A SAFOP Study provides a formal framework for a systematic examination of the Safety and Operability of the design of an Electrical Installation from a Technical, Maintenance and Operational viewpoint.
A SAFOP does not include detailed analysis of design calculations, design data (eg checking of protection settings), or review of manufacturers capabilities. SAFOP is merely a hazard analysis process to evaluate major electrical hazards and risks to personnel safety and evaluate safeguards and identify risk mitigation measures to protect against safety hazards.
Electrical Operations teams can be exposed to risks when working with Electrical Installations such as HV Switchgear, Transformers, if not designed and installed correctly. Furthermore, operability and availability issues are costly since electrical power is often an essential utility for operations.
Traditionally, the electrical design is verified by the use of standard design reviews, where the main purpose is to assure that the design of each sub-component is according to applicable standards, laws and regulations.
The idea behind an Electrical HAZOP (EHAZOP) is to complement design reviews as an organised brainstorming with participation from the parties involved in the design and engineering of the electric system together with the suppliers and end user. The methodology is based on IEC 61882 with appropriate guidelines and parameters. A typical strategy is to divide the system into nodes corresponding to the different bus bar voltage levels (e.g. 24V, 110V, 11 kV etc.) A guideword and deviation type checklist is analysed to identify gaps in construction and operations of Electrical Equipment in the process plant.
EHAZOP or SAFOP is truly an advantageous tool for custom systems where high level of integration is required. It is a recognised exercise to help minimizing the risk inherently associated with high power installations.
Objectives of a SAFOP Study is to assess and minimise types of potential hazard presented to personnel in the vicinity of electrical installations.