Naturally, the chemical industry has a concentration of processes that involve hazardous substances and physical processes are conducted that may pose a risk as well. In the chemical industry we are required to ensure that all defence layers function well, and to achieve this we offer HAZOP risk analyses for the process itself (HAZID); for the work environment (FMECA); for non-continuous processes such as startup or emergency shutdown, FMECA was also found to be effective for risk analysis in which the employee conducts the procedural stages such as delivering equipment for maintenance, modelling, cleaning and any other intervention in a process which is automatic in its nature.
The most known analysis method, HAZOP, can be applied starting from the initial planning stage, the detailed planning through to routine operation. HAZOP is also conducted as an integral part of change management in the chemical industry. FMECA is appropriate for detailed planning and routine operation risk analysis and is especially suitable for faults, recovery from faults and maintenance activity, while HAZID is especially suitable for the initial planning stages to determine locations and determining policy and “Go-No Go” type decisions.
Over the years, we have conducted risk analysis for almost all types of chemical industry. We have performed risk analysis for projects all across the globe where industry can be found: from Chile to USA and Canada in the Americas, New Zealand and Australia, Japan, India and other countries in Asia, across Africa from South Africa through Congo to Morocco and even a number of European countries.
Our risk analysis team includes two experienced HAZOP instructors with 23 and 11 years of experience, and three additional HAZOP instructors, so that we can conduct risk analyses on highly complex processes, within a short timeframe and to unparalleled quality.
The experience we can bring to the HAZOP table enables the brainstorming session with the client to become a beneficial, thorough and even interesting discussion, and enables combining knowledge with good, creative solutions for procedural issues suggested and implemented at various points with our clients across the globe.
The same wide knowledge base enables us to conduct accident investigation in the procedural industry, discover the root causes, conduct root cause analysis, conduct modelling for an incident with or without defences and suggest appropriate measures to prevent the next accident.
Light and heavy industry
The chemical industry is used to working with hazardous substances; however, hazardous processes are not unique to the chemical industry. Other industries also use and consume hazardous substances routinely, starting from treating water and wastewater through to treating metals on the shop floor.
HAZID, HAZOP and FMECA risk analyses are appropriate for industry as a whole, however at an industry which is not chemical the analyses are focused on specific questions. For instance, for one of our clients in the field of desalination, the majority of the discussion revolved around two aspects of the desalination layout: working at a very high hydraulic pressure at the entrance to the membranes and using hazardous chemicals for treating water prior to the desalination and prior to inserting into the national grid.
For a different client from the metal industry we tested, using HAZOP methodology, the chemical and physical coating processes in the sedimentation (CVD, PVD) and using FMECA we tested the loading of items and removing them from the process oven. Using FMECA we also tested the way in which the powder warehouse (raw materials warehouse) is managed and that the various substances are collected safely to the transportation array which is made of lifts and conveyor belts.
Energy, Fuel and Natural Gas
Energy facilities in general and specifically natural gas facilities are treated just like the chemical industry, however in many cases these facilities are adjacent to other facilities or even near public receptors, which increases the risk, meaning that the risk analysis needs to be more comprehensive and include an analysis of all defense layers.
Therefore, in the energy and natural gas sectors, HAZID, HAZOP and FMECA risk analyses are becoming a requirement and pre-requisite for construction. In addition to these risk analyses, natural gas facilities for instance are required to conduct additional risk analyses to complete the safety mantle.
For our clients that deal with planning and construction of natural gas intermediate and endpoint facilities we offer a full basket of services which includes: HAZOP analysis for the project. The HAZOP analysis starts from the connection point to the division point down to the last of the consumers. In addition, we conduct risk assessments and HAZID to examine the separation distances to adjacent facilities and public receptors, check, classify and analyze the areas in which explosive atmosphere can be created, verify compliance with the requirements of the Standards Institution of Israel and complete all of the required safety information required to receive a carbonating permit.
In the energy sector our activity deals with small manufacturing facilities and power plants. Among other things, in recent years we have conducted HAZOP and HAZID analyses for power plants for electricity production at a combined cycle, power plants that make use of procedural energy to produce steam and electricity, solar power plants, geothermic power plants, power plants that return residual energy and even electricity production by wind turbines.
A unique risk analysis that we conduct very well is a FMECA analysis for gas turbines and steam turbines. Our analysis discusses the turbines’ operation conditions, fault recovery, trip mechanism in emergencies, emergency shutdown and minimizing damages from false trips. All this is done according to the plant’s specific procedural data.
So far we conducted FMECA risk analysis on turbines for the world’s largest manufacturers: Siemens and Man Diesel & Turbo and for designated control systems such as Bently Nevada.
The food industry is often perceived as a safe industry as it deals with food; however, hazardous processes are not unique to the chemical industry. The food industry also uses and consumes hazardous substances regularly, starting from treating water and wastewater through to ammonia-based refrigeration systems. In many manufacturing facilities, the energy production also puts the food industry on par with power plants. However, unlike industrial plants from other sectors, in many cases food factories are placed within population concentrations and adjacent to public receptors. Therefore, despite the relatively safe perception of this industry, conflicts are often created between the plant and the receptors around it. The solution for these conflicts is long and complicated, expensive and sometimes involves legal proceedings.
HAZID, HAZOP and FMECA type risk analyses are suitable for all industries including the food industry. In addition, food facilities are required by Israeli standards to conduct a HACCP risk assessment, which is meant to ensure control of all procedural deviations which may damage the food quality or contaminate it.
Recently, we have been assisting a number of food factories to find reasonable and acceptable solutions for the conflicts created between the food factory and its ammonia-based refrigeration systems and its environment. We begin by identifying risks using HAZOP and HAZID risk assessments and continue with detailed planning of the holding actions designed to treat ammonia incidents. To complete the defense layers we also provide the emergency solution layer and offer a variety of drills to management, emergency teams and all employees.
The State of Israel
One of the main challenges in population safety these days is the ability to assess as accurately as possible the effectiveness of the defense means we provide as part of the overall safety planning. In structures, institutions, buildings and halls, defense of inhabitants deals with two main aspects: defense from smoke and fire exposure in incidents of fire in the building and escape from the building to a safe location. Escape can also be a relevant need for incidents that do not involve fire in the building.
Legally Required CFD Calculation
Computational Fluid Dynamics is the calculative basis for a simulation of a fire development and smoke dispersion and other fire products.
Laws, standards and policy documents determine cases in which CFD is required as part of the structure’s safety planning:
- Malls: calculative proof is required using CFD that the height of the smoke layer at the top floor in a fire scenario will allow for safe escape.
- Train tunnels: in the range between 60-304 meters, proof is required using CFD that there is no hazardous accumulation of smoke in a fire incident. Beyond 304 meters, CFD is required to proof effectiveness of the smoke clearing systems.
- Road tunnels: CFD is required in all cases.
- Atrium: CFD is required for tall structures and multi-story structures.
- CFD is mandatory anywhere that the escape route is horizontal.
- In smoke-protected structures designed for gatherings.
Furthermore, CFD is the ‘official’ tool to prove the effectiveness of smoke and heat clearing systems.
The service we offer packages both aspects together, but enables using each separately:
CFD computer simulation. To assess the development of fire in a certain space, and in order to understand how the smoke behaves according to the ventilation and flow regime at a location, we use the CFD model developed by The American Technological Institution in order to simulate the behavior of fire within structures. The fire dynamic simulator (FDS) enables calculation, at a resolution of part-seconds, of the fire’s development, and how it may affect the inhabitants’ survivability.
At the first stage of operating the simulator, we create a computerized 3D model of the tested structure. When creating the model we input the walls, openings, floors, levels, floor and ceiling, exits and entrances, the ventilation layout (natural and forced) and everything required to receive a full model of the space.
In the second stage we create various fire scenarios, examine the smoke dispersion, the toxic fire products and the change in temperature in the entire structure. By controlling the scenario data we can examine the effectiveness and efficiency of the existing defense systems, improve what is required and plan effective defense systems.
CFD calculations are especially beneficial for:
- Car parks
- Designated rooms and halls
- Underground structures
- Control rooms
- Cinema and auditorium halls
- Rooms and halls with controlled ventilation
- And more…
For an example of a computerized simulation of a fire development at an atrium – see here.
Computerized simulation of escape. Whether the cause for escape is a fire or any other cause, using computerized simulation of the escape we can examine the escape ability from any point in the structure; to locate bottlenecks; and to examine escape routes to a safe location at an unlimited outline of scenarios and conditions unique to the incident.
This way, we can analyze escape options from crowding points, from strategic structures, malls and shopping centers, culture and sports events, schools etc. CFD simulation can be combined with the escape simulation, providing an analysis of the escape options for a variety of fire scenarios.
For an example of a computerized simulation for escape during a fire at an atrium – see here.