Safety Moment #42: The Simultaneous Operations (SIMOPs) Matrix

Simultaneous Operations - SIMOPs

The material provided here is extracted from the ebooks 52 Process Safety Moments and Plant Design and Operations.
 


The term Simultaneous Operations (SIMOPs) is used when two or more activities (operations, maintenance, construction) are being carried out at the same time and location. A simple example would be when a construction crew is carrying out some welding close to where an operations team is catching samples of flammable materials. SIMOPs issues are of a particular concern offshore because there is so little space between equipment.

The management of SIMOPs can be controlled through the use of a SIMOPs matrix, as shown below. The first Table shows the activities of two companies — ‘X’ and ‘Y’ — which are operating at the same location at the same time. The tasks which each Company is carrying out is given a number.

 

Y1

Y2

Y3

Y4

. . .

X1

A

P

P

P

 

X2

A

A

R

R

 

X3

A

A

R

P

 

X4

R

A

P

P

 

. . .

 

 

 

The legend for the Table is shown below. Each simultaneous operation is given a risk ranking, as shown.

SIMOPs Matrix Legend

A (allowed)

The two operations can be carried out simultaneously as long as a SIMOPs process is in place and all normal control activities are followed.

R (restricted)           

Concurrent operations are allowed with additional controls in place, and with written permission from the Operations Manager or OIM (Offshore Installation Manager). An Interface Hazards Analysis may be required (see Safety Moment  #46: Interface Hazards Analysis).

P (prohibited)

Concurrent operations of the two activities are never allowed.

In this example, an evaluation as to the SIMOPs issues leads to the following conclusions:

  • Activities X1 and Y1 can be conducted at the same time without any special precautions.
  • X4 and Y1 can be carried out at the same time, but restrictions and special precautions are required.
  • X1 and Y4 must not be carried out at the same time.
  • All work to do with Y4 needs close attention since all of the matrix values are either ‘R’ or ‘P’. It would make sense not to allow Y4 to be part of any SIMOPs work.

 . . . . . .


You are welcome to use this Safety Moment in your workplace. But there are restrictions — please read Use of Safety Moments.

Copyright © Ian Sutton. 2018. All Rights Reserved.