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Barrier memorandum – new version 2017

The PSA's barrier memorandum has now been updated. The new version includes a clearer explanation of what barriers are, and expounds on the interaction between technical, organisational and operational barrier elements.


Barriers have been part of the regulations since 2002, but the industry's implementation of the requirements has taken time.

The PSA has been monitoring the industry's work on barrier management for a number of years. The barrier memorandum, which explains the regulatory requirements and describes good barrier management, was first published in 2011 and then updated in 2013.

A new version of the barrier memorandum is now ready in English version. Gerhard Ersdal of the PSA explains the reason for the update:

"Audits and investigations have shown that the companies have largely not identified the human contribution to barriers, meaning who does what, with which equipment, in order for a barrier to realise its function. Mainly, they have only defined requirements for the technical barrier elements", explains Ersdal, who, with his colleagues Elisabeth Lootz and Øyvind Lauridsen, has managed the project.

"Audits and investigations have also shown that there is great variation in what is considered a barrier. A couple of years ago, the PSA initiated a project to promote more consistent barrier management, including also the human components."

The memorandum we are now publishing has been somewhat reworked since the previous version in 2013.

The distinction between "safe and robust solutions" and "barriers" has been clarified in order to elucidate what barriers are and what they are not. It is explained that barriers must have a function in a fault, hazard or accident situation. The interaction between technical, organisational and operational elements is expounded on.

Chapters about barrier management in the concept and engineering design phases, as well as the operational phase, have been introduced.

An appendix has also been added, containing examples from various specialist fields, including security.