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Layers of Protection Analysis: Practical Application and Pitfalls (LOPA)

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Layers Of Protection Analysis (LOPA) is a risk assessment method used to determine and hence demonstrate the ability of existing and proposed safeguards to protect against identified hazard scenarios and to meet predetermined risk based criteria.

The Process Safety Leadership Group (PSLG) prepared specific guidance for the applications of LOPA to determine the required safety integrity level (SIL) for overfill protection of highly flammable fuel storage tanks at sites similar to Buncefield. The course presenter was a member of the PSLG LOPA working group that developed the LOPA guidance. This course will draw on that guidance, its relevance to LOPA assessment in general, and pitfalls identified during the assessment of a large number of LOPA studies from the petrochemical industry.

The course will cover:

  • LOPA, uses and complexity
  • When to use LOPA and when to consider QRA
  • LOPA study prerequisites and preparation?
  • LOPA target frequencies
  • Human Factors
  • Input data sources and uncertainty
  • How to perform LOPA; LOPA rules and IEC 61511 requirements, scenario's, conditional modifiers, enabling events, Independent protection/mitigation layers
  • LOPA Outcomes; regulator expectations, ALARP considerations
  • Example pitfalls associated with LOPA
  • Case study examples

Who should attend

The course is aimed at those engineers, managers and safety professionals who have a basic knowledge of risk assessment possibly gained through HAZOP studies and PHA studies, who would like to have an understanding of the LOPA method and how to apply LOPA and the pitfalls commonly associated with this type of analysis.

For example typical attendees could be:

  • SHE managers
  • Engineering Managers
  • Operations personnel
  • Engineers - Safety, EC&I, Process, Electrical and Mechanical

Course presenter

Dr Colin Chambers CEng MIET has 15 years experience at HSE, initially on the development of risk assessment methods for the assessment of safety related systems such as the SIL determination method in informative annex of BS EN 62061 and 11 years experience of risk assessment within HSE and as a COMAH technical assessor. Dr Chambers was a member of the PSLG working group that developed the PSLG LOPA guidance and was part of the CA team charged with assessing post Buncefield LOPA studies

Dr Chambers has written peer reviewed papers and HSE reports on issues associated with LOPA and given numerous presentations at venues in the UK and in Europe.

Live Online Course Information

All you'll need is an internet-connected computer, laptop or tablet plus webcam and microphone. We do not recommend using a smartphone. Before you book, you can check that you meet the  Zoom System Requirements and run a diagnostic test to ensure the software is compatible with your firewall settings - if it doesn't work, try adjusting your settings or contact your IT department about permitting the website.

Printed course material will be delivered direct to your door and even include a little treat for you to enjoy on your coffee break!

If you would like training delivered specifically for your organisation we can use other platforms such as MSTeams, so please get in touch to discuss your requirements.



The cost of this course is £1,195 per person (includes course notes and certificate of attendance).

Please note that all courses must be paid for via credit card at the time of booking.

For further dates and additional information email: or contact the Training and Events Team at HSE directly on +44 (0)203 028 3704.

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