What-If Hazard Analysis (What-If)

This approach leans heavily on the experience of the what-if to identify potential scenarios.

The What-if is organized through the use of a checklist of questions that begin with “What if”. For example, “What if an operator forgot to close the valve?” Each question represents the potential for failure of equipment or error in operating procedure in the facility.

 In a What-if session, an SDS expert will lead team members with relevant experience and skill in evaluating hazards through “what if” questions. These what-if questions form the bases for identifying potential consequences.

The team then ranks the potential severity and likelihood of the consequences. Similar to the HAZOP process, these inputs are used to calculate risk ranking based upon the formula (S x L = RR). If the risk rank is higher than acceptable, a recommendation is made. Each recommendation is assigned to an individual with primary responsibility for ensuring the recommendation is addressed. SDS documents the findings in the final report.

Since a What-if is based on brainstorming, there is a greater risk of missing potential causes during a what-if session. SDS recommends the use of the what-if approach when project scope is small.

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