Definition – What does Hazard and Operability Study (HAZOP) mean?
A hazard and operability (HAZOP) study is a systematic brainstorming process of assessing the existence of hazards in equipment and the vulnerability of its operation. It is a risk assessment tool that provides information to the management who can make decisions to improve safety and conduct safe operations. Hazard and operability (HAZOP) studies concentrate on recognizing hazards and operability problems in an orderly approach, where hazard identification and operability are the main attentions.
HSSE WORLD explains Hazard and Operability Study (HAZOP)
A hazard is any object or operation that could possibly cause an accident or accidental release of toxic, flammable, or explosive chemicals that may injure humans or cause a loss of properties. Operability is the functionality that could possibly otherwise lead to a violation of environmental, health, or safety regulations or negatively impact profitability if something went wrong.
Safety and reliability are ensured during the design and development of machinery or designing processes, considering codes of practices and standards. The production of machinery requires knowledge of engineering, safety, and experience of individual experts and the industry. Often, it becomes obvious to supplement these with imaginations for better safety, speed, and quality, but accidents might occur because of mechanical failure or operator error. Sometimes, designers are under pressure to keep the project on time and that results in errors and mistakes, which cause accidents. HAZOP study is, therefore, essential in an effort to correct these safety faults and hazards before an accident takes place.« Back to Glossary Index