Safety first

DNV GL - Can we trust AI in safety critical applications?

DNV GL asks ‘Can we trust artificial intelligence to keep the oil and gas industry safe’ and answers its own question (with a ‘no’) in a position paper, ‘AI + Safety’. The paper’s thesis is that ‘as AI systems begin to control safety-critical infrastructure, the need to ensure safe use of AI in systems has become a top priority.’ The paper asserts that data-driven models alone may not be sufficient to ensure safety. DNV-GL is therefore ‘calling for a combination of data-driven and causal models to mitigate risk.’ At issue is the relatively sparse training data that is available from the (fortunately) rare safety incidents. ‘AI and machine-learning algorithms that rely on data-driven models to predict and act upon future scenarios may not be sufficient then to assure safe operations and protect lives.’ Notwithstanding such misgivings, DNV GL has teamed with Equinor, Kongsberg Group and Telenor to establish the Norwegian Open AI Lab to ‘improve the quality of research, education and innovation in AI, machine learning and big data.’

IOGP on safe driving

It is old news but worth repeating every now and again, but ‘risk’ to life and limb in the oil and gas industry does not necessarily come from the most obvious sources. Workers may spend their day in a high-risk environment, but it is often the drive home that kills. The International Association of Oil & Gas Producers has determined that ‘driving-related incidents’ are a significant cause of fatalities in upstream operations. Transport-related on-the-job fatalities in the US in 2016 were more than 2,000.

Schlumberger’s mobile app for safe driving!

Schlumberger recently announced measures to improve employee safety with regular fit-for-purpose driver training, including the use of driving simulators and driver-improvement monitors to provide real-time in-vehicle feedback on driving performance. Global journey management centers support drivers during each journey and reinforce safe driving behaviors. In-vehicle technology enables the centers to monitor driving behavior in real-time and provide immediate feedback on driver performance. The company has also developed a mobile app for drivers.

TekSolve ‘drivers four times more likely to crash using cell phone’.

If you are concerned about your employees fiddling with a mobile app while driving, TekSolve may be able to help. The company reports that drivers are four times more likely to crash using a cell phone while driving. TekSolve and the American Allied Safety Council is offering advice on creating a company cell phone policy.

Hexagon/Guardvant detects and responds to driver fatigue.

Hexagon’s recently acquired Guardvant/OpGuard solution detects and responds to driver fatigue and distraction and also provides collision avoidance and proximity detection solutions to provide drivers with 360° situational awareness. The solution targets industrial worksites, trucking and hauling and aviation.

CSB reports on US gas well blow-out.

The US Chemical Safety Board (CSB) is investigating the January 22, 2018, blowout and fire at the Pryor Trust gas well in Pittsburg County, OK that killed five workers. A report and video reconstruction of the incident is available on the CSB website.

NAP free e-book on designing safety regulations for high hazard industries.

The US National Academies Press has just published a free e-book on ‘Designing Safety Regulations for High-Hazard Industries’. Arthur Meyer (Enbridge Pipelines) was a co-author of the 165 page investigation of regulations covering, inter-alia, the catastrophic risks of pipeline failure. A timely study in view of the September 2018 explosion and fire of Colombia Gas’ ‘century-old’ gas pipeline in Massachussets, the worst incident in a decade.

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