Major hazard risk reduction in operations

Recent research has documented that risk-informed decision-making in day-to-day planning of maintenance and modifications is one of the main challenges in order to avoid major accident precursor events. Explicite assessment of barrier status is also a challenge, in addition to the need to see the effect of simultaneous activities. Several papers are in the pipeline in order to document this aspect, sometimes the review process is irritatingly slow in some of the journals.

Another challenge in some companies is compliance with steering documentation. This article has documented some aspects of this challenge, especially in relation to hydrocarbon leaks. For the hydrocarbon leak risk the stages of the work process that are carried out before the approval of the Work Permit appear to be the most challenging, as outlined in this paper.

A completely different aspect is control of major hazard risk from marine and structural hazards, especially for floating installations. This is a different topic alltogehter, which is not covered by these highlights.

Finally, a personal impression after having reviewed a few hundred investigations from major accident precursor events over the last 20–30 years. Relatively few investigations focus on failure of Management of Change, but failure of Management of Change implicitly is an element of almost every second of the precursor events. Not that a procedure of Change Managemnt is lacking, what is lacking is the adherence to the relevant principles and considerations in practice, especially when the deviations are thought to be minor and occur in the midlle of the execution of work tasks. Also the Macondo accident is a clear demonstration of this type of failure.

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