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Plant Safety

Plant Safety

Plant Safety: Safe and Operational Production Plants

As plants are becoming more and more complex and the demand for “return on invest” is growing, the requirements regarding adequate measures for avoiding production downtimes and for increasing of safety are rising. Through its spectrum of services in the field of plant safety TÜV Austria provides competent advice for minimising the risks.

Safety, reliability and availability

The safe operation of plant and machinery requires a systematic approach for reliably discovering and eliminating risks or reducing them to an acceptable level. This comprises the protection of persons and the environment as well as the economic risks, caused by production down-times or decreased production rates.

It is a focal point of the systematic risk analysis to foresee and assess possible deviations from intended and planned functions and activities. Amongst the various methods for the detection of sources of danger, in particular with highly complex systems, the HAZOP (Hazard and Operability) technique has emerged as particularly effective and flexible.

Guided brainstorming

HAZOP describes a systematic approach for finding not obvious sources of danger in systems of all kinds. Its characteristic is the methodical, guided brainstorming of an interdisciplinary group of experts with the target of recognizing all possible deviations from the intended operation of a system and to uncover the respective causes. The listing of the possible deviations is the starting point for assessing the effects and for determining the appropriate counter-measures.

When the team of experts is formed one will make sure to cover all aspects of the plant such as normal operation, startup and shutdown or maintenance procedures. The analysis is guided by an independent moderator and the results of the discussions are recorded on-line by a secretary.

Results of a HAZOP analysis

  • identification of weak spots concerning the process, the process control or the equipment
  • definition of required measures and the corresponding responsibilities
  • traceable documentation
  • avoidance of routine blindness through independent moderators

Scope of services

  • experienced moderators who motivate the team members to work creatively and who direct the discussions in a goal-oriented way
  • know-how of plant safety concepts and plant operation in order to assess the plausibility of the chosen solutions
  • avoidance of routine blindness by independence from operators and designers
  • monitoring of the conformity according to European directives, assured by the activities of TÜV Austria as notified body and inspection body.

Scope of application:

Assemblies are functional units consisting of many different individual modules or individual components. For example, typical process plants consist of pressure equipment, machinery, control and safety devices. The size of the assemblies ranges from relatively small units to complete plants.

Safety devices of the individual modules and the use of certified equipment are necessary conditions for the safe operation of the entire plant. Yet, the specific dangers generated by the interaction of the individual components in complex systems must also be taken into consideration. This requires a comprehensive overall safety concept in order to reliably protect persons, the environment and to avoid economic losses

Interdisciplinary approach:

Assemblies in most cases consist of individual equipment requiring know-how from different technical areas. A reliable assessment of the total safety concept of such assemblies is therefore only possible through a team of experts.

Through the pool of experts at TÜV AUSTRIA competent support in all questions of safety can be provided for comprehensive problems.

Scope of services:

  • specification and check of the required documentation
  • systematic safety and risk analysis, tailor-made for the problem
  • assessment of the safety concept according to the demands of the Pressure Equipment Directive 97/23/EC
  • assessment of the safety concept according to the demands of the Machinery Directive 98/37/EC, e.g. risk analysis in compliance with EN 1050
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