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published on

November 2020

We are pleased to be a Silver Sponsor for the Hazards30 virtual process safety conference.

Additionally, we invite attendees to join our (two) presentations on Friday, November 27, 2020:

Why Proactive Assessment of Hydrogen Fueling Risks Is Essential

Track 2 Hydrogen Hazards | Time: 15:34-16:00

Authored by:

Karen R. Vilas, Principal Process Safety Consultant, BakerRisk, 11011Richmond Avenue, Ste 700, Houston, TX 77042

Robert J. Magraw, Operations Manager, BakerRisk Europe Limited, Regus House, Heronsway, Chester, CH4 9QR

Figure 8: Petrol Station Fire in St. Louis 2018“The proposed approach enables optimisation of station locations, station layouts, and selection of safeguards to provide decision-makers with an objective framework to manage risk exposure to a tolerable level.”

Currently, the commonly used method for assessing risks involves a PHA/LOPA approach to identify potential consequences and associated frequencies to determine scenario-based operational risks. In addition, the “worst credible case consequence” event(s) is typically reviewed to determine the level of safeguards required for safe operation. However, this approach to quantifying hydrogen fuelling operational risk fails to address not only the catastrophic, low frequency events but also the lower consequences, higher frequency events that may drive site risk profiles.

Historically, the oil and gas industry has experienced a range of hydrogen vapour cloud explosions (VCEs). Hydrogen, which is unique due to its explosion energy and high ignition probability, has the possibility of undergoing a deflagration-to-detonation (DDT) transition. Detonation events result in high energy explosions, which can be devastating due to the high-pressure nature of the explosion. This paper will discuss historical hydrogen explosions and the resulting damage in order to cover the potential impacts of a catastrophic release of hydrogen, both with respect to physical damage as well as public perception.

A properly conducted risk analysis for hydrogen fuelling systems should incorporate the best practice work currently performed during the PHA/LOPA process with more quantitative approaches to better understand the risk profile of hydrogen fuelling systems. This paper specifically addresses how a comprehensive scenario-based approach that considers existing process safeguards can be utilized to determine quantitative risk profiles. The proposed approach enables optimisation of station locations, station layouts, and selection of safeguards to provide decision-makers with an objective framework to manage risk exposure to a tolerable level.

“Human Performance and the Fourth Industrial Revolution”

Track 4 Human Factors II | Time: 13:20-13:45

Authored by: Roger Stokes, Principal Engineer, BakerRisk Europe Limited, Chester

“This paper includes examples of problems that have been associated with the introduction of new technology and some suggested methods to help prevent similar types of incidents from occurring.”

The “Fourth Industrial Revolution,” the “Internet of Things,” “Digitisation” and “Digitalisation” are upon us, bringing together machines, systems, data, devices and humans that are communicating with each other in ways that are continuously evolving. We live in exciting times and this has the potential to provide huge benefits including increased productivity, efficiency, innovation, safety, and ultimately to improve the quality of life for everyone on the planet.

However, in industries where the consequences of failure are severe, this could also introduce unacceptable risks. This is particularly an issue where the potential negative interactions between these new ways of doing things and our existing systems, including human interactions and performance factors, are not fully understood and assessed.

There are many examples where technical progress has led to incidents and much has been learnt to avoid similar failures; however as yet newer technologies come into play, they may introduce new failure modes and types that are difficult to foresee.

This paper is not a guide to these new technologies; more a message to potential users of new technology and tools to adopt a holistic or systems approach that considers the various interactions of humans, machines, and technology. Most Process Safety Management (PSM) systems already include Management of Change (MoC) and this is a good starting point to help ensure that safety, particularly in high hazard industries, is not compromised. Unfortunately, in situations where potential failure modes of systems are not known about or properly understood, there can still be unintended consequences. You don’t know what you don’t know (the unknown unknowns).

This paper includes examples of problems that have been associated with the introduction of new technology and some suggested methods to help prevent similar types of incidents from occurring.

BakerRisk exhibit booth for Hazards30 virtual conferenceSnapshot of videos available at the BakerRisk booth