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Hazops Are Not a Panacea

Last night's disastrous dinner involved a plant that had been operating only a short while before the disaster struck. The process involved fermentation and so the equipment had to get steamed out to sterilise the process. After the sterilisation step of the broth receiver was completed, the broth from the fermenter was reintroduced. This collapsed the steam, pulled a vacuum and collapsed the tank.

The picture generated a bit of a shock in the room. But I think the more shocking thing was that this plant had been subjected to a hazop. In a process that would have required steaming out, vacuum formation was missed.

Hazops are not a panacea. Just because a hazop has been carried out, doesn't mean all hazards have been found. Hazops are carried out by humans. We make mistakes. We need to keep that in mind and continue to look out for things that have been missed.

Thanks to Ron Dalton for presenting last night's talk. Here is a link to last night's slides.

If you have any questions or suggestions for events in the future, or you would like to become involved in creating Members Group events, of any kind, please get in touch, I am eager to hear from members!

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