ECM Faculty Focus
Avoiding the ‘big bang' is a common pursuit in both industry and here at the University of Western Australia, according to Centre for Petroleum, Fuels and Energy Director, Professor Dongke Zhang.
Partnering with his industry sponsor Chevron and assisted by Rob Greenhalgh, School of Mechanical Engineering's safety officer, Professor Zhang hosted a Hazard Operability (HAZOP) workshop to assess the research project he was developing with Chevron.
HAZOP is a systematic method of reviewing the process hazard in the operation of any complex hydrocarbon handling facility. It is a documented, systematic, thorough and creative way to identify hazards and operability.
Rachelle Doyle of Chevron's Loss Prevention Unit, who facilitated the workshop, said the HAZOP process had many benefits.
"It is predictive in nature, includes multiple perspectives, evaluates the system as a whole, can reduce late changes in a project, results in a smoother start-up, provides information for procedures and helps to achieve ‘buy-in' from all stakeholders."
The HAZOP workshop marked the first time such a detailed safety and hazard analysis had been conducted on a project at the University.
"At Chevron safety is one of our core values," Lisa Hawker, Chevron's Manager, Western Australian Alliance for Advanced Energy Solutions, said.
"We are excited about this opportunity to work with UWA in the HAZOP workshop as it is putting our company's safety objective into practice and working with our partners. This is a good example of how our alliance partnership is working."
Professor Zhang said he was enthusiastic about the opportunity to gather such a meeting of diverse and experienced minds, including representatives from UWA's safety and health office.
"Projects may overlook a lot of safety issues so it is very important to have a wide range of eyes looking over our shoulders," he said.