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A facility’s safety culture affects the number of gas leaks

The safety culture of a facility affects the number of hydrocarbon leaks as well as the noise level. This is one of the conclusions in a research project which has been conducted with data from the Risk Level Project (RNNP) during the period 2003 - 2008.

Rapport: Regresjonsanalyse av hydrokarbonlekkasjer mot andre indikatorer i RNNP – Norsk sokkelThe objective of the research project, which Safetec has conducted on behalf of Preventor, has been to identify variables which are related to the registered hydrocarbon leaks*.

* Definition:
Hydrocarbon leaks can be divided into three groups: Gas leaks, liquid leaks or multiphase leaks (oil/gas). Gas leaks have the greatest potential for causing damage due to the explosion risk from the dispersion of gas clouds.

In this connection, a number of potential variables retrieved from RNNP's database have been analysed.

About the RNNP mapping
The mapping of the risk level in Norwegian petroleum activities (RNNP, formerly known as RNNS) comprises major accidents, work accidents and certain working environment factors.

The methodology aims at highlighting the development of the risk level from several angles using different methods such as incident indicators, barrier data, interviews with key personnel, work seminars, field work, in addition to a large questionnaire survey every second year.

The safety culture makes a difference
There were no RNNP variables in the research project with a particularly notable connection to leaks.

However, for some variables the results were unambiguous. Based on these analyses, we can establish a correlation between the noise level on a facility, generally positive/negative responses on the questionnaire survey and the probability of leaks.

The study interprets this as an indication that the safety culture on a facility has an impact on the occurrence of leaks and measures to limit exposure to noise.

The safety culture is expressed in a number of the questions in the questionnaire survey organised by RNNP. Most of the statistical tests conducted in the project have confirmed this.

The connection between safety culture and number of hydrocarbon leaks has not been proven in previous similar studies.

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