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Turning Up the Volume on a Good Song

Published June 02, 2015
Author: Ken Bingham

Turning up the volume on a good song...it's the same as using a 2nd generation HAZOP.    A favorite song gives you goose bumps, and you want to hear it again and again.  When the tone and message fits, it touches your heart.  If you can consider listening to something new, a 2nd generation HAZOP has the same potential.  It can change the mood of a downturned industry, and they will turn up the volume again, and again.

A downturned industry expects higher value and lower cost in return for spending precious profits. These economic times are a perfect time for a new song.

 The traditional purpose of a HAZOP still stands in a 2nd generation HAZOP but with more meaning and value.  ‘H’, for Hazard identification, is primary.  ‘A’ Is for Actions or Recommendations.   Here is where the new song really starts. Let's consider changing HAZOP to HASOP.  The new ‘S’ standing for Stakeholders.  For the missing stakeholders not at the HAZOP concert.  The missing stakeholders who did not hear the tone and the message of heartfelt recommendations because the volume was too low.  Here's why you want to turn up the volume on this new song, HASOP, and what responses you can avoid. 

1) Too many recommendations + I don't agree = Lack of trust in the HAZOP team (would have been different had I been in the HAZOP session)

2) Too many recommendations + I can't prioritize = Deferring key decisions (how do I decide what to do first considering so few resources and time)

3) Too many recommendations + I can't afford = Lack of morale to do the right thing (no budgets in place, where do I find the funds?)

4) Too many recommendations + the actions from the last HAZOP are not done (with no apparent consequence) so I have low confidence these need to be done = Complacency (Who really cares?)

 The (S) in HASOP lets those stakeholders missing from the HAZOP session buy-in to the results.  Asking the right questions before the session and turning up the volume on answers to their questions after the HASOP means a higher likelihood of approval and greater clarity of what's important for the missing stakeholders:

  • CEO’s
  • HSE managers
  • Asset Integrity managers
  • Risk managers
  • Plant Managers

Engaging the missing stakeholders in a way that respects their time but values their thinking, will generate more interest in the results of your next HASOP. 

Thinking about questions that might be of interest for the missing stakeholders will increase the likelihood that the missing stakeholders will be interested in approving more HASOPs.

The Question (examples only)



Guideword questions

Are the SGs proposed difficult to maintain for life of asset or expected to be replaced several times?

CEO, Plant manager

Can we expect frequent cost to repair, training programs, hard to find expertise, frequent replace of these SGs over life of facility?

Can we expect to reduce future operating cost of SGs on this facility?

CEO, Plant manager

As we get closer to best in safe can we expect our cost to drop?

Do our SGs align with the operating strategy and vision for this facility? In terms of human reliance, technology reliance.

CEO, Plant manager

Do we have a vision that makes it clear how to handle reliance on humans or technology as SGs?

Do we have ROI that exceeds CEO stakeholder expectations?

CEO, Plant manager

Do we know how to calculate ROI - and therefore understand best recommendations

Are we trained, educated and competent to accept the risk with operating this facility? Do we know the risk?

CEO, Plant manager

Are we smart enough to manage SGs and operate understanding the risk for this facility? Do we have a bypass Policy, understand all Risk with Bypass?

By engaging these missing stakeholders they will in turn be turning up the volume on your event. They will soon be wondering what else they could get out of these HASOPs knowing they have the best intel around the table so why not expect recommendations to increase profitability and reduce operating risk. 

I look forward to sharing what the rest of the song sounds like, the O and P.


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