84195 - Process Safety Engineering M

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Good health and well-being Industry, innovation and infrastructure Sustainable cities Responsible consumption and production

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

After the course students will be able to assess the risks due to industrial installations (i.e. chemical and process industries), through the application of basic concepts about: classification of hazardous substances, hazard identification, probabilistic assessment of top events and consequence assessment.

Course contents

1) Introduction to loss prevention and risk analysis

Risk and risk assessment. The risk assessment procedure. Risk acceptability criteria. Risk mitigation. Introduction to relevant regulation.

2) Hazardous properties of substances

Introduction to the hazardous properties of materials. Flammability. Toxicity. The GHS classification system. The material safety data sheet. Labelling.

3) Hazard identification

Introduction to hazard identification. Historical analysis. Safety review. Checklists. HazOp analysis. FMEA / FMECA.

4) Consequence and damage assessment

Source terms models (liquid, gas, two-phase release). Models for radiative effects of fire scenarios (pool fire, jet-fire, fireball). Dispersion models for neutral and heavy gases: modelling toxic and/or flammable clouds. Models for overpressure effects from explosions (physical explosions and BLEVEs, vapor cloud explosions). Post-release event trees. Damage models for heat radiation, overpressure and toxic exposure (thresholds and probit models). Introduction to the software for consequence assessment.

5) Frequency evaluation and reliability engineering

Basic notions about probabilities and frequencies. Generic frequencies for loss of containment. Random events and parts count. Introduction to reliability engineering. Reliability of components. Reliability of systems

6) Risk recomposition

Local risk. F-N curves.


Reference books:

  • Lees' Loss Prevention in the Process Industries, S. Mannan editor, IV ed., Butterworth-Heineman, Oxford, UK, 2012
  • R.Rota, G. Nano, Introduzione alla affidabilità e sicurezza nell'industria di processo, Pitagora Ed., Bologna, I, 2007
  • D.A.Crowl, J.F.Louvar, Chemical process safety: fundamentals with applications, III ed., Prentice Hall, New Jersey, USA, 2011
  • Centre for Chemical Process Safety of AIChE, Guidelines for chemical process quantitative risk analysis (II ed.), New York, USA, 1999
  • Center for Chemical Process Safety of AIChE, Guidelines for hazard evaluation procedures (III ed.), AIChE, New York, USA, 2008
  • TNO, Methods for the calculation of physical effects (Yellow book). Report CPR 14E (III ed.), The Hague, NL, 2005
  • H. Kumamoto, E. Henley, Probabilistic Risk Assessment and Management for Engineers and Scientists, 2nd edition, IEEE Press, New York, 2000

You can find all these books (in some cases in one of the previous editions) at the Library F.P.Foraboschi in via Terracini 28; for information about the availability of the books, please contact the librarian (Annalisa Neri, annalisa.neri@unibo.it)

Teaching methods

The teacher adopts a traditional teaching method: all topics of the course contents are explained during the classes, with the support of slides. In the slides both theoretical concepts and the solutions of simple exercises are reported. Interactivity is welcome during the classes: students are invited to ask questions to clarify doubts or if they want the teacher to repeat the explanations, as well as to answer the questions asked by the teacher. Furthermore, homework can be done by the students within specific deadlines.

The course is focused mainly on theory. Practical activities (e.g., use of software for consequence assessment) are offered in the Laboratory of Process Safety M – prof. A.Tugnoli)

Assessment methods

The exam consists in a written proof, specifically a quiz with multiple choice answers, open questions, simple numerical exercises, questions with words to fit in, true or false questions,.... An example of the written proof will be made available in the teaching material.

Teaching tools

  • Slides explained during the classes
  • Additional teaching material made available by the teacher
  • Books on the course contents
  • Videos of some major accidents
  • Numerical exercises
  • Homework
  • Example of an exam proof

All the material mentioned above is made available on the Virtuale platform for 1 year (access is limited to the students having the course in their study plan). The teacher will NOT make available the audio/video recordings of the classes. The warm reccomandation to students is to directly follow all the classes, at the best in presence, if possible.

Office hours

See the website of Sarah Bonvicini