HSSE / safety cases
Emergency broadcast – communicating major accidents events
Major Accident Events (MAEs) are low frequency, high consequence events typified by accidents such as Deepwater Horizon, Fukushima and Texas City. Significant efforts are made by operators to prevent and mitigate these events. But how well do we communicate what these events might be and how we would manage them?
Operationalising your safety case – engaging the workforce
The development or revision of a health, safety, security and environment (HSSE) case inevitably involves significant time and effort, with input from a wide range of people and departments. However, once the HSSE case is delivered, the opportunity to truly embed it in day-to-day operations is often missed, leaving the workforce thinking, "How do I use it and what is expected of me?"
Ten good practices for stakeholder communication throughout the safety case lifecycle
The folly of ‘paper safety’ – lessons from the Nimrod review
On 2nd September 2006, RAF Nimrod XV230 was on a routine mission over Helmand Province in Southern Afghanistan when, only minutes after completing air-to-air refuelling, she suffered a catastrophic mid-air fire which led to the total loss of the aircraft and the death of all 14 on board. Following the initial investigation by the Board of Inquiry which reported on the probable cause of the accident, a broader independent review was instigated in late 2007.
E-safety cases: more than just a good idea?
The electronic safety case concept has been around for a long time but has struggled to gain widespread traction, perhaps because of its perceived complexity and the implied need for bespoke software. Today, however, e-safety cases can be produced using simple software found on most computers, in ways that make safety information more accessible and engaging.
Debunking safety cases – three myths and realities
A safety case aims to provide a valid and reasonable confirmation that a facility is sufficiently safe. Safety cases have been in place for many years in major hazard sectors in some regulated environments such as Europe and Australia. They have also been adopted as best practice by many international operators in other regions of the world where such legislation does not exist. What's more, in the aftermath of last year's explosion and oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, the US government is also currently assessing the feasibility of adopting safety cases for offshore activities.
Deepwater aftermath – exploring the parallels with Piper Alpha
On the evening of 20th April 2010, the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig was near to completing work on the MC252 deepwater well in the Gulf of Mexico when control of the well was lost. The oil and gas from the well ignited causing 11 deaths and the rig to sink. The oil continued to leak at the seabed for over 3 months and led to the largest offshore oil spill in US history. In July, the well operator, BP, took a charge in its financial results of $32 billion for the oil spill.
Emerging energy technologies – can they be implemented safely?
Concerns over greenhouse gas emissions, energy security and escalating costs have combined to catalyse a move towards a new energy economy. In the future, the technologies meeting our electricity, heating and fuel needs must deliver against three key criteria: sustainability, security and affordability. Over the next decade and beyond, a wide range of emerging energy technologies (EETs) are likely to play an important role in reshaping the energy economy (see Figure 1).
Nuclear life extension – bridging the energy gap
Whilst the construction of new nuclear power stations in the UK is looking increasingly likely, it will be 2018 at the very earliest before they start to generate electricity. Meanwhile, many of the UK's existing nuclear power stations are reaching the end of their design life, potentially leaving an energy gap of over 10% of the nation's electricity demand. One solution to this problem is to extend the lives of the existing nuclear power stations, particularly British Energy's ageing fleet of 7 Advanced Gas Cooled Reactor (AGR) stations, one of which is already operating within a justified life extension [see Fig 1].
Nuclear power – if there’s a will there’s a way
The publication of the UK government's energy review in July 2006 [Ref. 1] signalled the re-emergence of nuclear power as a politically viable means of providing a balanced proportion of the country's future energy needs. The energy review concludes that "higher projected fossil fuel prices and the introduction of a carbon price to place a value on CO2 have improved the economics of nuclear as a source of low carbon generation" and that "new nuclear power stations would make a significant contribution to meeting our energy policy goals".