By this stage, commissioning is complete and the plant has been moved on to normal operation.
The operations team will be responsible for the operation and maintenance of the plant and teething problems are worked out.
During the operational phase, it is important to review the measures that were put in place at the design stage to ensure that they are working as intended. Many companies choose to carry out a hazard study 6 (HS6) in early operational lifecycle to ensure that the level of safety is appropriate and that the original design assumptions were valid. See Hazard Study 6.
After HS6 (typically carried out within the first few months of operation), the focus moves towards confirming the continued safe operation of the process and the associated safety systems by way of a “Stage 4 Functional Safety Assessment” (FSA4) as per IEC 61511 and carrying out review (or “revalidation”) of the safety studies (HazOpHazard & Operability Study /LOPALayer of Protection Analysis ) after 5 years of operation. This review phase captures any changes made to the plant over the years of operation and reviews the safeguards that were put in place for effectiveness. This 5-year timeframe gives sufficient operational experience to make the review worthwhile.
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