Identifying and Analyzing Hazards

Safety Planning starts with a meeting attended by a person in charge of the work, SMEs, facility and line management, and workers to identify specific hazards, risks associated with those hazards, and possible controls to mitigate the risks.

Hydrogen hazard assessment should address the specific hazards associated with hydrogen use in a particular application. In priority order, these are:

  1. Combustion
  2. Pressure
  3. Low temperature
  4. Hydrogen embrittlement
  5. Exposure of equipment and personnel

For a combustion hazard assessment, the following elements should be considered: mixture formation, flammability, ignition sensitivity, possible ignition sources, propagation of deflagration, transition to detonation, detonation, and temperature and overpressure effects.

The roles of hydrogen quantity, separation distances, barriers, and mitigations by equipment and procedures should also be addressed.

Hazard identification answers the question:

  • What could go wrong?

Hazard analysis begins with an analysis of the severity of an event, by asking:

  • What are the potential impacts of the event (to personnel, property, the environment, etc.)?

And continues with an analysis of the likelihood of such an occurrence:

  • How likely is this event to happen?