This paper outlines some techniques whereby the safety of an installation may be improved by attention to "quality" in a similar manner to Quality Assurance.
The techniques mentioned are to be treated as illustrative and indicate the manner in which they change as a project progresses.
The paper indicates areas where it is believed there is potential for new techniques utilising the strength of modern computers.
The title of this paper may at first appear to be confusing. However there is a conscious desire to link the words of "Assurance" and "Quality" with "Safety" in the one sentence, as the first two have a direct effect on the last.
Safety on any production installation does not occur by accident nor does it occur by blind adherence to traditional practices. Safety results from attention to detail during the four main phases of a project: Conceptual Design, Detailed Design, Construction, Operation and Modification. If attention to the detail of one phase of the project is omitted, the good work done in the other three may be undone.
Traditionally, the initial phase of a design is handled by five main engineering disciplines: Process, Mechanical, Instrument, Electrical and Structural, with a number of supporting disciplines such as Safety and, in this context, Loss Prevention, i.e. the engineering discipline which identifies and rectifies those potential causes of loss of production, loss of capital and loss of life. In addition, there are supporting services such as Purchasing, Expediting and Quality Assurance.
The purpose of this paper is to show that the Loss Prevention input to a project is as important as the five main disciplines and some of the project is as important as the five main disciplines and some of the techniques which can be applied will be illustrated under the headings of Design, (including Hazop and Hazan), Purchase Specification and Operations (including audits).
Few accidents occur due to "unknown factors". Very often they are due to design mistakes resulting from poorly integrated designs.