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Risk Assessment


Ralph W. Pike (Louisiana State University)


This web browser-based, self-study course is designed to provide a working knowledge of risk assessment, management and reduction as applied to chemical plants and petroleum refineries. It includes descriptions of methods with examples and exercises, and it requires about three hours to complete. Although developed for chemical engineering faculty and students, the course material can also be used as part of the safety orientation at industrial facilities. Topics focus on the detection, prevention and mitigation of risks including:

  • Screening Analysis Techniques
  • Checklist Reviews
  • Preliminary Hazards Analysis
  • Safety Audit
  • What-if Analysis
  • Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA)
  • Hazard and Operability Studies (HAZOPS)
  • Fault Tree and Event Tree Analysis
  • Chemical Plume and Dispersion Analysis
  • Explosion and Fire Analysis
  • Assessment of Health Effects
  • Quantified Risk Assessment

The course material prepares students to develop the information needed in plant design in a senior-level design course (e.g., a HAZOP on a process flow diagram) or provides background to topics discussed in a process safety course. The course material emphasizes how the methods for risk assessment, management, and reduction are related and function together.

Much of the material in the course is summarized from: Risk Assessment and Risk Management for the Chemical Process Industry, H. R. Greenberg and J. J. Cramer, Editors, John Wiley and Sons, New York, NY (1991); and Process Synthesis and Design, A SeIf-lnstructional Problem Workbook, D. Kauffman, ETS International, Inc. Roanoke, VA (1992). These books are recommended for further details on the topics.

Although following the order of the material as presented is recommended, the course sections can be studied in any sequence if the person has adequate background, and there are links to move easily among topics.

This is a narrated course, and the text is available by clicking on a text icon on each of the topic slides. The text and slides can be modified. The course is in a zipped file to preserve the directory structure. After unzipping the file, start the course by pointing a browser to the file index1.html in the RiskAssessment folder.

Student access: All files are available to students logged into the site.

Suggested courses that can use this product

  • Design
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