DNV’s six critical levers for holistic safety framework

Position paper offers advice on risk management and analyzes safety statistics in US and EU.

A new position paper from DNV, ‘Enhancing offshore safety and environmental performance’ proposes six ‘levers’ that should provide a ‘holistic safety framework for the oil and gas industry.’ A risk-based approach needs to be supplemented by ‘prescriptive regulations and standards’ along with independent verification. Parties involved in oil and gas operations work via multiple contracts and subcontracts. All must clearly understand their roles and responsibilities with regard to safety. DNV advocates a holistic risk approach while recognizing that it can be a challenge to maintain such over the lifetime of a field and as the parties involved change over time. All should have access to a tool that records up-to-date risk identification and provides a complete view of exposures. A similar approach is needed for safety and environmental issues. Other levers are shared performance monitoring, advanced barrier management and a strong focus on ‘people and process’ management.

The DNV report includes an analysis of occupational safety data from oil and gas company reports and suggests a ten-fold improvement over the last couple of decades. On the other hand, financial losses from major accidents has hardly improved. There are also striking geographical differences. In the five years from 2004 to 2009, US offshore fatalities were over four times higher per person hours worked than in European waters, even though many of the same companies work in both areas. The 16 page report is a free download from DNV.

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