Electrical Safety Workshops: Why do them?

HAZOP and HAZID workshops are a staple of process safety engineering and they are a standard line item in the project scope of work. But the same can’t be said for the electrical equivalent of a HAZOP/HAZID, which reviews the safety and operation of electrical installations in a facility. So much so that unlike the HAZOP/HAZID, there is no standard naming convention for the workshop and there are a number of names floating around, e.g.

  • Safety and Operability (SAFOP)
  • eHAZOP or Electrical HAZOP
  • Electrical Safety and Operability Review (ELSOR)
  • Safety and Operability Review Electrical (SOREL)

Yet electricity is the cause of thousands of non-fatal injuries and hundreds of fatalities in US workplaces each year, ranging form electrocutions to burns from electrical fires and explosions.

The electrical safety workshop presents a structured framework for identifying electrical safety hazards and electrical system operability issues. The main objectives are to:

  • Assess and minimise potential hazards presented to personnel working in the vicinity of electrical installations
  • Provide a critical review of electrical system design and equipment installed in the field and assess any limitations and their effects on both the operability and security of the system
  • Analyse tasks set for operators, assess facilities, instructions and training provided to undertake these tasks and recommend measures to avoid operator error

Like a HAZOP/HAZID, the workshop is carried out in a group session involving a number of experts with knowledge and experience of the electrical power system, equipment and operations, with brainstorming for each electrical subsystem / node done by applying a number of Guidewords and Deviations.

Synergy Engineering recently conducted a SAFOP workshop for several offshore platforms operated by Premier Oil. The workshop generated many findings and recommendations to improve the safety and operation of the facilities.

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