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Proceedings of the Eighth International Conference on Probabilistic Safety Assessment & Management (PSAM)

Michael G. Stamatelatos
Michael G. Stamatelatos
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Harold S. Blackman
Harold S. Blackman
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ASME Press
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The definitions of “risk” and “hazard” are not very common in Germany. On the one hand there is a general belief that zero risk is possible — on the other hand the German Regulation for Operational Safety requires a hazard analysis to reduce risks to a tolerable level. This leads to confusion and misunderstandings as there is no clear procedure given how to realize such a hazard analysis. Some companies propose a paper based check list, which can easily be transferred to an excel list. This approach is sufficient only if the company is small and there is not to much technical equipment available which may cause several risks.

Therefore we developed a standard procedure which allows it to define your hazards, examine the resulting risk and realize the planning of measures in a semi-quantitative, computer based way. The method merges features of FMEA — like using qualitative categories for the consequence of damage and frequency of occurrence — and the logical top-down-approach of fault-tree-analysis by applying the corresponding calculation methods used in the “AND” and the “OR” combinations.

This procedure proved to have a wide range of acceptance in many different branches of industry and public life like

- risk management for a hydrogen high-speed car

- health and safety analysis for a steel plant

- hazard analysis for a public utility company

- hazard analysis for test track

- preliminary risk analysis for a polypropylene plant

- risk analysis for a kerosene tank site

- …

The procedure is based on a three step cause-consequence-analysis (defining consequences, hazards and root causes) followed by a three step planning of measures (preventive actions, safety functions, barriers). In our paper we demonstrate the advantages of the method for the case of a more or less complex chemical plant. In this case, e. g., 669 possible causes which were identified, could be reduced to 39 root causes which in turn lead to 86 hazards and 122 different consequences. With respect to 48 different measures a risk reduction of several orders of magnitudes was achieved. Nevertheless, the study could be performed in a short time, compared to FTA or HAZOP.

As conclusion one can say that our method has several advantages in comparison with quantitative fault-tree- or event-tree-analysis or a qualitative paper-based check list:

- time saving categorisation of events — no quantification of basic-events needed

- sufficient precision by the adaptation of the categories to the given problem

- computer based planning of the effectiveness of measures

- easy change of different aspects

- no further need for documentation

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