November 2011

Special Report: Plant Safety and Environment

Tips on communicating LOPA results to management

Communicate clearly and explain thoroughly

Shah, G. C., Mustang Engineers, LP

Although layers of protection analysis (LOPA) has often been used by safety professionals for risk assessment, some managers remain skeptical of its effectiveness. Usually, the skepticism stems from a lack of proper information (communicated to management) about LOPA. This skepticism is healthy and provides a fine opportunity to safety professionals to communicate safety to management. Consider the following incident: A busy plant manager took some time off from the plant to attend a LOPA facilitation being conducted for a large project for her plant. The facilitator made profuse use of acronyms and probability calculations in evaluating risk of unsafe events and, where appropriate, made

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