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Audit of safety instrumented systems – Gjøa

From 4 to 6 September 2013, the PSA carried out an audit of GDF Suez concerning the company's follow-up of safety instrumented systems at Gjøa, with a focus on how the independence of the different safety systems is safeguarded.

The audit was conducted in the form of meetings with relevant personnel from GDF Suez.

The purpose of the audit was to monitor how GDF Suez is ensuring that the safety instrumented systems at Gjøa comply with relevant statutory requirements, recognised standards and guidelines, and the company's own requirements and policies.

The audit emphasised the understanding, by GDF Suez as an organisation and by the individuals with defined roles within safety instrumented systems, of the challenges faced by the facility's systems in relation to regulatory requirements for independence, and relevant measures for dealing with these challenges.

Independence of the safety systems is important for ensuring that individual failures do not result in weakening or loss of barriers. At the same time, integration of the different aspects of the safety and control systems offers many operational benefits, facilitates simpler and safer operation and allows for better maintenance management and follow-up.

The audit reviewed the following topics:

  • Automatic functions for suppression of shutdown functions
  • Sequence control which includes valves controlled by the safety systems
  • Operation, testing and monitoring of safety-critical valves in the light of integration of the safety and control systems
  • Power supply and distribution in the systems
  • Network topology
  • System understanding
  • Application understanding
  • Safeguarding of competence in operations

The audit was carried out as planned and was well organised. Our observations are made on the basis of documents received, the presentations made and matters that were clarified in the working meetings.

During the audit, we identified two non-conformities in relation to:

  • Non-conformities approved in the project
  • Deficient competence requirements for working on security systems

The report also contains three items where there is potential for improvements.