page 1  (15 pages)
2to next section

Applying HAZOP to Software Engineering Models


High Integrity Systems Engineering Group,
Department Of Computer Science
University Of York
Y01 5DD


School of Computing and Mathematics
University of Teesside
Cleveland TS1 3BA


HAZOP is a powerful hazard analysis technique which has a long history in process industries. As the use of programmable electronic systems becomes more common, it is clear that there is a need for a HAZOP method which can be used effectively with such systems. This paper describes several attempts to derive such a process, and identifies some requirements which must be met by any PES HAZOP procedure.


The HAZOP study was initially developed to support the chemical process industries, and after nearly 25 years of successful application it is generally considered to be an effective yet simple hazard identification method. However, the apparent simplicity of the method belies the subtlety of the associated concepts, and as a precursor to use of HAZOP to support the software development process it is important to clarify the definitions and activities that contribute to HAZOP.

HAZOP is a semi-formalised team based activity that systematically reviews a representation of a system and its operating procedures in order to identify potential hazards. It is based upon the principle that a problem can only arise when there is some deviation from the intent of the system as represented by the model under review. The procedure is to search the representation, element by element (traditionally this has been line by line for Process & Instrumentation diagram models) for every conceivable deviation from its normal operation