Managing the Hazards of Flare Systems

Topic Safety

CPD Hours 11.5

Price IChemE member £720 + VAT, non-member £864 + VAT


Live online course – starts 28 July.

Flare systems are used throughout the petrochemical, oil refining and upstream oil and gas industries and serve as key relief and abatement systems. However, if not designed, operated and maintained correctly they can, and have been involved in both minor and major accidents.

This online course comprehensively reviews the operations and equipment on all types of flare systems. It categorises the key hazards which must be controlled and you will review these hazards individually, making use of past industry accidents and incidents and errors in design only revealed in operation. You will gain a thorough understanding of the key design, operation, maintenance and plant modification aspects which must be controlled to ensure effective process safety and environmental compliance over the life cycle of a flare system.

Teaching will be delivered via three live modules (approximately 2—3 hours in length each), alongside independent study and pre-recorded video sessions issued before/between modules. 

Learning outcomes

The course will help delegates to have a working knowledge and understanding of:

  • the components of a flare system, how they work, why the components which make up a flare disposal system are there, and how they can fail or be rendered ineffective
  • key principles for ensuring flare system safety
  • the key types of incidents and accidents and how to use this knowledge in the design, operation, modification and maintenance of flare systems
  • the regulatory requirements from safety and environmental regulations such as COMAH and PPC & EPR regulations
  • the general principles of flare system design.

Who will benefit

  • Those who have responsibility for designing, operating, maintaining and/or modifying flare systems
  • Personnel from operating companies, consultancies, EPCM companies and regulatory bodies who may be responsible for regulating assets which contain flare systems

Course outline

  • Review of a flare system incident
  • Review of flare system components 
  • Key flare system siting considerations – eg ground level heat flux criteria
  • key flare system sizing considerations
  • Hazard 1 – keeping air out of the flare system 
  • Hazard 2 – keeping flare system lit
  • Hazard 3 – preventing liquid overfill 
  • Hazard 4 – preventing freezing/blockage 
  • Hazard 5 – exclusion of personnel from flare systems  
  • Hazard 6 – flaring toxic materials 
  • Hazard 7 – preventing over-chilling 
  • Hazard 8 –  working on flare systems (live break ins where no isolation valves exist, effectiveness of isolation valves etc) 
  • Hazard 9 – performing operational checks, or maintenance within flare 'sterilisation' zones
  • Environmental aspects of elevated flare stack systems (noise, light, loss of pilots etc)
  • Other hazards (e.g. steam hammer – as steam to elevated flare headers is usually at end of a header)

Module dates and times

Module 1

Tuesday 28 July, 10:00–13:00 BST.

Module 2

Thursday 30 July, 10:00–13:00 BST.

There will be independent study and pre-recorded video sessions issued before/between modules.

Not available then? Register your interest for future online dates.


  • IChemE member: £720 + VAT
  • Non-member: £864 + VAT


Discounts are available to companies booking more than one place:

  • 2 places–10% discount
  • 3 places–15% discount
  • 4 or more places–20% discount

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


Modules will be delivered via GoToWebinar®check system requirements >>

You are advised to join the session at least ten minutes before the scheduled start time, to allow for your computer to connect.

In-company training

This can also be delivered as a virtual in-company course. Contact us for more details.

View our face-to-face courses later in the year >>

Paul Denham


Paul Denham

CEng, MIChemE

Paul is a Chartered Chemical Engineer who has worked in a range of sectors for over 20 years. These include heavy chemicals, fine chemicals, pharmaceuticals, petrochemicals & onshore and offshore oil and gas. He has worked for and with a number of major companies (ICI, Albright & Wilson, Roche, GlaxoSmithKline, INEOS, Wood Group PSN, Shell, BP and Talisman) and in a number of plant operations, design, and commissioning and plant support roles. 

Since 2002, Paul has led a number of major compliance projects including preparing top-tier COMAH report for a full site, and preparing IPPC application for a full site. Paul has worked in full time process safety roles since 2006 and supported a number of petrochemical assets and in this role, he led safety reviews, incident investigations and remediation projects on a number of flare disposal systems. 

Paul currently works in the oil and gas industry providing technical safety engineering services as a director of GMS Technical Safety. He also has a B(Eng) (Hons) in Chemical and Process Engineering from the University of Strathclyde and a MSc(Eng) in Process Safety & Loss Prevention from the University of Sheffield and a PG(Cert) in Nuclear Safety from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN).

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