Risk Awareness Evaluation in Refinery Stations: a Pilot Study

Open Access
Li, Shuo
Graduate Program:
Industrial Engineering
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
Committee Members:
  • Ling Rothrock, Thesis Advisor
  • Andris Freivalds, Thesis Advisor
  • Dr Paul Griffin, Thesis Advisor
  • Risk Perception
  • Risk Analysis
  • Visualization Tool
  • LOPA
The concept of risk pervades everyday life. In modern times, study of industry- or technology-risk is necessary and essential because not only it is closely linked with people’s lives, but also those risks can lead to serious consequences. Chemical and allied industries (petroleum, gas, etc.), with their both high-risk and high-profit nature, take on important roles in technology-risk studies. Many techniques have been developed to address risk issues, such as Fault Tree Analysis, Hazard and Operability Analysis and Layer of Protection Analysis (LOPA). Most of them identify or quantify risks from an equipment-reliability perspective, and human factors are seldom taken into account. In this thesis, a risk evaluation method, TopN method, focusing on human perception is developed. It can be seen as a complementary layer to LOPA, where human supervision, alarm and control should be the core considerations. The main purpose of this approach is to detect gaps between work managers’ and operators’ risk perceptions. A pilot study was done with the proposed method and followed by some analyses and visualizations of the results. Similarities and differences in human risk perceptions are easy to check with the help of this method and its visualization tools. In conclusion, TopN method is straightforward and time-saving, and it is adequate to be a complementary technique to LOPA taking human risk perception into consideration.