Safety Management & Risk Analysis

Overview of Risk Management Services

Risk Management Development
Image1“Risk Management” includes all activities associated with identification, assessment and control of hazards to personnel, environment and assets, in accordance with the Norwegian and UK applicable regulations.

The starting point for successful Risk Management is a comprehensive identification of all potential threats to the operations and/or systems. Overall objectives and criteria need to be established prior to the assessment, which may be qualitative or quantitative. Documentation of the assessment is important for present and future purposes. From the evaluations of overall objectives and criteria may more detailed performance criteria or standards be developed, from which plans for implementation can be developed.

Risk management has become an increasingly important activity within offshore oil and gas operations in the last ten to fifteen years, but as a science it is still young and lacks in many respects a standardized and widely accepted approach.

Scenario based Design

Most recently, authorities have come to rely more and more on functional requirements, where it is up to the operator to establish the detailed requirements and specifications, based on the functional requirements established in the regulations. The flexibility offered by this approach cannot be fully utilized unless risk management and assessment techniques are employed to their full extent.

Scenario based design has a particular potential for unconventional and simplified installations. Risk management and assessment may be used in order to optimize the design with respect to safety and emergency systems and functions, whilst authority requirements and principles are satisfied. Several successful examples exist, for instance related to evacuation means and fire fighting systems.

ALARP Demonstration

An important element of the UK Safety Case regulations is the requirement to demonstrate that risks are as low as reasonably practicable. ALARP has a similar requirement in the Norwegian legislation, and is also in Norway given increasingly more weight. Still, the most formal requirements to what an ALARP demonstration implies, come from UK legislation.

Risk reduction under current UK regulations is concerned with risk to personnel only. Under the Norwegian regulations however, the risk reduction is concerned with risk to personnel, environment and assets. An approach to ALARP demonstration with respect to personnel, environment and assets is therefore utilized.

Risk Level Monitoring during Operations

Monitoring of the risk levels during operation is not directly possible for the major hazard scenarios, because the events will be rare in their occurrence, probably never occurring to the full extent. In the UK, this is proposed to be done through Performance Standards directly linked to the operational parameters that are most critical for the risk level. In Norway, a corresponding approach is sometimes called Indicators.

Sensitivity studies (typically, using results such as shown in the diagram in section “Risk Management”) are one of the main inputs to selection of systems and functions for this monitoring. When these have been selected, the second step is to define which parameters that shall be monitored and what the reporting thresholds for these parameters shall be.