves consequence of multiple fatalities or serious injury, typically five or more people. Example of typical Major Hazards are fires, explosions or releases of dangerous substances that will cause death or serious injury; major damage to the structure or plant or loss of stability; the collision of a helicopter; failure of life support systems for diving operations. A register of Major Accident Hazards should be developed to ensure that an operating organization prioritize their investment in time and resource to those risks that has the highest impact to people, environment, asset and reputations. This is typically done by screening all identified risks from various hazard identification and assessment using a set of criteria (typically risk matrix). Some company may choose a more quantitative criteria, for example the likelihood of a worker fatality of 10-4 per year. Both has the same intention and can be equally effective.
Typical methodology done by Operators of Major Hazards Facilities (MAF) is by conducting the Major Hazard Identification through team discussion in a risk assessment workshop participated by the corporate functional Subject Matter Experts and Operating site personnel, both from related disciplines such as Operations, Engineering, Maintenance, HSE, Process Safety, Integrity, and even Logistics team if the operations involved high risk personnel mobilization (remote area, offshore, long distance flight, etc).
By doing so, the Operators of the MAF show their commitment to one of PSM main pillars in CCPS Risk Based Process Safety, “Understand Hazards and Risks”. The identification of Major Hazard is not only beneficial to help the organization understand its risk profile, but also to know if the risks are already managed to acceptable level or not. This is done by applying consistent risk matrix to assess both the “pre-mitigated risk” and the “risk after mitigation”, and engaging relevant frontline workforce to tap into the full expertise of their workers and encourage workers to contribute in Process Safety Management. This is a fulfillment of another pillar in CCPS Risk Based Process Safety, “Commit to Process Safety: Workforce Involvement”. Like the proverb says: “With one paddling, two or three islands are passed”.
This Major Hazard Identification process for sure is the area where the proven LebSolution experienced and skilled consultant can play significant role in facilitating the workshop to ensure quality results in effective and efficient way. We have delivered this typical service for Operators of several MAF.
What is done once the Major Hazards are identified and risk assessed? We will discuss it in the next Note of Today.
Thanks and best regards,
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