In times of restricted travel and social distancing, HAZOP and LOPA Workshops per video conference are a viable alternative.  With engineering / operational staff potentially restricted to home office, it is still possible to carry out risk reviews for new projects, or revisit existing studies in order to update hazard assumptions.

HAZOP and LOPA Analysis is normally carried out with a Team comprising Client designers, experts, operators and an experienced HAZOP Chairman / Scribe. The preferred forum is via a workshop, generally held at Client premises. In case of restricted travel and/or limits on physical participation, HAZOP / LOPA workshop may be carried out via video conference. In order to ensure a successful video workshop, it is necessary to follow clear protocols regarding preparation, data-sharing and etiquette during the video conference.

PSC’s preferred platform for executing HAZOP / LOPA via video conference is Microsoft Teams. Before each workshop, PSC will issue a Video Conference Procedure and work actively with participants to ensure that software and hardware are properly functionioning. PSC strongly recommends holding a ‘dummy run’ video conference some days before the actual workshop, in order to iron out any issues with connectivity. A limit of five active participants is recommended in order to keep an orderly workshop structure.

The actual video workshop itself follows standard HAZOP / LOPA methodology, whereby the protocol (e.g. ExSILentia) will be screen-shared with the remote participants. Technical subject matter, such as PFD / PID mark-ups, risk criteria, layouts, operating philosophy, C&E charts, etc. are avialable via the Team directory. Meeting chat allows participants to raise queries without interrupting the current speaker.

A typical remote screen looks like this:

PSC provides independent Chairman and Scribe services for HAZOP and LOPA in accordance with IEC 61511 and already has positive experience in leading HAZOP / LOPA workshops via video conferencing. Please download our HAZOP-SIL-LOPA-References.

Here is an interesting Webinar from Exida on the subject of remote HAZOPs (one hour).