System safety assessment using safety entropy

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6 Citations (Scopus)


Safety assessment has a primary role in hazardous operations. Most studies on safety assessment focus on risk and accident modeling, in which safety is absent. These top-down methods are highly dependent on the occurred accidents to establish accidental scenarios, which may make the assessment approach lagging behind the evolving modern systems. Moreover, this “special to general” logic is scientifically suspect in safety assessment. There is a call for the development of safety assessment methods in the presence of system safety to complement risk-focused safety analysis. These methods should provide a framework based on a bottom-up approach to examine system safety from the operational perspective. This paper has attempted to provide a potential solution. In particular, a novel concept of safety entropy is proposed to integrate with The Functional Resonance Analysis Method (FRAM), which is used to form the qualitative understanding of a system. A formula consisted of safety entropy, functional conformability, and system complexity has been established to determine the spontaneity of the safety state-changing process. The proposed method is applied to the safety assessment of a propane feed-control system. The results show the applicability of the method. Nevertheless, the model still needs to be further improved to fulfill better support for safety-related decision problems.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104174
JournalJournal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Accident modeling
  • Entropy
  • Failure analysis
  • FRAM
  • Safety assessment


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