Nothing is safety critical - issue 261

Issue Number: 261


Do many safety systems add a net benefit? They can result in higher manning levels and increased personnel exposure, more breaches of containment, complexity, congestion, and many other contributors to risk. Legislation and public perception have driven the offshore and chemical industries towards control and mitigation as the primary means to manage major accident hazards through the inability to quantify the contributions of good design and operation as the primary prevention measures. Are the risks on site with only the bare essential of control and mitigation systems equal to those that follow current trends? If the resources which have been previously devoted to the purchase and upkeep of these systems were devoted to designing and operating the plant safely and with the minimum of people and activity, would the result be a cheaper, safer plant? In other words, is it the case that Nothing, is Safety Critical? This paper examines these questions and takes a fresh look at risk management.

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