Layer of Protection Analysis (LOPA)

Location Rugby, UK

Date 1st April 2020

Duration 2 days

Topic Safety

CPD Hours 11.5

Price IChemE member £1350 + VAT, non-member £1480 + VAT


Learn the methodology and detailed application of LOPA

Layer of protection analysis (LOPA) is a semi-quantitative tool for analysing and assessing risk on a process plant. It uses an order of magnitude technique to evaluate the adequacy of existing or proposed layers of protection against known hazards.

The course will help you understand how significant scenarios are categorised and tolerable frequencies assigned for identified hazardous events. You will also learn to assign risk categories and determine how many Independent Protection Layers (IPLs) should be in place. The course also covers the specification and requirements for a protection layer to be accepted as an IPL.

All the essential LOPA steps are practised in workshops, including the use of software tools. Course materials also include a compendium of LOPA research papers, reference materials and further reading.

Learning outcomes

  • The LOPA methodology and its application
  • How to decide if a process needs a safety instrumented system (SIS)
  • What safety integrity level (SIL) is required
  • How to define an Independent Protection Layer (IPL)
  • How to implement a process to manage these systems through the life cycle of an installation
  • How to lead a LOPA study

Who will benefit

  • Process safety engineers
  • Loss prevention specialists
  • Production engineers
  • Process design engineers
  • Project engineers
  • Process programmers
  • Instrument control designers
  • Anyone responsible for leading a LOPA study

Course outline

  • LOPA overview and definitions
  • Scenarios
  • Initiating events and frequencies
  • Common alternatives to LOPA
  • As Low as Reasonably Practicable (ALARP)
  • Mitigation
  • Leading the LOPA study
  • LOPA audit
  • Documentation
  • Buncefield - 15 LOPA studies
  • Human factors using Human Error Assessment and Reduction Technique (HEART).


Discounts are available to companies booking more than one place:

  • 2 places - 5% discount
  • 3 places - 10% discount
  • 4 or more places - 15% discount.

Bookings must be made at the same time to receive the discount.

Contact Phone +44 (0)1788 534496

Contact Email

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Richard Gowland


Richard Gowland


Richard’s career started in the steel industry and later moved to project engineering in polyurethanes industry. He joined Dow Chemical in engineering function in 1971 and progressed from project engineer for major expansion in agricultural chemicals in 1975, to manufacturing management of large agricultural chemicals facility and control of contract manufacturing of new compounds until 1987, and then technology centre project manager responsible for new compound scale up at contract manufacturing until 1989.

From 1989 to 2003 he worked in process safety management for Dow Europe and global leader for process safety technology for Dow Agrosciences and was member of policy and standards setting group.

From 2003 to the current day he has been the Technical Director of European Process Safety Centre and chair of Buncefield PSLG group which produced HSE guidance on LOPA for Fuel Storage sites.

From 2003 onward Richard has also been an independent Process Safety Specialist with emphasis on LOPA.

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