Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


TRENDS Report Summary

Project ID: 11745
Funded under: FP5-EESD
Country: France

Health and safety (WP2)

Main findings:
Assessment of technical sources of risk too often rests on complex - yet not standardized - failure modes investigations of an equipment (or a system), based on limited reliability (availability) data from past-experience on similar equipment under comparable conditions, and assumes equipment will conform to design once installed, and subsequently operated and maintained. It is seldom reviewed for changes. It assumes the system is operated by young and healthy educated operators fully conforming to pertinent operating instructions.

Assessment of management sources of risk is generally based on equipment (system) complying with design specifications. It assumes standard operations and seldom takes into account ageing equipment.

Assessment of human sources of risk barely exists, and when it does, it considers "standard" operators, and do not take into account management attitude and behaviour,
A huge amount of performance/risk/safety indicators have been proposed and are used in different ways by different organisations.

The weak point is the model describing the dependence between the indicators and the relation between the indicators and the safety level. Most of the data concerns technical issues, a few the organisations, and almost none the human factor, in opposite of the impact of these aspects on safety (at present level). Furthermore, benchmarking cannot be successfully used unless there are means of collecting, ranking and dispatching best practices. There are a lot of available data, but there are very few systems for processing and/or comparing data from different facilities. Risk based design tools are progressively developed and implemented. Mitigation and minimisation techniques relate to awareness and training. Efficiency is not monitored enough, and cost-benefit tools are yet to be developed.

- Approaches to accommodate ageing (installations and workforce), urgently need to be developed and implemented for the mature area of the North Sea, cf. extension of the life of many oil and gas reservoirs. It goes beyond ageing of structures for which new standards have been introduced. Reliability data on ageing equipment such as failure rate and failure modes at the various stages of equipment life cycle are scarce. To the same token, workforce is also ageing and its behaviour changes despite experience and permanent training. Operating procedures seldom take that effect into consideration.
- Considerable information needs to be captured and disseminated from mature areas, not limited to the oil and gas sector.
- Health & Safety managers struggle in budgeting and planning as there are few economical models that can be used for analysis of the benefit of investing in Health & Safety. Innovative methods should be introduced to demonstrate ROI of safety and its positive impact on productivity.
- Health & Safety is only one part of Global Risk Management. Efforts should be made to integrate methods and risk acceptance criteria used in areas covered by WPs 1, 2, 3 & 4.
- To issue general purpose documents for standardization purpose,
- To host a database for small businesses (most majors implementing global systems).

Follow up from TRENDS:
Some WP2 partners will further work on some of above mentioned axis, such as:
- Develop risk assessment techniques taking into account management systems and human behaviour beyond reliability of structure and equipment,
- Reconciliate H&S with other risk assessment and risk management areas, such as Quality & Reliability, Environmental Protection, Social Accountability,
- Develop Global Risk Management approaches and techniques covering all risk issues and based on the "risk bubble" concept for acceptance criteria.

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