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In 1989 all Atlantic Richfield (ARCO) operating companies were charged by our Chairman and Chief Executive Officer with developing and implementing comprehensive environmental, health and safety compliance audits. It was recognized that for our operations in countries with less extensive regulations than the U. S. and Western Europe an appropriate set of international EH&S standards would first need to be identified.
This paper will discuss the methods used to collect, evaluate, and modify various internationally recognized codes, consensus standards, and regulations in order to develop a practical EH&S standard for international E&P operations.
ARCO International, a subsidiary of Atlantic Richfield Company, is a rapidly growing oil and gas exploration and production company. Current areas of operation include Indonesia, China, the Middle East and North Sea with exploration prospects throughout the world.
For several reasons including: 1) The growing use of criminal penalties for violations of environmental, health and safety regulations in the U. S., 2) The occurrence of several major incidents within the company during the late 1980's and 3) The increased pressure being placed on corporations by the public for EH&S issues; the executive management of ARCO directed that comprehensive audits of EH&S compliance be completed within three years for both domestic and international operations.
While management systems reviews of EH&S programs had been in use for approximately ten years within ARCO; it was felt that the reviews did not provide sufficient thoroughness to adequately protect company assets and management. It was concluded that a more comprehensive method of evaluating environmental, health and safety programs was essential. The result of this decision was the development of ARCO's regulatory compliance audit program.
ARCO International began its compliance audit program in 1991 with the first facilities audited being our North Sea operations.
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) joined committees A12 (Guardrails, wall openings and toe boards) and A64 (Industrial Stairs) in 1980. Thus the A1264 committee was born (Safety Requirements for Workplace Floor and Wall Openings, Stairs, and Railing Systems) with the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) acting as secretariat. The American National Standard A1264.1 is entitled "Safety Requirements for Workplace Floor and Wall Openings, Stair and Railing Systems."
The A1264.1 standard sets forth minimum safety requirements in industrial and workplace situations where danger exists of persons or objects falling through floor or wall openings, platforms, runways, ramps and fixed stairs in normal, temporary and emergency conditions. Exempted from ANSI A1264.1 are construction, residential, and mercantile operations. In these environments the standard refers the reader to ANSI A10.18, "Guarding of Temporary Holes and Unprotected Edges; Openings and Stair Rail and Guardrail Safety Requirements."
The ANSI A1264.1 standard recognizes that special safety measures in certain environments are not covered by building codes and other standards, making the recommended practices outlined in this standard useful in those applications and environments. Such environments could include stages, orchestra pits, churches, school auditoriums, and athletic assembly occupancies.
Section 2 of the ANSI A1264.1 standard is important because it defines various terms and elements relevant to the standard which are sometimes used in a generic sense in the workplace. To the uninformed, a floor hole and a floor opening may be one and the same. However, floor holes are different by definition than a floor opening. Floor holes are openings that measure greater than 2 inches (51mm) but less than 12 inches (300mm) in any floor. Floor openings are 12 inches (300 mm) or greater in dimension. Commonly seen floor openings include hatchways, stair or ladder openings, trenches, passageways, chutes and large manholes. Floor holes are smaller than the aforementioned elements, and are sometimes more difficult to identify than the more obvious floor opening.
Stairs, as defined, must have three or more risers. This definition differs from at least one of the three nationally recognized building codes, which have recently been combined into one National Building Code. The 1999 Building Officials Code of the Americas (BOCA) National Building Code defined a stair as anything with one or more risers. Short flight stairs are stairs having three or fewer risers American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM). Building code and standards writing committees have recognized that short flights of stairs can be hazardous and have written provisions into the standards regarding their use. Short flights can be difficult to detect and therefore can be a serious trip hazard because people fall off of them thinking the surface was continuously flat. Obvious visual cues such as handrails, delineated nosing edges, tactile cues, warning signs, contrast in surface colors and accent lighting are a few examples of appropriate warning cues to be used when short flights cannot be avoided.
Satta, Marco (Saipem SpA) | Spingardi, Angelo (Saipem SpA) | Passarella, Simone (Saipem SpA) | Brunella, Daniele Spaziani (Saipem SpA) | Iacono, Marcello (Saipem SpA) | Lo Giudice, Manlio (Equipment Rental & Services BV)
While Asset Integrity may be considered as a well-established framework in oil & gas offshore production and drilling operations, this is not yet the case for typical offshore construction operations. The legislative framework in place at international and regional level traditionally excludes offshore construction vessels from their scope of application. A number of Major Accident Scenarios are identified as credible escalations from initiating events that may occur during operations carried out by offshore construction vessels, for example during the installation of a platform or during pipe-laying operations. An Asset Integrity Management Model has therefore been designed, based on internationally recognized standards, aimed at controlling the risks related to Major Accident Hazards posed by offshore construction operations. As done in traditional applications, this model identifies the Safety Case as the key process to analyse Major Accident Event (MAE) Scenarios and to identify barriers that shall be in place to prevent and control escalation to major events. While the identification and assurance of Performance Standards of (Safety Critical) Equipment is systematic and supported by a consolidated approach, the same cannot always be said for Safety Critical Competences and Safety Critical Procedures, due to their “soft” nature. As for equipment, where key parameters outline the expected performance (e.g. functionality, reliability/availability, vulnerability), for Safety Critical Competences and Safety Critical Procedures an equivalent set has been established. A new set of Asset Integrity Key Performance Indicators has been designed to better address the different nature of MAE scenarios and Safety Critical Elements. A multi-layer dashboard has been created to give updated information about Asset Integrity of Offshore Construction Operations with different levels of detail according to the various levels of the organisation.
In the Oil and Gas Industry, the risk of Asset failures leading to Major Accident Events (MAEs), with consequences on the Company's reputation and enterprise value has to be managed, controlled and minimized. The human factor is nowadays fully recognized as a contributing element or even as the main root cause of up to 90% of Major Accident Events (MAEs). In the past, the priority was identifying, preventing and/or mitigating technical failures that could heighten to MAEs and human error was not perceived as crucial. For the time being, various Oil&Gas Companies have studied actions to manage the risk of human error for both Onshore and Offshore business. Among offshore activities, historically coastal State authorities in charge of Oil&Gas extraction have always focused on drilling and production facilities complementing marine standards issued by IMO with national regulations addressing the typical hydrocarbon processing plants.
While the Oil&Gas Companies have adopted integrity management, risk-based methodologies and technologies to meet safety requirements and target their operational goals, offshore construction vessels are not thoroughly addressed. The primary reason derives from the type of production processes onboard. As offshore construction vessels do not treat hydrocarbons, the creditable Major Accident Events scenarios related to their activities are not perceived as adverse as those involved in production or drilling processes. This introduced the authorities to adopt a risk-based approach for “Offshore Units” (drilling rigs and production facilities) as the first area of application. With references to the MAEs the table below outlines some of the peculiar scenarios for Offshore Construction Vessels.