Safety Cases

Safety cases in the offshore oil and gas industry


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A safety case is a documented body of evidence that provides a demonstrable and valid argument that a system is adequately safe for a given application and environment over its lifetime.

Safety Cases are often a regulatory requirement. Management makes its “case” to the regulatory authorities that the facility is safe to operate. The authorities either accept or reject this “safety case.” If they accept it then a “safety case regime” is implemented.

The first modern safety cases prepared for the process industries were those developed for North Sea offshore oil and gas operations following the Piper Alpha disaster that occurred in the year 1988. The Cullen report that was written following that accident was highly critical of offshore operating practices and recommended that a safety case approach be implemented. The onshore Seveso incident that occurred in Italy further prompted the increased use of safety cases. Since that time the use of safety cases has spread to other industries (such as mining and railway operations) and to other nations, primarily in Europe and Australasia.

This ebook, which is extracted from the printed book Offshore Safety Management, provides a detailed overview of the Safety Cases concept. It describes how they are prepared and implemented and how they fit into the offshore regulatory environment.

Table of Contents

Safety Case Definition
Different Industries
Major Hazard Event Process
   Safety Assessments
   Safety Case
   Major Accident Hazards/Events
   Safety Critical Elements
   Performance Standards
Features of a Safety Case
   Duty-Holder Responsibility
   Participation and Commitment
   Information Availability
   Risk Management System
   Safety Management Systems
   Auditor / Assessor Responsibility
Safety Critical Elements
Performance Standards
Program Steps
   ALARP Demonstration 
Length of the Safety Case
IADC HSE Case Guidelines
Structure of a Safety Case
   Section I — Executive Summary
   Section II — Introduction 
   Section III — Policies, Objectives, Regulations and Standards
   Section IV — Facility Description
   Section V — Safety Management System
   Section VI — Formal Safety Assessment
   Section VII — Audit and Review
      Performance Measurement
   Section VIII — References
Maintaining the Safety Case
   Changes in Risk Perception
   Changes in Operating Conditions
   Bridging Documents
Effectiveness of Safety Cases
Convergence of Standards 

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