AmmoniaKnowHow to update the HAZID Guideline to cover Creeping Changes based on FIORDA data

AmmoniaKnowHow to update the HAZID Guideline to cover Creeping Changes based on FIORDA data developed a Hazard Identification Study (HAZID) Guideline for operators in the fertilizer industry as part of the Operational Excellence Program.

Based on our site observation and researches from technical incidents documented in Fertilizer Industry Operational Risks Database we notice an increase number of incidents due to creeping changes.

What is creeping change?

Creeping change is the accumulation of small changes which often go unnoticed, which can add up to a significant change, but because they are gradual in nature, no hazard identification study or risk assessment has been performed. They are gradual, unseen and not planned, and because of this can be difficult to monitor.

Recently the Energy Institute in UK commissioned The Health and Safety Laboratory HSL has carried out a study on a Creeping Change HAZID (CCHAZID); the aims of this work was to develop and pilot a methodology to identify creeping changes and a set of keywords to be used.

Creeping changes are a safety risk that has only relatively recently been highlighted as a significant issue. The Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) identified ‘creeping changes’ as a challenge to safety and found that there were insufficient systems to deal with this risk. One of the recommendations was to use audits to identify and manage creeping change.

Types of creeping change

Creeping changes can occur in many different forms and problems often occur when these changes interact and/or are cumulative. Creeping changes are relevant across a wide range of disciplines including (but not limited to) process safety, mechanical engineering, electrical control and instrumentation (EC&I) and human factors. Some examples of types of creeping change are:

  • Ageing (including degradation and obsolescence);
  • Process changes;
  • Equipment/infrastructure changes;
  • Management/ownership changes;
  • Workforce change/loss of skills;
  • Operational Risk Assessments (ORAs)a/Management of Changes (MOCs)b; and
  • Culture changes.


AmmoniaKnowHow is researching the keywords to be used in the updated HAZID Guideline. These shall be developed from finding resulted from FIORDA case studies analysis and wider knowledge from our team members.

The keywords will focus around the themes of:

  • Equipment and infrastructure changes;
  • Process changes;
  • Workforce and organisational changes; and
  • Ageing plant changes.

The full list of the keywords will be included in the original guidance developed for our clients.

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