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Sharing ashore (seminar with the L-8 industry forum)

Principles for managing risk at land-based plants, including the threat of major accidents, were the main topic when 60 people assembled to discuss their experience in this area.

Staged in December by the PSA and the L-8 industry forum for land-based petroleum facilities, this seminar assembled company executives, specialists, plant safety delegates, the Safety Forum and civil servants.

Bringing together so many key players was also intended to strengthen the contact network between the plants and the various parties involved in the business.

The PSA currently regulates the Kårstø, Kollsnes, Sture, Mongstad, Tjeldbergodden, Nyhamna, Melkøya and Slagentangen facilities around the Norwegian coast.

These plants have various degrees of affiliation with the offshore business – from extremely close to none – and form the membership of the L-8 forum.

They embrace both new and older terminals and refineries, and this wide range contributes to differences in cultures, risk, and integration with their parent group and the offshore sector. Despite these variations, the plants face many common HSE challenges.

The seminar organisers accordingly wanted to provide an arena for experience transfer and learning.

The way company managements tackle major accident risk and technical and operational integrity has formed an important foundation for the PSA’s supervision of land-based plants. Monitoring the involvement of senior executives is also a high priority for the agency throughout the industry.

Supervisory experience from 2008 identified important issues at the land-based plants. These include incorporating risk reduction, challenges with simultaneous modifications and production, and learning from their own incidents.

Official inquiries make an important contribution to learning and exchange of experience between all types of players and across national boundaries.

The seminar organisers had accordingly given priority to a detailed review of some specific accidents/incidents on Norwegian and foreign installations to share the lessons learnt.

A number of contributors emphasised and documented the significance of integrity in design and technology and of process safety barriers for avoiding major accidents.

A number of key topics were covered at the seminar through technical papers, group work and plenary debates. These included major accidents and opportunities for learning from experience/investigations, and management systems and risk understanding compared with behaviourbased safety work.

Along with risk management and awareness in avoiding barrier breaches, specific measures to enhance knowledge and expertise at company and plant level were also presented and discussed. participants concluded that this session had to be the first of many more.

By Angela Ebbesen