Process Safety Assurance

Across the global oil & gas industry, considerable effort has been focused on the prevention of major incidents.

There is an increasing emphasis on the importance of incorporating and managing Process Safety during all stages of the project lifecycle from early design, to operation of assets to achieve improved safety and business performance in the oil and gas industry.

Fulcrium has developed proprietary diagnostic tools that assist in pinpointing Process Safety Risks and corresponding mitigation options.

If you want expert Oil & Gas sector Process Safety Compliance and Operational Risk reviews then contact us today.

Process Safety
Process safety is a disciplined framework for managing the integrity of operating systems and processes handling hazardous substances. It is achieved by applying good design principles, engineering, and operating and  maintenance practices. It deals with the prevention and control of events that have the potential to release hazardous materials and energy. Such incidents can result in toxic exposures, fires or explosions, and could ultimately result in serious incidents including fatalities, injuries, property damage, lost production or environmental damage.

Asset Integrity
Asset integrity is related to the prevention of major incidents. It is an outcome of good design, construction and operating practice. It is achieved when facilities are structurally and mechanically sound and perform the processes and produce the products for which they were designed.

The emphasis is on preventing unplanned hydrocarbon and other hazardous releases that may – either directly or via escalation – result in a major incident. Structural failures may also be initiating causes that escalate to become a major incident.

Major Incident
An incident that has resulted in multiple fatalities and/or serious damage, possibly beyond the asset itself. Typically initiated by a hazardous release, but may also result from major structural failure or loss of stability that has caused serious damage to an asset (note this is intended to incorporate terms such as ‘Major Accident’ as defined by UK HSE11).

Major incidents rarely result from a single cause but rather by multiple  failures that coincide and collectively result in an exceptional event with  severe consequences. This relationship between sequential failures of multiple ‘risk control systems’ is illustrated using the ‘Swiss cheese  model’ (James Reason). The same principles underpin other similar approaches such as the ‘bow tie’ model or ‘layers of protection analysis’ (LOPA).

 

Hazards are contained by multiple protective ‘barriers’ or ‘risk control systems’. The barriers – represented by individual ‘slices of Swiss cheese’ – are management system procedures, physical engineered containment or other layers of protection designed to prevent incidents.

Loss of Primary Containment’ (LOPC)
‘Loss of Primary Containment’ (LOPC) of hazardous material is the predominant cause of major process safety incidents in the oil & gas industry. Barriers can have weaknesses, depicted as ‘holes’ in the Swiss cheese. The alignment of holes in the model represents the failure of several ‘prevention barriers’ resulting in an LOPC event. There are sophisticated controls to detect an LOPC event and mitigate its consequences but holes in these ‘escalation barriers’ can also align and serious harm can result from a fire, explosion or other destructive incident.

Improved safety performance hinges on the quality and motivation of staff as well as engineering and technology.

If you want expert Oil & Gas sector Process Safety Compliance and Operational Risk reviews then contact us today.