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Implementation of Analytical Hierarchy Process to Prioritize Health, Safety and Environment Risks of Hydrocarbon-Rich Sludge in South Pars Gas Complex-First Refinery, Iran



Risk management embarrasses processes aimed at reducing the hazardous effects of an activity through informed actions to predict and prevent unwanted events. Oil sludge disposal is an integral activity in gas refineries, which, if not implemented safely, can impose environmental pollution, health risks and huge cost. The present applied, cross-sectional, analytical survey aimed to identify and prioritize Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) risks of hydrocarbon-rich sludge in South Pars Gas Complex-First Refinery, Iran. The statistical population included HSE experts and managers of the studied refinery, selected by purposeful sampling (n=31). By reviewing the literature and collecting available information on the technical and process properties of waste management in the studied refinery, the relevant risks were identified using Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA). Delphi technique was used to qualitatively analyze risks and achieve group knowledge. The probability of risk occurrence was determined by performing analytical hierarchy process (AHP) and pairwise comparisons using Expert choice software. Data analysis revealed 17 environmental (n=7), health (n=4) and safety (n=6) risks. Based on the results, the highest risk priority was “Accumulation of radioactive materials deposited on the internal surfaces of pipes, valves, pumps, heat exchangers, tanks, boilers and other equipment and the risk of these materials being dangerous for human health”, which were in the health risk category. The lowest priority was the risk of “Contamination of the lands of the gas refinery with burnt oils, catalytic beds, hydrocarbon sludge, amine sludge, soda sludge and refinery sludge”.

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