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Hazard Identification Playing Cards

August 7, 2015


You may be familiar with the "personality identification playing cards" which were issued to front-line personnel to identify potential threats, so maybe we need to use a similar approach to re-boot an awareness of potential threats on our Process plants to ensure our veteran personnel don't become complacent and our less experienced personnel are not exposed to hazards as a result of naivety or unfamiliarity.


Here's a suggested set of Process Safety Playing Cards:


Loss of Containment
CCPS Guidelines for Chemical Process Quantitative Risk Analysis, Appendix A: Loss-of-Containment Causes in the Chemical industry.



  1. Lost Via an “Open-End” - failure or spurious operation.

  2. Lost Via an “Open-End” - operator error.

  3. Failure Within Design Conditions - imperfections due to undetected equipment deterioration.

  4. Failure Within Design Conditions - imperfections arising from incorrect maintenance or inappropriate modifications.

  5. Failure Within Design Conditions - impact damage from cranes, road vehicles or other plant machinery.

  6. Failure Within Design Conditions - damage by confined explosions due to accumulation and ignition of flammable leaks.

  7. Failure Within Design Conditions - settlement or failure of structural supports due to geological or climatic factors.

  8. Failure Within Design Conditions - heat exposure or blast effects from a nearby fire/explosion.

  9. Failure Beyond Design Conditions - overpressuring of equipment.

  10. Failure Beyond Design Conditions - underpressuring of equipment (unable to withstand vacuum).

  11. Failure Beyond Design Conditions - high metal temperature (loss of strength).

  12. Failure Beyond Design Conditions - low metal temperature (cold embrittlement).

  13. Failure Beyond Design Conditions - wrong process materials or abnormal impurities.


Potential Sources of Ignition
EN 1127-1: Explosive atmospheres — Explosion prevention and protection



  1. Hot surfaces

  2. Flames and hot gases (including hot particles)

  3. Mechanically generated sparks

  4. Electrical apparatus

  5. Stray electric currents, cathodic corrosion protection

  6. Static electricity

  7. Lightning

  8. Radio Frequency (RF) Electromagnetic waves

  9. Electromagnetic waves

  10. Ionizing radiation

  11. Ultrasonics

  12. Adiabatic compression and shock waves

  13. Exothermic reactions, including self-ignition of dusts


Process Safety Management
Energy Institute: High Level Framework for Process Safety Management



  1. Operating manuals and procedures

  2. Process and operational status monitoring, and handover

  3. Management of operational interfaces

  4. Standards and practices

  5. Management of change and project management

  6. Operational readiness and process start-up

  7. Emergency preparedness

  8. Inspection and maintenance

  9. Management of safety critical devices

  10. Work control, permit to work and task risk management

  11. Contractor and supplier, selection and management

  12. Incident reporting and investigation

  13. Audit, assurance, management review and intervention

Key Performance Indicators
IChemE Safety Centre: Lead Process Safety Metrics – selecting, tracking and learning 2015



  1. Open Management of Change on SCE/Barriers

  2. Demands on SCE/barriers

  3. SCE/Barriers failing on demand

  4. SCE/Barrier Inspections performed vs. planned or Maintenance deferred

  5. SCE/Barriers failing on test

  6. Damage to primary containment detected on test/inspection

  7. Temporary Operating Procedures open

  8. Emergency response drills to plan

  9. Process safety related audits (inc. Permit to Work checks) to plan

  10. Process safety audits (inc. Permit to Work checks) non-conformance

  11. Compliance with critical procedures

  12. Critical alarms per operator hour

  13. Standing alarms


These could be distributed in workshops, canteens etc. or alternatively (conveniently with 52 cards)  have a specific theme for each week of the year.


As you'll appreciate, I've had to trim the list of card (topics) so welcome your thoughts on what are the most important message to get across (succinctly) to those who face process hazards on a daily basis


If anybody would like the native images, please send your details via the contact form on the website www.psintegrity.com


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