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Safe Isolation and Reinstatement of Plant UKCS-SSW-001

Contents

Authorisation for Issue


Amendment Record
Amendment Summary
Distribution List
Preface
List of Abbreviations

Paragraph Page
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1 Introduction 1
1.1 Purpose 1
1.2 Scope 1
1.3 Responsibilities 1
1.4 Self-regulation and Audit 2
1.5 Isolating Authority Training and Competency 2
1.6 Modifications and New Facilities 3

2 Isolation Standards and Planning 5


2.1 Isolations Policy 5
2.2 Isolation Planning 5
2.3 Isolation Methods 6
2.4 Isolation Standards 7
2.5 Precautions when Breaking Containment 9
2.6 Risk Assessment of Non-compliant Isolations 10
2.7 Isolation for Confined Space Entry 10

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UKCS-SSW-001 Safe Isolation and Reinstatement of Plant

Contents (cont’d)

Paragraph Page

3 Isolation Implementation and Control 11


3.1 Security 11
3.2 Identification Methods 12
3.3 Flange Tagging for Breaking Containment 12
3.4 Control of Isolations 13
3.5 Control of Isolations for Well Operations Activities 13

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3.6 Boundary Isolations 13
3.7 Long-term Isolations 14
3.8 Locked Open/Locked Closed Valves 15
3.9 Personal Isolations 15
3.10 Testing Isolation Integrity 15
3.11 Monitoring Isolation Integrity 16

4 Plant Preparation for Breaking Containment 17


4.1 Potential Hazards 17
4.2 Depressurising and Draining Containment Systems 17
4.3 Cleaning and Gas-freeing Methods 19

5 Confined Space Entry 23


5.1 Definition of Confined Space 23
5.2 Planning 23
5.3 Procedure for Entry into Confined Spaces without BA 29
5.4 Additional Procedure for
Entry into Confined Spaces with BA 30
5.5 Removal of Sludge, Scale and Hard Deposits 30
5.6 Removal of Trapped Oil or Vapour 31
5.7 General Ventilation 31
5.8 Artificial Lighting 31

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Safe Isolation and Reinstatement of Plant UKCS-SSW-001

Contents (cont’d)

Paragraph Page

6 Plant Reinstatement and Leak Testing 33


6.1 De-isolation of Plant 34
6.2 Selection of Test Pressure 34
6.3 Definition of Pressure Envelope 34
6.4 Selection of Pressuring Medium 35
6.5 Nitrogen Leak Testing 36
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6.6 Leak Testing Acceptance Criteria 37


6.7 Test Equipment 39
6.8 Planning 39
6.9 Preparation 40
6.10 Access Restrictions 40
6.11 Control of Leak Testing and Test Procedures 41
6.12 Pressure Buildup and Test Monitoring 41
6.13 Depressurising and Return to Service 42
6.14 Service Testing 43
6.15 Post-test Integrity Checks 44
6.16 Records (Certification) 44
6.17 Use of Specialist Testing Contractors 44
6.18 Shift Handover 45

Table
1 Minimum Recommended Isolation
Standards for Predetermined Risk Levels 8
2 Permitted Limits for Confined Space Entry and Work 26

Figure
1 Example Tagging Label 12
2 Leak Testing Checklist 33

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UKCS-SSW-001 Safe Isolation and Reinstatement of Plant

Contents (cont’d)

Addendum 1 References
Addendum 2 Glossary of Terms
Addendum 3 Typical Valve Isolations Integrity Tests
Addendum 4 Safe Isolation and Reinstatement
of Plant Flowchart
Addendum 5 Workplace Assessment Plan Template

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Safe Isolation and Reinstatement of Plant UKCS-SSW-001

Authorisation for Issue

Issue Authority
Name: Ross Kinnear

Signature: ________________________________________________

Date: ________________________________________________

Position: Offshore Installation Manager/ISSOW Project Manager


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Technical Authority
Name: Brian Howell

Signature: ________________________________________________

Date: ________________________________________________

Position: Harding OIM

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Safe Isolation and Reinstatement of Plant UKCS-SSW-001

Amendment Record

For Audit Use


Amendment Incorporated By
Checked
Number
Name Signature Date Signature Date
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AMOSAF.171

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Safe Isolation and Reinstatement of Plant UKCS-SSW-001

Amendment Summary

Issue No Date Description


Issue 1 November 2000 First issue.
Issue 1/AM01 December 2001 Revision to Paragraphs 3.3 and 6.12. Distribution
List updated.
Issue 2 May 2002 This update to SIRP is based on the first annual
review of the document. A workshop involving the
operational sites was carried out to gather
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suggestions for change based on operational


experience to date. This update includes a number
of changes to most sections of the document, the
most significant changes being to Section 6 Plant
Reinstatement and Leak Testing where improved
guidelines on nitrogen testing and allowable leak
rates have been included. Rationalisation with the
Working with Nitrogen document has resulted in
incorporating most of this document within SIRP.
Distribution List updated.

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Safe Isolation and Reinstatement of Plant UKCS-SSW-001

Distribution List

Holders of Controlled Hard Copy

Copy Copyholder Location

01 OIM Andrew
02 OIM Arbroath
03 Terminal Manager Bacton Terminal
04 OIM Bruce
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05 Terminal Manager CATS Terminal


06 OIM Cleeton
07 Terminal Manager Dimlington Terminal
08 OIM ETAP CPF
09 OIM Forties Alpha
10 OIM Forties Bravo
11 OIM Forties Charlie
12 OIM Forties Delta
13 OIM Forties Echo
14 OIM Harding
15 OIM Inde 49/23A
16 OIM Inde 49/23C
17 OIM Leman 49/27A
18 OIM Lomond
19 OIM Magnus
20 OIM Miller
21 OIM Montrose
22 OIM North Everest
23 OIM North West Hutton
24 OIM Ravenspurn
25 OIM Schiehallion
26 Emergency Response (ER) Permit Office Sullom Voe Terminal

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UKCS-SSW-001 Safe Isolation and Reinstatement of Plant

Distribution List (cont’d)

Holders of Controlled Hard Copy (cont’d)

Copy Copyholder Location

27 Offsites and Jetties (O&J) Permit Office Sullom Voe Terminal


28 Process and Power (P&P) Permit Office Sullom Voe Terminal
29 OIM Thistle
30 OIM West Sole

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31 Operations Engineer Wytch Farm
32 Data Control Centre (DCC) ODL, Aberdeen
33 OIM Unity
34 Technical Safety Engineer AMEC
35 Technical Safety Engineer AMEC
36 Wood Group Aberdeen
37 Wood Group Aberdeen
38 OIM Mungo
39 BJ Process and Pipeline Services Ltd Aberdeen
40 BJ Process and Pipeline Services Ltd Aberdeen
41 BJ Process and Pipeline Services Ltd Aberdeen
42 Headley Purvis, c/o BJ Process and
Pipeline Services Ltd Aberdeen

Virtual Copyholders

Copy Copyholder

01 Operations Engineer, Wytch Farm


02 OTL, Magnus
03 STL, North West Hutton
04 OTL, Thistle
05 Thistle/NWH Process Technical Authority
06 All BU SMS Co-ordinators

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Safe Isolation and Reinstatement of Plant UKCS-SSW-001

Preface

Review and Update


This document will be subject to 12-monthly review and update, when document holders will
have the opportunity to express opinions and suggest improvements.
However, the document control system allows for continuous update of this document. As
such, any user may at any time identify an error or suggest an improvement using an
Amendment Proposal proforma which is available electronically on the UK Upstream SMS
website, from the Data Control Centre (DCC) Supervisor or from the Technical Authority.
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All holders of this document are registered so that they can be sent updates and be kept
informed of changes or reviews.

Responsibility of Copyholders
It is the responsibility of the registered copyholder of controlled hard copy versions to
maintain the accuracy of the document by ensuring that all updates are promptly
incorporated and acknowledged.
Furthermore, the registered copyholder of controlled hard copy versions must at all times
maintain custody of this document unless prior approval is given by the relevant
Technical Authority.
The roles and responsibilities of copyholders and ‘virtual’ copyholders are detailed in Section 1
of the Document Control Procedure (UKCS-DCM-001).

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Safe Isolation and Reinstatement of Plant UKCS-SSW-001

List of Abbreviations

AGT Authorised Gas Tester


BA Breathing Apparatus
BU Business Unit
CBT Computer-based Training
CMAS Competence Management Assurance System
CO2 Carbon Dioxide
COSHH Control of Substances Hazardous to Health
DBB Double Block and Bleed
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EFD Engineering Flow Diagram


GOC Guidance on Certification
H2S Hydrogen Sulphide
HSC Health and Safety Commission
HSE Health, Safety and Environment
ICC Isolation Confirmation Certificate
ISSOW Integrated Safe System of Work
LC Locked Closed
LO Locked Open
LSA Low Specific Activity
MAWP Maximum Allowable Working Pressure
MIG Metal Inert Gas
N2 Nitrogen
NB Nominal Bore
NGL Natural Gas Liquid
NORM Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material
OIM Offshore Installation Manager
P&ID Piping and Instrument Diagram
PBU Pressure Buildup
PPE Personal Protection Equipment
RLT Regional Leadership Team
SIRP Safe Isolation and Reinstatement of Plant
SVI Single Valve Isolation
TIG Tungsten Inert Gas
WCC Work Control Certificate

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Safe Isolation and Reinstatement of Plant UKCS-SSW-001

1 Introduction
1.1 Purpose
The purpose of this document is to define BP operating policy and procedures for the
safe isolation and reinstatement of plant or equipment from sources of hydrocarbons
and other fluids.
A glossary of the terms used in the document is given in Addendum 2.

1.2 Scope
This document applies to the preparation for isolation, mechanical isolation,
reinstatement and leak testing of process utility and drilling systems. It shall be followed
at all BP UK upstream operated sites, both onshore (excluding Grangemouth) and
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offshore, and applies to all process systems including subsea pipelines.


Special requirements for subsurface isolation of the hydrocarbon reservoir are detailed in
Section 26 of the BP Amoco Drilling and Well Operations Policy (BPA-D-001). This
means that for any work on a xmas tree valve, the upstream isolation requirements
(well) shall be governed by BPA-D-001 and the downstream (topsides) isolation
requirements by this document.

1.3 Responsibilities

1.3.1 Business Unit Leader


The Business Unit Leader is responsible for operating in accordance with this document
and for the self-regulation of compliance.

1.3.2 OIM/Site Controller


The OIM or Site Controller is responsible for ensuring that those performing the roles of
Area Authority, Isolating Authority and Performing Authority are competent to do so. The
OIM or Site Controller is responsible for authorising any deviations from the isolation
standard through the risk assessment process. In doing so, he/she may choose to defer
the activity and seek further technical guidance.
The OIM or Site Controller is also responsible for ensuring that plant and equipment
isolations are subjected to the appropriate level of self-regulation and audit.

1.3.3 Area Authority


The Area Authority is responsible for approving the isolation design, providing assurance
that the design achieves the highest quality of isolation reasonably practicable. He/she
can delegate the detailed isolation design to an experienced process isolator. The Area
Authority is then responsible for authorising the work to proceed under the appropriate
controls. This includes approval of any preparatory work and, on completion of the task,
the work required to complete reinstatement.

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UKCS-SSW-001 Safe Isolation and Reinstatement of Plant

1.3.4 Isolating Authority


The Isolating Authority is responsible for design of a process isolation when requested
by the Area Authority. He/she is then responsible for isolating specific sections of plant
or items of equipment to the highest quality and security of isolation which is reasonably
practicable. The Isolating Authority is also responsible for demonstrating the integrity of
the isolation to the Performing Authority (where requested) and for monitoring the
integrity of isolations whilst they are in force. The relevant Isolating Authority shall also
witness the insertion of spades to achieve positive isolation when required.

1.3.5 Performing Authority


The Performing Authority is the person charged with the responsibility of carrying out
the work and has the right to request demonstration of the integrity of any isolation.

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1.4 Self-regulation and Audit
Business Units shall periodically review isolation-related activities including review of
individual isolations and review of overall isolation processes. Such reviews may
also include:
• General compliance with this document and any local procedures
• The assessment of non-compliant isolations and the extent of any approved
deviations
• Registers of competent area and isolating authorities

1.5 Isolating Authority Training and Competency


A training programme providing initial and refresher training and trainee assessment on
the contents of this document shall be carried out involving all personnel responsible for
the specification, approval, application and recording of process isolations.
There are two types of theoretical training available in the Safe Isolation and
Reinstatement of Plant (SIRP):
• Classroom-based training – initial training
• Computer-based training (CBT) – refresher training
Both of these courses involve a formal assessment.
Additionally for Isolating Authorities, there is a practical workplace assessment which
shall be completed. This is administered through CMAS.

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Safe Isolation and Reinstatement of Plant UKCS-SSW-001

The competency requirements for process isolations for the key positions within this
document are as follows:

Area Authority, OIM/Site Controller, Department Heads


Initial training Classroom-based CBT and practical (2 days) in SIRP
Refresher training CBT (2 yearly)
Isolating Authorities
Initial training Classroom-based CBT and practical (2 days) in SIRP
Workplace Assessment: Before being deemed competent to
carry out process isolating duties, the Isolating Authority must
have been assessed at the workplace by a competent D32/D33
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Assessor. The Isolating Authority shall demonstrate by practical


example that he is competent in defining and implementing
process isolations. The process for carrying out workplace
assessments is described in the Safe Isolation and
Reinstatement of Plant Workplace – Assessment Plan
Refresher training CBT (2 yearly)

In special circumstances such as drilling operations, individuals can be assessed as


competent isolators for specific items of equipment providing that they have completed
the formal training and have been assessed as competent on the specific tasks. Site
management is responsible for ensuring that this is recorded so that it is clear which
tasks these individuals are competent to undertake.

1.6 Modifications and New Facilities


In relation to existing Installations and sites:
• The design of all modifications and new facilities shall include a review of the
provision of means of isolation for maintenance to ensure compliance with this
document
• Such reviews shall address both isolations within the modified/new facilities and any
opportunities to upgrade existing isolation facilities where these are inadequate
• New valves supplied as part of a modification or as a replacement shall be provided
with a facility to lock off in the open or closed position

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Safe Isolation and Reinstatement of Plant UKCS-SSW-001

2 Isolation Standards and Planning


2.1 Isolations Policy
It is BP policy that the highest quality and security of isolation which is reasonably
practicable in the prevailing circumstances shall always be used.
The minimum recommended isolation standard for entry into a vessel or confined space
is positive isolation from all connected sources of process and utilities fluids.
Any isolation which does not meet the minimum recommended isolation standard,
including the application of the mandatory safeguards, must be assessed using the Level
2 Risk Assessment process before the isolation is approved. Should any non-compliant
isolation have to be repeatedly justified by risk assessment, consideration shall be given
to a permanently engineered solution.
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All key participants in the implementation of the BP Isolations Policy shall be trained and
assessed as competent to the appropriate level in the safe isolation and reinstatement
of plant.
An audit programme shall be established at each site to ensure that regular checks are
made on isolations to provide assurance that the isolations policy and standards are
being applied and that lessons learned are communicated effectively.

2.2 Isolation Planning


Isolation of any piece of equipment shall be planned such that the risk of removing it
from service and then reinstating it on completion of the work is minimised. The Safe
Isolation and Reinstatement of Plant Flowchart (Addendum 4) should be referred to
when planning any isolation. All isolations shall be designed according to the standards
set out in Paragraph 2.4 and Table 1. The following key points should also be considered:
• Plant and equipment isolation requirements should be identified early in the work
planning cycle for the Installation or site so that adequate time can be made available
for formal risk assessment, should it become necessary. Where necessary, reference
shall be made to the Installation or site Safety Case and the identification of
high-risk areas
• A boundary isolation may be put in place to cover several planned activities in an area
of plant. The Isolation Certificate shall describe the scope of work planned and the
Work Control Certificates for these jobs shall be cross-referred to the same Isolation
Certificate (refer to Paragraph 3.6)
• The need for good access and egress to allow isolations to be effected shall be taken
into account
• Isolations should be as close to the vessel or worksite as possible, to assist in
security and ease of monitoring

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UKCS-SSW-001 Safe Isolation and Reinstatement of Plant

• Preparation for isolation involving draining, flushing, purging and venting of process
pipework shall be conducted under the Integrated Safe System of Work (ISSOW)
according to the appropriate procedures for the task and including the appropriate
isolation
• Amendments shall not normally be made to isolations in place other than to allow
testing of equipment prior to return to service. Amendments may be made to
improve the integrity of the isolation with the approval of the Area Authority. The
reason for the amendment shall be recorded and the Performing Authority advised of
the change
• Pressure relief valves shall only be isolated following the provision of an alternative
means of pressure relief

2.3 Isolation Methods

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The highest quality of isolation which is reasonably practicable shall be applied to every
individual isolation point. The methods of isolation normally available are detailed in
Paragraphs 2.3.1 to 2.3.4, listed in decreasing order of security and effectiveness.

2.3.1 Positive Isolation


Positive isolation may be affected by either of the following:
• Spool removal – removal of pipework section and bolting/clamping blank flanges rated
for full line design pressure onto live ends
• Spade isolation – witnessed insertion between bolted or clamped flanges of a blind
plate; swinging of a spectacle plate. Any such insertion must be rated to the pipe
design specification. The insertion of spades shall be witnessed by the competent
Isolating Authority

2.3.2 Double Block and Bleed


Double Block and Bleed (DBB) consists of the closure of two block valves in series with
an intermediate bleed valve. The integrity of both valves shall be tested separately and
the bleed valve will then be left in the closed position between periodic integrity checks.
The Area Authority shall specify how frequently this bleed valve is opened to check for
pressure buildup; as a minimum this shall be at the start of every work period.
Emergency Shutdown (ESD) valves may be used as part of a DBB isolation, providing
they can be reliably immobilised.
Single valves of a type which provide a double seal in a single body and with a bleed
between the seals are also acceptable. Examples of such valves are suitably specified
double wedge gate, parallel expanding gate, double seating ball valves, etc, but not
double piston seal ball valves where the cavity pressure provides the downstream
positive seal. It should be noted that ‘standard’ ball valves do not provide a double seal.
In such cases it is important to note that the integrity of the isolation is critically
dependent upon the security of a single valve operating stem. Also, it is not normally
possible to perform a full integrity test as the two seals cannot be applied independently.

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Safe Isolation and Reinstatement of Plant UKCS-SSW-001

2.3.3 Single Valve Isolation


Single Valve Isolation (SVI) consists of the closure of a single block valve. A measure of
additional security can be achieved by closing several valves in series but the absence of
a bleed or vent in the intervening volume means that this method must be classified as
SVI. The hazard of trapped pressure due to thermal expansion may be created in
this case.
Any valve used for SVI must provide a reliable seal. Non-return valves, flow control
valves and other valves which may not provide tight shut-off must not be used.

2.3.4 Other Isolation Devices


Devices such as mechanically expanded plugs, stopple bags or frozen plugs shall not be
used as primary forms of isolation, except where the application has been properly
engineered, risk assessed and approved by the appropriate Technical Authority.
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Conventional mechanical plugs or stopple bags may be used as a vapour or liquid seal to
contain and direct to vent any small amounts of vapour. Flammable vapour monitors
shall be used where the presence of vapour could create a hazard.
In all cases, contingency measures against injury or damage caused by sudden ejection
of the isolation device shall be put in place.

2.4 Isolation Standards


Positive isolation is regarded as the most secure method and shall be considered when
planning maintenance work. It is mandatory for entry into confined spaces and
recommended in the following situations, in view of the additional security it offers:
• Long duration isolations, eg more than one week
• Isolations left in place when NUIs are unmanned
• Where equipment is to be mothballed
• Where naked flame hot work is to be undertaken
• For process fluids at or above auto-ignition temperature
Minimum recommended isolation standards have been developed and should be
referred to when designing a process isolation where it is not reasonably practicable to
achieve positive isolation (refer to Table 1). The minimum standard also identifies
mandatory safeguards which the Area Authority is responsible for putting in place to
reduce the risk level to as low as reasonably practicable.
For short-term operational tasks such as corrosion coupon retrieval or filter
replacements, where no positive isolation is practicable or where the job duration is
shorter than the time to install positive isolation, then the ‘V’ value from Table 1 can be
considered as the minimum recommended isolation standard. These tasks shall be
conducted using a Work Control Certificate and a local operating procedure.

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UKCS-SSW-001 Safe Isolation and Reinstatement of Plant

Fluid Type Operating Pressure


<10barg >10barg <55barg >55barg
Process fluids and V = SVI V = SVI+B V = DBB+A
hazardous utilities I = SVI+A I = DBB+B I = DBB+B
Non-hazardous V = SVI V = SVI+A V = SVI+B
utilities I = SVI I = SVI+B I = SVI+B
Note: Pipework, including instrument lines of 3/4in nominal bore and below, can be
treated as for pressures less than 10barg.
V Valving required to permit the installation of blank flanges and spades
(positive isolation)
I Valving required to permit carrying out intrusive maintenance without

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positive isolation
A Use mandatory safeguards as on List A
B Use mandatory safeguards as on List B
SVI Single valve isolation
DBB Double block and bleed
Mandatory Safeguards Category A Category B
(Low Risk) (High Risk)
Continuous gas monitoring (for hydrocarbon y y
systems only)
Pressure buildup to test valve integrity y y
Regular monitoring of isolation integrity y y
Control and prevent nearby work y y
Operations Technician in attendance y y
Radio link to control room when breaking y
containment
Develop contingency plan against leakage y
Identify backup isolation valves, shutdown y
systems etc
Minimise task time y
Portable firefighting equipment available (for y
hydrocarbon systems only)
Minimise possibility of plant disturbance y

Table 1 Minimum Recommended Isolation Standards for Predetermined Risk Levels

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Safe Isolation and Reinstatement of Plant UKCS-SSW-001

2.5 Precautions when Breaking Containment


The key safeguards for both low-risk and high-risk isolations (Categories A and B
respectively) are the pressure buildup tests on the integrity of each valve immediately
prior to breaking containment, together with the appropriate level of regular monitoring
of the isolation integrity. The Area Authority shall control and prevent nearby work and
ensure continuous gas monitoring at the worksite. An Operations Technician shall be
present during breaking containment and any other critical phases of the task.
Isolations with Category B safeguards require additional control and contingency
measures. The key additional safeguards are to minimise the task duration, ensure plant
stability and to develop a contingency plan against leakage.
The contingency plan shall consider the following:
• How to respond to a leakage
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• Identifying additional isolation valves and the expected action if the isolation fails
• Knowing the position of the local ESD facilities
Firefighting equipment shall be readily available and the work party shall be in radio
contact with the control room.
Other precautions that should be considered when breaking containment are as follows:
• Consideration should be given to hot bolting flanges prior to the operation and all
materials for the job shall be available at the job site
• Bolts are to be slackened off in the correct sequence. No bolts shall be removed until
they have all been slackened and the joint cracked, and until it has been confirmed
that the line contents will not be released in an uncontrolled manner and any
appropriate gas testing has been carried out
• Particular care shall be taken with clamp lock type fittings. With nuts slackened, the
fitting should be physically dislodged to confirm there is no residual pressure, before
final disassembly
• The person who opens the flange shall do so in such a way as to minimise the
possibility of contact with the contained fluids and of sudden escape of large
quantities. Suitable Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) shall be worn
• Where there is a danger of H2S being present, full H2S procedures covered in the BP
Hydrogen Sulphide Procedures shall be followed
• The Area Classification procedure used for the selection of electrical equipment in
hazardous areas does not consider abnormal operations when breaking containment.
Consideration shall be given to restricting the use of electrical (and other) equipment
during breaking containment due to the risk of releasing flammable gas

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UKCS-SSW-001 Safe Isolation and Reinstatement of Plant

2.6 Risk Assessment of Non-compliant Isolations


In the event that the minimum recommended isolation standard cannot be achieved, a
Level 2 Risk Assessment shall be carried out according to the following guidelines:
• The assessment team shall specify appropriate safeguards which may replace or be
in addition to those listed in Table 1. The team shall be satisfied that these safeguards
shall reduce the risks to an acceptable level before the task requiring isolation is
permitted to proceed
• When risk assessing non-compliant isolations, consideration shall be given to the risks
associated with swinging large spades compared with the risk associated with the
lower level of isolation
• Consideration shall be given to: extended monitoring periods, prior to breaking
containment, reducing the duration of the tasks, provision of a permanent standby

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man, development of a contingency plan for isolation failure
• Full consideration shall be given to the alternatives including partial or full production
shutdown or deferral of the work
• The recommendations from the Level 2 Risk Assessment shall be approved by the
OIM/Site Controller who may also recommend further review by technical specialists
or management before taking the decision on whether to proceed with the work
Certain routine operational tasks such as Duplex filter changeouts may not fully comply
with the minimum recommended isolation standard. These tasks shall be conducted in
accordance with a local operating procedure which has been developed based on an
isolation risk assessment.

2.7 Isolation for Confined Space Entry


Positive isolation shall be effected on all live lines for any task requiring entry to a vessel
or confined space. Spool removal is to be preferred, although spade isolation may be
used where it is not reasonably practicable to remove pipework sections. It should be
noted that in some cases it may not be reasonably practicable to comply with this
requirement in making entry to mud tanks, pump pits, ballast tanks, or other utility
systems. Here, a Level 2 Risk Assessment shall be undertaken and approval obtained
from the OIM or Site Controller before entry can be permitted under work control.
Vessel nozzles should normally be left open to assist with free ventilation. Air movers or
ducted fans may also be used to create a flow of clean air through the vessel. If there is
any likelihood of fumes, water or other contaminant entering the vessel from sources
other than the isolated pipework while persons are inside, the need to blank off any
affected nozzles shall be considered. Blanks used for this purpose do not need to be
pressure-rated. However non-pressure rated blanks shall be clearly identified by either a
tag, painted circumference or other marking. In the case of tanks with ‘swan necks’,
mechanical plugs may be an option, to prevent ingress of fumes, etc.
The manway doors on a vessel being prepared for entry shall be removed last and
reinstalled first to reduce the risk of unauthorised entry.
Further details on confined space entry are given in Paragraphs 5.1 to 5.4.

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Safe Isolation and Reinstatement of Plant UKCS-SSW-001

3 Isolation Implementation and Control


3.1 Security
Any isolation must achieve and maintain effective containment of the relevant fluid for as
long as required. Valves shall be locked or otherwise immobilised to prevent
unauthorised operation. It may be necessary to apply additional immobilising devices
under certain circumstances.
Where valves are required to be locked (open or closed) as part of an isolation, only the
following methods are acceptable:
• The use of wire locking loops fitted through the valve handle, requiring considerable
effort to force the valve from the locked position
• Padlock and chains which likewise would take considerable effort to force the valve
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from the locked position. Where this method is used, padlock keys shall be held by
the Area Authority
• The use of specifically designed tamper-proof valve interlocks. The activation of the
interlock shall be controlled by the Area Authority utilising the master key held at
the site
When isolating any valve that cannot be locked and may inadvertently be opened by
accidental contact, the valve handle shall be removed where practicable.
Electrically operated valves shall have the power supply positively isolated and any
handjack shall be manually locked. If the valve cannot be physically immobilised it should
not normally be used for isolation purposes.
Pneumatically and hydraulically operated valves which fail closed shall have their control
lines isolated and physically disconnected.
Pneumatically and hydraulically operated valves which fail open should not normally be
used for isolation purposes. If no other alternative is reasonably practicable, the valve
shall be prevented from moving. Under this situation the isolation shall be considered as
non-compliant with SIRP and a Level 2 Isolation Risk Assessment carried out under
ISSOW.
It is not necessary to lock bleed valves in a DBB arrangement as they are required to be
opened periodically to check the integrity of the isolation.
Personal isolations (refer to Paragraph 3.9) shall be secured to the same standard to
prevent unauthorised operation of the valves.

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UKCS-SSW-001 Safe Isolation and Reinstatement of Plant

3.2 Identification Methods


All valves, spades and blank flanges used for isolation purposes shall be identified by
means of labels. A sequential number shall be allocated to each individual isolation point
and be clearly marked on:
• The Isolation Confirmation Certificate (ICC)
• The drawing showing the location of each isolation point
• The label applied at the isolation point
The label shall also show the ICC number. Bleed points shall also be labelled in this way.
Where padlocks are used, the individual key number shall be listed on the ICC and a
means of referencing the correct key to the isolation point included. Keys should be held
centrally in a secure fashion and controlled by the Area Authority either by using a

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master key cabinet or individual key safes.
Where there are overlapping isolations where some of the isolation points are common
to more than one isolation then these points shall have a separate locking device and tag
from each isolation. Each isolation shall be registered and controlled by its own
individual ICC.

3.3 Flange Tagging for Breaking Containment


Flanges used in breaking containment should be identified as an aid to ensuring that they
are reinstated and their integrity is confirmed once all work is complete. A tagging label
shall be used as the method of identification. An example label is shown in Figure 1.
Both halves of the label are completed by the person carrying out the work and the
details recorded on a Breaking of Containment Register (Form JI1 within Guidance on
Certification (UKCS-TI-020)). When the flange or connection has been re-made, the lower
half of the tag is removed and recorded on the register. The upper half is left to allow the
integrity of the reinstated joint to be monitored during leak testing and startup (refer to
Paragraph 6.15). The tag is removed when the plant is back up to its normal operating
conditions and kept in place for a minimum of 2 days after startup.
Consideration should be given to tagging critical neighbouring joints which have not been
broken but which could be affected by the reinstatement activity.

BREAKING CONTAINMENT

SIGN:
DATE:
NO: 467

BREAKING CONTAINMENT

SIGN:
DATE:
NO: 467

UKCSSSW001_002.fh8

Figure 1 Example Tagging Label

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Safe Isolation and Reinstatement of Plant UKCS-SSW-001

3.4 Control of Isolations


The ICC, cross-referenced to all relevant Work Control Certificates, shall be the principal
means of control once isolations are in place. The ICC performs the following functions:
• Identifies the plant concerned and the reasons for isolation
• Authorises isolation by disciplines
• Records the complete list of isolations and valve tag numbers used for a
particular task
• Records bleed points for checking valve integrity. The operation of the bleed valves to
check integrity need not be recorded as an amendment on the ICC
• Confirms that the isolations have been effected
• Authorises any temporary de-isolations and isolations necessary for testing
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• Authorises and records de-isolation on completion of the task


The ICC shall show a complete list of isolations and valve tag numbers. A marked-up
P&ID/EFD or other suitable drawing must be attached to the ICC, together with a record
of the Isolation Level 2 Risk Assessment where this is needed.

3.5 Control of Isolations for Well Operations Activities


During well operations the isolation of the xmas tree from the process plant shall be
controlled via an ICC. This isolation should be used in conjunction with a Well Handover
Certificate to manage the handover to well operations. The recommended practice is to
include the appropriate flowline isolation valves, the wing valve and the hydraulic
supplies to the UMV and DHSV, on the ICC, thus documenting the isolation from the
process. The Well Handover Certificate details the status of all tree valves at handover
and confirms valve integrity and depressurisation details thus documenting the isolation
from the reservoir. During the wireline operations, the swab valve, upper and lower
master valves and DHSV are under the control of the Wireline Supervisor and the
appropriate detailed operating procedure which will cover removal and reinstatement of
the swab cap. On completion of the wireline work the Wireline Supervisor will use the
Well Handover Certificate to document the tree status for handover to Operations.
During production logging operations where it is necessary to flow the well a specific
WCC will be raised for the wireline work that requires the well to be online and this will
be cross-referenced to the ICC described above and run under sanction to test.

3.6 Boundary Isolations


Where an area of plant is isolated such that several activities can safely take place within
this common set of strategically placed isolation points then this can be termed as a
‘Boundary Isolation’. It must be clearly identified that the isolation is appropriate for all
the individual tasks to be carried out against the Boundary Isolation. An Isolation
Certificate is raised and identified as a Boundary Isolation and all individual Work Control
Certificates are cross referenced to this Boundary Isolation.

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UKCS-SSW-001 Safe Isolation and Reinstatement of Plant

If any of the proposed tasks requires a level of isolation or implementation of control


measures greater than that covered by the Boundary then a separate Isolation Certificate
should be raised for this task.
Thorough planning and preparation is essential when planning a Boundary Isolation.
A team, including the Area Authority and Isolating Authority and any additional technical
support required, should be set up away from the workplace to properly review and
agree the scope of a Boundary Isolation and the tasks to be carried out.
Once work is in progress and subsequent Work Control Certificates are applied for
within the recognised framework of the Boundary Isolation, they can be added providing
it is clearly established that the existing isolation is appropriate for the task. However,
this should be avoided if possible and it is preferable to identify all activities when the
Boundary Isolation is being planned.
Entry to a confined space within a boundary requires separate Isolation and Entry

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Certificates to be raised, and the implementation of additional security measures.
Boundary Isolations shall not be removed until all applicable Work Control Certificates
have been cancelled.
If for any reason work on a particular piece of plant within the Boundary needs to be
suspended (eg whilst awaiting spares) then a separate isolation shall be implemented
and an ICC raised before the Boundary Isolation can be cancelled.
Where the de-isolation of boundary isolations is proposed, an isolation review team that
includes an Area Authority shall ensure that all associated Work Control Certificates have
been cancelled. They should also ensure that equipment within the boundary is in a safe
condition.

3.7 Long-term Isolations


Long-term isolations (LTIs) are defined as those that no longer have work performed
against them. Each site should maintain a detailed register of long-term isolations.
Long-term isolations shall be subject to two levels of review:
• A weekly review of the register to check the status of the isolations in place and
whether they should be removed or replaced by a plant modification
• A quarterly review to physically check all the isolation points to confirm their security
and integrity
Before any work is recommenced against a long-term isolation, a full integrity check of
the valved isolation shall be carried out.

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Safe Isolation and Reinstatement of Plant UKCS-SSW-001

3.8 Locked Open/Locked Closed Valves


For integrity reasons, certain process and drain valves will be in the normally locked open
or locked closed position. It is vital that the position and security of these valves is
carefully controlled. A register shall be maintained of all these valves to record any
changes from their normal position and a regular audit shall be carried out to confirm the
security and position of these valves. It is important that these valves are in their correct
position, particularly after de-isolation where they have been part of an isolation (refer to
Paragraph 6.1.4). If these valves are moved from their normal position for operational
reasons or as part of an isolation then this movement and subsequent return to their
normal position shall be recorded in the register.

3.9 Personal Isolations


Personal isolations are intended for short duration tasks of relatively low risk; for
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example replacing pressure gauges, filters or small valves, or other such tasks where the
completion of an ICC is considered to add no significant value in terms of risk reduction.
The rules for approval of a personal isolation are as follows:
• The task and isolation are performed by one person within one shift; the person may
receive assistance from others but he shall be present at all times when work is in
progress
• Before approval, the Area Authority must be satisfied with the competence of the
Performing Authority to both carry out the isolation and execute the work. Personal
isolations shall only be carried out by those deemed to be a competent Isolating
Authority. Where an isolation involves competency in more than one discipline eg
electrical, mechanical, instrument or process, personal isolation is only permissible if
the Performing Authority has all the appropriate isolating competencies
• The same isolation standards apply to personal isolations other than the completion of
the ICC
• The isolation points shall be labelled with a personal isolation label and locked
• If the worksite is left unattended, the plant shall be left safe, including capping or
plugging of any open ends
An ICC shall be raised whenever these conditions are broken.

3.10 Testing Isolation Integrity


All isolations shall be tested and shown to be effective before containment is broken.
Integrity tests shall be conducted for a minimum of 10 minutes.
Typical valve isolation integrity tests for DBB and single valve isolations are described in
Addendum 3. It is important that all bleeds (vents/drains) are checked free from
obstruction prior to testing. It is also important to realise that a bleed which is hard-piped
to a closed drain or flare line will provide single valve isolation only from the drain/flare
line (refer to Addendum 3).

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UKCS-SSW-001 Safe Isolation and Reinstatement of Plant

On completion of checking valve integrity, a bleed valve shall be left in the closed
position, unlocked to allow regular monitoring. A pressure gauge may be fitted to the
bleed valve to monitor for pressure buildup.
An isolation can only be considered to be of DBB standard if the integrity of both valves
has been proven.
If zero pressure buildup is not achievable when checking integrity of a valved isolation,
consideration should be given to either including additional isolation valves, installing
positive isolation or carrying out an assessment of risk to determine whether it is
acceptable to proceed.
Alternative methods of valve integrity testing may be considered where there are
practical difficulties in using the conventional method, providing that they have been
endorsed by the relevant Technical Authority.

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Once the Area Authority is satisfied with the integrity of the valved isolation and that the
system is depressurised and drained, containment may be carefully broken either to
effect positive isolation or to perform the required task (taking into account all
precautions regarding H2S, pyrophoric scale, Low Specific Activity (LSA) scale, Naturally
Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM) or hydrates).
The extra security of untested but witnessed positive isolation, in addition to the valved
isolation used to effect it, is normally acceptable for most confined space entry tasks.
However, for longer term positive isolations (eg a week or more), or where the valved
isolation used to effect the positive isolation needs to be removed for operational
reasons, then integrity testing of the positive isolation is required. This shall be done by
service leak testing or formal leak testing of the joint, depending on the level of risk.
Where a single flare or vent valve forms part of an isolation it may not be possible to fully
test integrity. In this situation the valve cannot be considered as a reliable barrier and
therefore an isolation risk assessment shall be carried out to determine whether the task
should proceed.

3.11 Monitoring Isolation Integrity


The integrity of each isolation point shall be monitored at suitable intervals to detect any
actual leakage or deterioration in condition caused, for example, by vibration or
disturbance (or changing pressure upstream). This monitoring may involve partial testing
of valved isolations as suggested in Addendum 3. The minimum recommended
frequency of monitoring is once per shift and immediately prior to breaking containment.
The results of any monitoring of isolation integrity shall be recorded and will form part of
the shift handover.

NUIs
It is recognised on NUIs that there may not be a permanent presence on the Installation
whilst an isolation is in place and that it may not be practicable to monitor on a shift
basis. In this case on first return to the NUI the isolation integrity shall be confirmed
before continuing work on the isolated equipment.

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Safe Isolation and Reinstatement of Plant UKCS-SSW-001

4 Plant Preparation for Breaking Containment


All plant preparation work covering the draining and flushing of vessels or pipework shall
be carried out under a Work Control Certificate within the Integrated Safe Systems of
Work. For more complex operations a marked-up P&ID and a specific procedure should
be used to support the activity.

4.1 Potential Hazards


Some of the potential hazards that should be considered when planning these activities
are as follows:
• Chemical reactions between cleaning materials and a tank or its fittings (eg acidic
cleaning fluid attacking a blanking spade installed for isolation)
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• Leakage or collapse of a tank or its supports caused by reaction with cleaning


materials, excessive weight of wash solutions, or by creating vacuum conditions
• Accidental spillage during draining/flushing (environmental impact)
• Possibility of radiological contamination from LSA scale or NORM
• Pyrophoric scale which can be formed in systems that may contain H2S. If these
systems are subsequently opened up and the scale is exposed to currents of air,
there is a danger that the scale could ignite. The pyrophoric scale shall be rendered
harmless by constant thorough wetting until the scale is either removed or the
system is again closed up
• Gaskets containing asbestos which shall be handled and disposed of in accordance
with the guidance identified in Working with Asbestos Procedures (UKCS-SOP-010)
• Explosions and fires caused by the sudden mixing of water with hot oil, either during
steam cleaning or on the admission of hot oil into systems which have just been
steamed or flushed with water and which have not been thoroughly drained and dried
• Static electricity as an ignition source or electric shock during steam cleaning or
high-pressure water jetting if equipment is not earth bonded
• Possible asphyxiation through personnel exposure to nitrogen
• Accidental spillage and freezing effects of nitrogen

4.2 Depressurising and Draining Containment Systems


For this purpose containment systems may be divided into:
• Pressurised vessels and pipelines/pipework
• Atmospheric tanks and vessels

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UKCS-SSW-001 Safe Isolation and Reinstatement of Plant

4.2.1 Pressurised Vessels and Pipelines/Pipework


The precautions for depressurisation and draining of pressurised hydrocarbon and
chemical containment systems include the following:
(1) The system shall be adequately isolated from fluid pressure and inventory for the
purpose of emptying.
(2) The appropriate hazard data and Control of Substances Hazardous to Health
(COSHH) assessments shall be studied.
(3) The pressure within the system shall be relieved in a safe manner and the system
drained. The residual pressure within the system shall be substantially atmospheric
before containment is broken.
(4) Systems containing gas shall be depressurised to a closed system or a vent/flare
header designed to accept such gas. If possible, venting to flare is preferred.

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(5) Gas systems shall only be depressurised to the atmosphere under strictly
controlled conditions. Persons working downwind of any drainage/venting
operation shall be warned by the Area Authority or his nominee and, if instructed,
shall vacate the area. All hot work shall cease within the affected area.
(6) Where suitable facilities exist, liquid residues shall be drained to a closed system.
Where this is not possible, an estimate should be made of the quantity of liquid
remaining in the system. Catchment facilities should then be provided sufficient for
at least this quantity. Liquid can then be drained by carefully opening a flange at a
low point in the system. Precautions should also be taken to prevent the spread of
any accidental spillage.
(7) The existence of possible ‘dead-legs’ in the system must be borne in mind. Such
traps may have to be flushed with water to remove residual liquids if there are no
flanges or connections.
(8) Oil contaminated/soaked lagging material shall be removed from hot equipment as
it is prone to spontaneous ignition.

4.2.2 Atmospheric Tanks and Vessels


When emptying atmospheric tanks and vessels in preparation for either changing their
contents, carrying out inspections, repairs or modifications, or prior to dismantling, the
following guidelines shall be observed:
(1) Prior to emptying any tank/vessel, reference shall be made to the as-built
engineering drawings. These drawings show in detail the internals of the
tank/vessel which will aid in the methods to be adopted for draining and isolation,
eg a bottom offtake of a vessel from the outside may lead to the assumption that
the offtake is flush whereas the drawing may show that the offtake is raised
internally.
(2) Storage tanks and vessels shall be emptied initially by means of the normal
off-take lines, until suction is lost. The contents should be transferred to another
suitable tank or, onshore, to a mobile tank, if appropriate.

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Safe Isolation and Reinstatement of Plant UKCS-SSW-001

(3) When emptying and draining, care shall be taken to avoid pulling a vacuum. This
may occur if the atmospheric or vacuum vents are blocked, or by excessive
lowering rates through large diameter lines.
(4) Once suction is lost through the normal offtake it may be necessary to remove
residual liquid contents by means of either a portable pump operating through
an open manhole (by the use of the tank water drain valve) or possibly by
water-flotation, taking appropriate precautions against spillage.
(5) The hazards of using portable pumps in an area likely to be contaminated with
flammable vapour must be taken into account. Appropriately sited, air-powered
pumps should be used where possible.
(6) Residual liquids and sludge must be disposed of in the correct manner according to
the requirements of pollution-control legislation.
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4.3 Cleaning and Gas-freeing Methods


After depressurisation and draining, residual hydrocarbon liquids, vapours and gases
must be removed before further work can proceed. Various media can be used for this
purpose but the choice is liable to be governed by what is available at the work location.

4.3.1 Water Flooding


Cold water is usually the most readily available cleaning medium. It is reasonably
effective at displacing hydrocarbons, although it does not easily remove sludges or oils
trapped in complex pipework or vessel internal structures.
Before a tank or vessel is flooded with water, it shall be confirmed that its supporting
structure is capable of sustaining the weight. In addition, adequate run-down and
draining facilities shall be provided, as large volumes of water are usually necessary for
these operations.
To avoid a buildup of a static charge when this method is used, water shall be added
from the base of the tank or vessel. If a hosepipe is used, the velocity shall be kept low
until the end is submerged, and the nozzle shall be electrically earthed. Flooding with
water shall not be relied upon to remove all petroleum vapour, liquid or solid residues.
It is possible to carry out hot work on the external surface of a water-flooded tank or
vessel without further removal of internal hydrocarbon residue providing the work is
below the water level and an appropriate level of risk assessment has been conducted.
Water used for displacing and removing liquid hydrocarbons will be heavily contaminated
after use. It must be disposed of in an environmentally-responsible manner.

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4.3.2 Inert Gas


Nitrogen (N2), Carbon Dioxide (CO2) or combustion gas (N2/CO2 mixture) may be used to
displace hydrocarbon gas and vapour, if available in sufficient quantity. This method may
be useful if it is impracticable to introduce water into a system in case of damage. Care
should be taken to ensure when injecting such mixtures not to induce localised freezing
of valves, gauges etc due to excessive injection rates. For further guidance on the use of
nitrogen refer to Paragraph 6.5.1.
Particular care should be taken with systems which may contain pyrophoric scale from
high-sulphur bearing hydrocarbons. If such scale is subsequently exposed to the air, it
may rapidly burst into flame. Water sprays may be used to prevent this by keeping the
scale constantly wetted.
A quantity of inert gas at least double the volume of the vessel being purged is likely to
be necessary to ensure adequate dispersal of hydrocarbon gases. Introduction of gas at

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reasonably high velocity is also helpful in ensuring good mixing. Purge with inert gas until
concentration of flammable vapour is less than 4% in emerging mixture of
flammable/inert gas.
Normal flammable vapour monitoring devices will not work accurately in atmospheres
which are deficient in oxygen, therefore it is necessary to use specialised equipment to
determine the effectiveness of an inert gas purge.
Following the displacement of hydrocarbon vapour with inert gas, the vessel or tank
should normally be purged again with air to displace the inert gas in its turn. This shall
always be done in cases where man-entry is planned, regardless of any intended use
of PPE.

4.3.3 Steam
At onshore sites, steam may be available in sufficient quantities to permit its use for
purging and cleaning vessels, tanks and pipework. Steam is the most effective of the
common media for this purpose. It should be used at low pressure, not exceeding 1bar
maximum.
Two methods of steaming may be employed; open or closed steaming:
• Open steaming is used where the tank, vessel and its associated system is fully open
to the atmosphere
• Closed steaming is used for closed vessels and their associated equipment. During
this operation, the temperature is raised allowing volatile liquids to vaporise and
disperse together with the bulk of the steam via a condensing system. The heavy
constituents can flow freely and be drained off with the condensed steam from the
base of the system
For all but the largest vessels and tanks, sufficient steam should be available to raise the
external surface temperature to at least 95°C. Steaming should be continued until the
condensate flowing from the vessel is substantially free of hydrocarbon.

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Steam may be used in the case of process vessels, small storage tanks and medium
sized insulated tanks. It is essential that following a period of closed steaming, adequate
provision is made to prevent damage due to a vacuum being drawn by condensation of
steam. In large tanks, the rate of condensation of steam is such that adequate purging is
not possible.
After steaming, it is normal practice to cool down the equipment with copious quantities
of water, this gives an additional wash to help remove residual hydrocarbons.
Where residual material is left on the tank or vessel surface after prolonged steaming,
such residual material may still evolve vapour on application of heat, eg burning or
welding. In such cases, cold cutting may be employed or the internal surface kept
thoroughly wet during the heating operation.
All temporary steam hoses used shall be electrically bonded and earthed.
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4.3.4 Air
Where it is not possible or practicable to use any of the foregoing methods, it may be
necessary to use air directly to ventilate equipment and remove hydrocarbon vapour.
When a decision is made to use this technique, every effort shall be made to pump out
as much oil and sludge as possible before opening the tank or vessel. Where practicable,
forced ventilation shall be used so that flammable vapour is cleared in the shortest
possible time. During this purging operation, the flammable range will be passed
through, presenting an explosion hazard if an ignition source is nearby. All electrical
equipment used shall therefore be suitable for use in a Zone 1 Hazardous Area.
Other equipment within the hazard range of flammable vapour shall be effectively
isolated.
Air movers shall be fitted at the roof or top manhole so as to pull air in at low level.
Temporary trunking may be needed to achieve high-level disposal. In order to minimise
the emission of gas/vapour when the lower manhole door is opened, the air movers shall
be started up first to obtain a slightly negative pressure before the lower manhole is
opened.
Vapour issuing from shell manholes may give rise to a dangerous concentration in a
bunded or confined area and, under such conditions, no kind of ignition source is
allowed. Removal of vapour by air movers attached to the roof manhole is the
recommended safe practice.
Care shall be taken when using natural draught ventilation during periods of calm
weather at onshore sites, since vapour released from tanks can travel considerable
distances without being dispersed. Due regard shall be taken of wind direction and the
risk to adjacent premises or to the public.

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Owing to the possible presence of pyrophoric scale within tanks or vessels which have
contained sour crude or products, provision shall be made for continuous wetting of the
internal surfaces by means of water from one or more water fog nozzles inserted into
the roof opening. The nozzles shall be turned on first and the air movers opened
immediately afterwards. A shell manhole shall be opened after approximately 5 minutes
operation, when the internals are thoroughly wet. With the air movers still in operation,
the fog nozzles should then be removed and loose scale dislodged with high-pressure
water streams.
CAUTION: WHEN THIS METHOD IS EMPLOYED, THE WATER NOZZLES SHALL BE
EARTHED.

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5 Confined Space Entry


5.1 Definition of Confined Space
A confined space is a place which is substantially, though not always entirely, enclosed
and where serious injury can occur from hazardous substances or conditions within the
space or nearby. This includes large pipelines, tanks, vessels, separators, silos, ducts,
sewers, pits, flues, manholes and voids between modules and in legs on offshore
Installations. It also includes any space in which dangerous levels of contaminants can
accumulate and ventilation is restricted, eg excavations (normally deeper than 1.2m), the
space above floating roofs on floating roof tanks, open-topped tanks, closed or
unventilated rooms, sumps and culverts, and any other poorly ventilated areas.
The hazards that this document addresses arise through the confined nature of the place
of work in combination with one or more of the following:
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• The possible presence of flammable or toxic substances


• An oxygen-deficient atmosphere
• An oxygen-enriched atmosphere
• Ingress of solids or liquids
• The presence of excessive heat

5.2 Planning

5.2.1 Introduction
Prior to planning any confined space entry all alternatives to avoid entry shall be
considered.
Planning for confined space entry shall include the following:
• Confined space hazard identification and Level 2 Risk Assessment (mandatory)
• Gas testing and confined space inspection
• Entry Certificate issue and validity
• Procedures for control of work and non-compliance
• Procedures for any non-compliance based on Level 2 Risk Assessment
• Emergency response arrangements
Emergency response arrangements shall cover rescue, resuscitation and treatment
of casualties.
Entry into confined spaces shall be strictly controlled to prevent persons being exposed
to risks associated with toxic and/or flammable fumes and vapours in the atmosphere,
and with atmospheres which may be deficient (or enriched) in oxygen.
The number of personnel entering a combined space shall be limited by the resources
available to deal with any potential emergency that may arise.

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Prior to any entry into a confined space, the atmosphere shall be tested to determine the
precautions necessary, and an Entry Certificate issued. An Entry Certificate is not a work
permit and for all work a relevant Work Control Certificate is required.
Gas tests required for hot work shall be carried out separately (ie the tests done for entry
are not valid for the Work Control Certificate).
Access and egress should be considered in the event that a casualty may need to be
evacuated in an emergency. It would require a winch to vertically hoist an average
person from a space below. Wearing a harness and lifeline shall only be considered
practicable if the nature of the confined space is such that the attendant could hoist or
drag out the person from the space if the latter were immobilised, and if the rope would
not impede an unassisted exit. Wearing only the harness should also be considered.
A rescuer could attach the lifeline to effect evacuation of the person.
Procedures for entering confined spaces with and without Breathing Apparatus (BA) are

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described in Paragraphs 5.3 and 5.4.

5.2.2 Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment


A Level 2 Risk Assessment shall be made to establish whether the proposed confined
space entry can be performed safely. Some of the dangers which should be considered
are as follows:
(1) Dangerous concentrations of gases and vapours which can arise from sources
inside or outside a confined space. These include:
• Gas or vapour remaining from the process
• Gas or vapour entering from adjoining plant which has not been
effectively isolated
• Gas or vapour entering from utility hoses used during flushing or draining
• Gas or vapour emitted from scale or sludge, particularly resulting from
mechanical disturbance during access or cleaning or due to the heat from
welding operations
• Gas, vapour or fumes produced by operations being carried out in the confined
space such as welding and cutting, brush and spray painting and the use of
adhesives and solvents
• Exhaust gases drawn into the confined space from prime movers or heating
equipment
(2) Dangers due to:
• Mechanical equipment in the space
• The ingress of steam, hot water or large quantities of liquids which may cause
scalding or drowning
• Communication difficulties
• Poor access and egress restricting movement for normal work and escape
• Poor access and egress for rescue

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• Slippery surfaces
• Sources of ionising radiation (eg level gauges, sludge and LSA scale or NORM)
• The relevant procedures shall be followed for disarming or retracting radioactive
sources, for removal of LSA scale or NORM etc
• Vessel boots and sumps full of liquid which could be fallen into
• Pyrophoric scale formed in systems which may contain H2S
• Excessive noise
• Inadequate visibility
• Excessive temperature in the confined space (causing heat stress to personnel)
• Possible ingress of fumes from drain systems etc
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• Possible collapse of excavations


• Inadequate shoring; appropriate shoring shall be in place prior to entry
(3) Hazards from oxygen enrichment or deficiency
The special dangers of working in oxygen-enriched atmospheres cannot be over
emphasised. Oxygen enrichment may occur by leakage of oxygen supplies or by
buildup of oxygen during oxygen-rich flame cutting processes.
Enrichment of only a few percent will make materials that will normally only burn
slowly or with difficulty, burn fiercely with catastrophic results for the occupants of
the confined space.
Every precaution shall be taken to avoid oxygen enrichment. In particular:
• Oxygen cylinders shall be kept outside the confined space where practicable
• Oxygen supplies shall be isolated outside the space during work breaks
• Hoses supplying oxygen shall be removed from the space during work breaks
• Oxygen shall never be used to ‘sweeten’ the atmosphere of a confined space
• The space shall be adequately ventilated at all times
There is also a danger of oxygen deficiency due to combustion processes, purging
with inert gas, inert gas welding (MIG/TIG) or oxidation processes (eg rusting)
occurring in steel vessels left completely closed for some time.

5.2.3 Criteria for Confined Space Entry


Table 2 defines the criteria for entry into a confined space both with and without BA,
based on the hydrocarbon vapour levels and oxygen content. The space shall only be
classed as fit for entry without BA if the oxygen and flammable gas levels are the same
as measured outside in fresh air. Table 2 also defines occupational exposure limits for
toxic contaminants and substances. Sites need to take account of the likelihood of toxic
contaminants specific to their process (eg benzene).

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UKCS-SSW-001 Safe Isolation and Reinstatement of Plant

Also, the Authorised Gas Tester (AGT) shall confirm that there are no materials left inside
which in his opinion may give off sufficient quantities of vapour and fumes if disturbed,
such that the atmosphere would cease to be classed as fit for entry without BA.

Criteria Entry without BA Entry with BA


(refer to Paragraph 5.3) (refer to Paragraph 5.4)
Oxygen Content (%) 20.8 to 22.5% 19 to 20.8%
Toxicity (Occupational <LTMEL (8 hours) <STMEL (15 minutes)
Exposure Limits) (Long-term Exposure Limit) (Short-term Exposure
(Note 2) Limit)
Hydrocarbon Vapour <1% LEL (Inspection, <4 to 25% LEL
(% Lower Explosive Hot or Cold Work (Inspection and Cold Work

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Limit – measured on a Permitted) 1 to 4% LEL Permitted) (Note 4)
combustible gas indicator) (Inspection and Cold Work
(Note 3) Permitted)
Notes: (1) Occupational exposure limits for various toxic substances are defined
in HSE Guidance Document EH40.
(2) If longer work shifts ie 12 hours (offshore), LTMEL must be
extrapolated to give 12-hour Time Weighted Average (TWA).
(3) Lower Explosive Limit (LEL) synonymous with Lower Flammable Limit
(LFL).
(4) Continuous gas monitoring must be performed throughout confined
space occupancy.

Table 2 Permitted Limits for Confined Space Entry and Work

5.2.4 Gas Testing


Gas testing for entry shall only be carried out by approved persons who have been fully
trained and certified in gas testing for confined space entry purposes, ie Authorised Gas
Tester (AGT), Level 1.
The AGT shall request an Entry Certificate from the Area Authority to confirm that the
confined space is isolated and to authorise entry for the AGT (if required). Any special
operational conditions regarding the space will be conveyed to the AGT on the
certificate.
Where practicable, the gas test shall be carried out from outside the confined space
(eg using extension probes).
In some circumstances it may not be possible to sample a representative portion of the
space from the entrance, taking into account ventilation arrangements and the possibility
of heavier-than-air gas remaining in low areas. In this event, the AGT may have to enter
the space in order to complete his tests.

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Safe Isolation and Reinstatement of Plant UKCS-SSW-001

The conditions for the entry of the AGT shall include:


(1) The AGT shall not enter if the conditions at the entrance are outside the criteria for
entry with BA (refer to Table 2).
(2) An Entry Attendant (refer to Paragraph 5.3.1) shall be stationed at the entrance so
that he is able to keep the AGT under effective surveillance and equipped to raise
the alarm if the AGT should get into trouble, and also to warn the AGT of an
external emergency.
(3) The AGT shall wear BA. He shall only enter the confined space without BA if he is
updating a valid Entry Certificate which has already certified the space fit for entry
without BA.
(4) If practicable, the AGT shall wear a harness and a lifeline.
(5) Reviving equipment ready for immediate use shall be kept close at hand.
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A minimum requirement would be the provision of an air bottle and mask which
provided a constant air supply. Further reviving equipment may be supplied
providing that relevant personnel are competent in its use.
(6) Facilities for the rescue of the AGT should be considered.
(7) The appropriate emergency response personnel shall be advised of the nature and
the location of the work to be undertaken.

5.2.5 Entry Certificate Issue and Validity


When the gas test has been completed the Area Authority shall evaluate the results
against Table 2 and, taking into account the nature of the space, possible contaminants,
type of isolations and the type of work proposed, shall issue the appropriate Work
Control Certificate. The Work Control Certificate shall be cross-referenced to the Entry
Certificate on which the Area Authority shall specify the period in which he considers it
safe to enter the space. An entry certificate on its own does not authorise entry for any
purposes other than inspection by AGT.
Entry to the confined space shall commence and continue at any time during the period
for which the certificate is valid. If the space is vacated during the period of validity, a
gas test shall be undertaken before re-entry. Alternatively, if continuous gas monitoring
equipment has been in use throughout the vacated period, entry may proceed without
the gas test.
The Entry Certificate should be displayed at the job site. Entry points shall be barriered
off when the vessel is not manned.

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UKCS-SSW-001 Safe Isolation and Reinstatement of Plant

5.2.6 Training and Familiarisation for Confined Space Entry


All personnel likely to be involved in confined space entry, either as Entrants, Attendants,
Rescue Team Members or Gas Testers, shall undergo suitable training and
familiarisation to ensure that they possess the understanding, knowledge and skills
necessary to safely perform their assigned duties.
AGTs shall be trained, assessed and confirmed competent in accordance with the BP
Authorised Gas Testing Standards.
Entry Attendants shall be formally briefed on all aspects of the proposed entry activities
and on their particular duties, and shall be prepared to demonstrate their competency to
the Area Authority.
Suitable familiarisation for the Attendant should include the following:
• Awareness of this document and in particular the need to avoid entry into a confined

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space whenever possible
• Awareness of the site layout and the site emergency procedures
• An understanding of the work to be undertaken, the hazards and the necessary
precautions of the WCC and associated paperwork. Where practicable all personnel
involved in the work should take part in the Level 2 Risk Assessment
• Familiarisation with the site emergency procedures for the rescue and recovery
of Entrants
• Instruction in the communication methods to be used between the Attendant and
Entrant working in the confined space
The Area Authority must ensure that the Entry Attendant understands his duties and is
competent to perform them.
Entrants shall be briefed by the Performing Authority, Supervisor or Entry Attendant to
ensure that they understand the hazards of the task in hand, the signs, symptoms and
consequences of exposure to those hazards, and are aware of the emergency signal to
be used by the attendant if evacuation becomes necessary.
The Rescue Team Members shall receive approved Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
and rescue equipment (including BA sets) and be trained in its use. They should be
trained fire team members.
New personnel shall not be assigned to the above tasks, unless under training and
accompanied by a competent person who is familiar with the hazards of confined
space entry.

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Safe Isolation and Reinstatement of Plant UKCS-SSW-001

5.3 Procedure for Entry into Confined Spaces without BA

5.3.1 Entry Attendant


A suitably trained Entry Attendant shall be stationed at the designated entrance to the
confined space and shall:
(1) Maintain a record of personnel entering and leaving the space and communicate
this to a central control room where appropriate.
(2) Keep Entrants under effective surveillance by one or more of the
following methods:
• Line-of-sight (not always possible)
• Voice contact (allowing for distance and ambient noise)
• Radio with agreed periodicity of contact
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• Pre-arranged signals on air-klaxons, whistles etc


• Pre-arranged lifeline signals
• Distress signal unit
(3) Be equipped with a device (eg radio, telephone) to summon assistance rapidly if
Entrants get into trouble.
Notes: (1) Such assistance shall consist of readily available rescue and
resuscitation equipment and personnel trained in its use.
(2) Consideration should be given to having the rescue team attend the
pre-job briefing to ensure familiarity with the proposed work.
(4) Ensure that an adequate supply of respirable air is maintained whilst Entrants are
inside the confined space.
The Entry Attendant has a vital function to perform. Under no circumstance may the
Entry Attendant enter the confined space or leave his post whilst there are
personnel inside.

5.3.2 Entrants
Entrants to the confined space shall:
• Wear suitable PPE
• Wear a harness and lifeline, if specified on the Work Control Certificate
• According to the type of work and the risk, take adequate rest periods out in the
open air
• Continuously monitor for oxygen, hydrocarbons and H2S
This may be achieved by one of the Entrants wearing a Crowcon Triple meter (or
similar) to warn of hazardous conditions. If this should occur, the space should be
vacated, ventilated and re-tested until conditions have improved to within the limits
set out on the Entry Certificate.

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UKCS-SSW-001 Safe Isolation and Reinstatement of Plant

5.3.3 Work Activity Affecting Entry without BA Status


Even though a gas test may indicate that a confined space is fit for entry without BA,
if work is to take place within that is likely to generate toxic or flammable vapours to
such an extent that the atmosphere cannot be kept free of contaminants by forced or
natural ventilation (eg application of paint coatings), the space shall be treated as not fit
for entry without BA and the additional precautions listed in Paragraph 5.4 shall be
followed.

5.4 Additional Procedure for Entry into Confined Spaces with BA

5.4.1 Entry Attendant


The Entry Attendant shall perform the duties listed in Paragraph 5.3.1. Additionally,
where the space contains residual fluids (eg water) into which a person might fall so that

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his face and BA are submerged, he shall be assisted by a rescue person who shall be
stationed at the opening, equipped to make an entry wearing BA so as to give
immediate help, if he considers it safe to do so.

5.4.2 Entrants
Entrants shall perform the duties listed in Paragraph 5.3.2. In addition, they shall wear
approved positive pressure BA and be trained in its use.
Notes: (1) Canister respirators shall not be used in any circumstances. Air-supplied
apparatus shall be used.
(2) All personnel expected to wear BA and carry out work at the same time
are recommended to be clean shaven.

5.5 Removal of Sludge, Scale and Hard Deposits


After a tank or vessel has been opened up, as much oil, sludge and scale as possible
shall be removed by means of bailers, squeegees etc, aided, if convenient, by
adequately earthed water hoses. As much removal as possible should be carried out
from the open manhole door but invariably it will be necessary to enter the tank/vessel
to remove all sludge and scale. Rules for entry as laid down in Paragraph 5.2.3 shall be
strictly adhered to.
Earth sumps or suitable containers shall be provided for the reception of oil or oily
sludge. This material shall be removed from site as soon as possible. On land where
earth sumps may be used, they shall be lined with impermeable material, eg plastic
sheet liner, to ensure that there is no contamination of water courses etc.
All pyrophoric scale shall be disposed of in an approved manner. During the time that it is
exposed to the air after removal, it shall be kept wet. Pyrophoric scale is removed from
offshore installations in sealed drums, the scale being ‘slurried’ with water.
Where there are hard deposits, necessitating the use of chipping tools, the Work Control
Certificate shall specify that the surface being chipped must be kept thoroughly wetted
during the operation.

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Safe Isolation and Reinstatement of Plant UKCS-SSW-001

Where high-pressure water jets are used in the removal of sludge and scale, only
specifically trained operators should be used. Where standard water hose and nozzles
are used to wash out, the nozzles shall be earthed.
When chemical cleaning takes place there is a possibility of toxic gases, including H2S,
being evolved. Therefore a closed drain system shall be used for the disposal of effluent
from these operations. Personnel engaged in these operations shall wear suitable
chemical protective clothing/equipment and suitable toxic gas monitoring/warning
devices shall be provided.

5.6 Removal of Trapped Oil or Vapour


When repairs are to be carried out within a tank or vessel, care shall be taken to ensure
that oil is not trapped inside internal structural members. Any hollow supports or bracing
steelwork exposed to hydrocarbon should be carefully drilled at the lowest and highest
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point to detect the presence of oil. If it is found, the hollow member must be purged by
one of the methods discussed above before work on the tank or vessel is allowed
to proceed.
Any linings or wear plates attached to the shell of a tank or vessel may trap liquid
hydrocarbons behind them. This liquid can percolate into the vessel or tank by way of
minute cracks. Therefore, the vessel or tank shall frequently be tested to ensure that it
remains gas free.

5.7 General Ventilation


When welding (especially MIG/TIG) or other work is to be carried out in a confined
space, precautions shall be taken to ensure that an adequate flow of fresh air is available
and that welding fumes are removed. Great care shall be taken to ensure that the air
flow is always away from the breathing zone of the welder and that contaminated air
does not ‘short circuit’ back to the welder.
Where exhaust ventilation is used in a confined space, the extracted air shall be diverted
well away from the confined space so that replacement air shall be fresh. When
adequate ventilation cannot be provided, approved breathing apparatus or a suitable face
mask supplied with fresh air shall be worn. Compressed oxygen shall never be used to
ventilate a confined space.

5.8 Artificial Lighting


If it is necessary to introduce artificial lighting into tanks or vessels, the following
conditions shall apply:
(1) Prior to gas freeing:
• Ex approved battery powered handlamps
• Air-powered turbo lights

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UKCS-SSW-001 Safe Isolation and Reinstatement of Plant

(2) Once declared gas free:


• Lighting approved for use prior to gas freeing
• 25V Exd approved handlamps
• Other approved semi-permanent lighting systems
(3) Where flammable materials are not present:
• Lighting approved for use once declared gas free
• Low-voltage handlamps

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Safe Isolation and Reinstatement of Plant UKCS-SSW-001

6 Plant Reinstatement and Leak Testing


The reinstatement of plant and equipment requires equal attention to planning and detail
as the initial isolation. Historical data shows that many incidents involving failure of an
isolation occur during reinstatement. Reinstatement of process plant is not complete
until the section where containment was broken has been leak tested.
The reinstatement leak test is different from strength tests as required by Code, which
are pressure/strength tests to prove the structural integrity of the system.
The purpose of reinstatement leak testing is to render the production equipment and
piping systems safe for the introduction of hydrocarbon gases and liquids, and to create
an auditable record to demonstrate the integrity of all hydrocarbon production systems.
An overview of the leak testing process is shown within the main SIRP flowchart in
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Addendum 4. A checklist to be used when planning leak tests is provided in Figure 2 as


a guide.

Test Plan/Programme
Maximum Allowable Working Pressure (MAWP) defined
Test pressure defined
Marked up P&IDs produced showing test boundaries
Written test procedure developed
Test medium selected (hydraulic considered rather than pneumatic)
If pneumatic test planned, consider reducing the volume by water filling vessels
Emergency depressurisation route identified
Pressurisation/depressurisation procedures take account of the position of non-return valves
Pressurisation procedure specifies hold points (25%, 50%, 75% of test pressure)

Pre-test Preparation and Equipment Checks


All threaded connections, plugs and caps are secure
All attachments unable to withstand test pressure are removed/isolated
Facilities have been checked for means of venting trapped pressure
Safety valve set to prevent test pressure being exceeded
Calibrated test pressure gauge(s) fitted and visible to operator
Any pipe supports/expansion joints fitted with restraints
Pressure equipment is fitted with regulator and relief valve and is in sound condition
Methods of upstream and downstream monitoring are in place
Warning signs and barriers erected
PA announcement of proposed test has been organised
Contingencies for leakage have been made
Overpressure protection device in place for specialist contractor nitrogen testing
Pumping unit connected to Installation ESD system

Post-test Checks
Vents to be opened at high points during liquid depressurisation
Pressure to be released gradually
Inert gases vented to flare or alternatively to a safe area
Confirm that there is no trapped pressure within test envelope
UKCSSSW001_006.fh8

Figure 2 Leak Testing Checklist

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UKCS-SSW-001 Safe Isolation and Reinstatement of Plant

6.1 De-isolation of Plant

6.1.1 Integrity Checks


Prior to reinstatement, the integrity of any isolations associated with the removal of
spades or other isolations devices should be reassessed to confirm that it is safe to
proceed with the reinstatement work.

6.1.2 Sequence of De-isolation


In some cases the sequence of de-isolating plant is critical and requires planning to
ensure safe reinstatement.

6.1.3 De-isolation of Non-manual Valves


Removal of a valved isolation does not necessarily involve any opening or closing of the

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valves, just the removal of locking devices and/or other immobilising equipment.
Particular care should be taken with regard to electrically, pneumatically or hydraulically
operated valves, which may open or close on reinstatement of the operating
source/medium.

6.1.4 De-isolation of Safety Critical Valves


Care must be taken to ensure that safety critical valves are returned to their correct
position during de-isolation. These valves are registered as Locked Open (LO) or Locked
Closed (LC) and each site holds a register which records the current position of all LO/LC
valves. During de-isolation, these valves should be returned to their correct position for
plant operation and the register updated accordingly.

6.2 Selection of Test Pressure


Leak testing is performed at 110% of maximum allowable working pressure (MAWP) or,
if a relief valve which has a set pressure below 110% MAWP is included in the system
under test, the test is conducted at 95% of the system relief valve set pressure.
The leak pressure test shall never exceed 110% of the MAWP.
Where the operating pressure is significantly lower than the MAWP then a lower test
pressure can be used providing that a risk assessment has been carried out and
approved by the site Technical Authority. In these situations, the envelope and lower
test pressure needs to be fully documented in the site integrity management system.

6.3 Definition of Pressure Envelope


Testing shall only be carried out on a single, continuous pressure envelope (ie same
pressure rating as defined by the piping specification) at any one time, as far as is
reasonably practicable. Where it is necessary to test simultaneously two independent
and non-connected envelopes adjacent to each other, careful consideration shall be
given to the effects that failure in one pressure envelope might have on the other.

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Safe Isolation and Reinstatement of Plant UKCS-SSW-001

The volume of the pressure envelope under test shall be kept as small as reasonably
practicable to minimise the amount of stored energy in the envelope.
When defining the pressure envelope, consideration should be given to interfaces with
lower pressure systems or equipment (including exchangers etc) – provision must be
made to ensure that adjacent systems cannot be overpressured.
The leak paths to be tested shall include, but not be limited to, flanged joints; other
proprietary joints including clamp-type connectors (ie Grayloc-type) and hammer-lugged
unions; threaded joints; valve body/bonnet joints; valve stem glands; valve body vent and
drains; pig receiver/launcher door seals; and all piping connections to instrumentation.
The envelope shall include adequate means for the venting of air or process gas from
high spots and dead legs during filling with a liquid pressuring medium.
The envelope shall contain adequate means for draining liquids after the test and for
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ensuring that a vacuum is not drawn.


In the case of pneumatic pressure tests the envelope shall contain sufficient vents, to a
safe place, to ensure that depressurising can be undertaken safely and without adverse
thermal effects.
Sufficient venting/draining points shall be provided for preventing pressuring fluids being
trapped behind non-return or check valves, between isolation valves or within dead legs
of the envelope.

6.4 Selection of Pressuring Medium


A liquid medium (hydraulic testing) is the preferred means of testing and should be used
for leak testing wherever possible, in order to minimise the stored energy.
The preferred liquid medium is water. However, the effect of the water, and any
additives, on the metallurgy of the pressure envelope, and the effect of any residual
water/additives on the process (eg formation of hydrates), shall be considered (eg when
testing austenitic stainless steels, the water should be distilled or demineralised and
contain <30ppm of chloride ions).
Selection of liquids other than water should take account of:
• The possibility of explosion resulting from the ‘diesel’ effect
• The boiling point relative to the test temperature
• The flammability of the liquid, the flash point of which should not be less than 65°C,
and at least 10°C above the maximum test temperature
Selection of any hydrocarbon or other flammable or toxic fluid shall only be permitted
if authorised in writing by the appropriate engineering authority following a Level 2 Risk
Assessment.

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UKCS-SSW-001 Safe Isolation and Reinstatement of Plant

Inert gas mixtures such as nitrogen or a nitrogen/helium mix can also be used for
leak testing. This may be the preferred method for large testing or where the use of
water could be detrimental to the process. Gross (preliminary) air leak tests, using
instrument air up to a maximum of 8barg, are often used at an early stage of
hook-up/commissioning as a means of identifying large leaks, prior to performing the
standard pressure tests.

6.5 Nitrogen Leak Testing


The accepted norm for these tests is to pressurise, using 99% nitrogen with a 1%
helium tracer gas, up to a maximum of 110% MAWP. A specialist leak test contractor is
normally employed for such tests.
If the system to be leak tested cannot be tested as a single system then testing should
commence with the highest pressure system to enable decanting to other systems.

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Every effort should be made to conserve nitrogen by decanting to pressurise or partially
pressurise other systems.
To avoid background helium readings and to assist in leak detection, flanged joints shall
be taped for nitrogen leak tests. All other joints and valve stems should only be taped as
required for identification numbering, identification on as-built drawings and reference
back to the testing database. The tape shall be removed once testing is complete.

6.5.1 Safety Considerations in Nitrogen Leak Testing


Nitrogen can asphyxiate, therefore great care should be taken to avoid gross leakage of
nitrogen or nitrogen/helium. Particular care should be taken when opening up vessels
that have been nitrogen purged or when the venting of nitrogen is taking place.
Pressure shall be introduced gradually into the system allowing adequate time for
temperature equalisation; in this respect special attention is drawn to the cooling Joule-
Thompson effect which occurs when letting down high-pressure nitrogen into the
system to be tested. Nitrogen leak testing is performed with gases at high pressure.
Therefore attention is drawn to the hazards of a possible release, with explosive force, of
energy stored in the system. Systems under test shall be depressurised prior to bolt
re-tightening, tensioning or other remedial action to improve leaks, the only exceptions
to this being valve glands, which may be adjusted but not re-packed whilst the system is
still pressurised.
The possibility of brittle fracture shall be considered when conducting a nitrogen leak
test at metal temperatures near the ductile/brittle transition temperature of the steel.
It is recommended that nitrogen leak testing should not be carried out when the ambient
temperature is below 2°C on equipment and piping constructed from non-impact tested
carbon steel materials with nominal thickness of >3/4in (19mm), (ie API 5L, A 106,
A 105, A 216, etc). For non-impact tested carbon steel materials with nominal thickness
>3/4in, a Competent Person shall specify the minimum metal temperatures for leak
testing, based on requirements of either RP 42-1 or BS 5500. Sites are advised to
identify any systems containing non-impact tested carbon steel and prepare the
appropriate local test procedures.

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Safe Isolation and Reinstatement of Plant UKCS-SSW-001

Introducing nitrogen to a system introduces a large energy source, far greater than the
energy stored in an equivalent liquid leak test. To minimise this stored energy, vessels
which normally operate with a liquid level should be water filled (ensure water filling of
the vessel is acceptable with respect to corrosion and scaling) prior to pressurising with
nitrogen.
When a specialist contractor is contracted to carry out nitrogen leak testing rather than
leak testing with nitrogen quads or low volume pumps the following additional
measures apply:
• There will be a Pump Operator who will be in radio contact with the Leak Test
Supervisor who will monitor system pressure. The pumping unit will be manually shut
down on the instruction of the Leak Test Supervisor. The leak test crew should have a
written procedure for radio protocol
• There will be an automatic pump trip (Overpressure Protection Device (OPPD)) that
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will shut down the pumping unit. The OPPD will be located close to the injection point
so that it can monitor the highest pressure that will be seen in the Installation system
• Full flow pressure relief will be available via Pressure Safety Valves (PSVs). It is
acceptable and appropriate for the PSVs on the Installation system/plant to be used
for this purpose. However, if full flow pressure relief is not available via a plant
system, then consideration should be given to the use of temporary PSVs supplied by
the leak test contractor. If full flow pressure relief is not provided, then a Level 2 Risk
Assessment should be completed and assurance gained that there is sufficient
control in place to manage the HP/LP interface
• If it has been identified that the leak test contractor will have to supply PSVs,
consideration should be given to the location that these PSVs would vent to in an
emergency. The vent location should be surveyed and approved by the Installation
Area Authority with guidance from the leak test contractor on expected
nitrogen plume

6.6 Leak Testing Acceptance Criteria


This paragraph defines the allowable leak rates for different test medium and equipment
type and duty.

6.6.1 Acceptance Criteria for Hydraulic Testing


For hydraulic testing using water the test should be conducted for a minimum of
30 minutes. A test should be deemed successful if no significant reduction in pressure is
observed over the test period and all joints and connections have been visually inspected
for leakage. In some cases it may not be possible to maintain a constant test pressure
due to trapped air in the system or passing valves. In this case the visual inspection is
vital in confirming an acceptable test.

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UKCS-SSW-001 Safe Isolation and Reinstatement of Plant

6.6.2 Acceptance Criteria for Nitrogen Testing


For nitrogen testing, depending on the scope of the test, there are two primary means of
confirming an acceptable test. These are:
• Bubble testing
• Leak rate measurement using a helium tracer
Helium tracer testing is normally used for large scale testing of plant or the installation of
new equipment involving a specialist contractor. Bubble testing is normally applicable
when carrying out smaller scale testing using nitrogen quads.

Bubble Testing Criteria for Hydrocarbons

Bubble Testing Method Acceptance Criteria

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Method 1 involves the application of a No presence of continuous bubble growth
soap solution to the joint and monitoring detected in 60 seconds for flanges up to
for surface bubbles. and including 4in NB and 90 seconds for
flanges above 4in NB.
Method 2 involves taping the joint and 5 bubbles/min.
inserting a 1/4in diameter tube from the
flange into a water bucket and monitoring
the number of bubbles released.

Note: 5 bubbles/min approximates to 15scf/year from a 1/4in tube.

Helium Tracer Testing


Leak rate measurement in the case of helium tracer testing involves taping of individual
flanges and measurement of leakage using a measurement probe. The following leakage
criteria apply:

Leakage Rates (scf/yr)

Helium Tracer Testing Method Acceptance Criteria (scf/year)

Target Maximum

Closed Module Open Module


Oil 100 200 400
Gas <50barg 50 100 200
Gas ≥50barg 20 40 100

Acceptance of leak rates in the range between target and maximum allowable leakage is
by exception only and review by the appropriate Technical Authority. The review shall
take into account fluid type, location of joint and ventilation and subsequent monitoring
programme.

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Safe Isolation and Reinstatement of Plant UKCS-SSW-001

6.7 Test Equipment


Blanking devices such as spades, blinds and screwed plugs etc shall conform to the
equipment specification and be fitted in accordance with Paragraph 3.
Note: For screwed plugs up to 1 1/2in, at least 7 to 8 threads should be engaged.
Pressuring equipment shall be provided with suitably calibrated pressure
control/regulator devices.
A suitably calibrated pressure-indicating device, or devices, shall be provided in a location
clearly visible to the person controlling the pressure. Account should be taken of
pressure variation caused by elevation changes within the pressure envelope.
During any test, if the test pressure is above the MAWP or the pressuring source could
exceed MAWP, a pressure relief valve shall be fitted to the test equipment. The valve
should be set to relieve marginally above the test pressure, and of adequate discharge
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capacity to relieve the volume supplied by the pressuring source to a safe area.

6.8 Planning
A checklist summarising the key steps in planning and implementing a test is shown in
Figure 2.
When risk assessing the leak testing activity, as a minimum the following should be
considered:
• Any parts inside the proposed envelope which may be adversely affected by the test
pressure (eg the maximum static pressure on a balanced pump seal)
• Any interfaces with lower pressure systems or equipment (positive or double blocks
and bleed isolation shall be used with consideration given to locking open a vent path
to prevent overpressurisation)
• The location and condition of screwed fittings within the test envelope
• The stability of components such as expansion joints and spring hangers
• The ability to control the rate of pressure rise and the ability to depressurise quickly
• Connected high-pressure equipment such as accumulators or pulsation dampers
• Need for additional piping support (and its subsequent removal after reinstatement)
when items are removed
• The implications of Non-return Valves (NRVs) in the system in relation to
pressurisation and depressurisation
• The provision of an emergency depressurisation route for large volume tests. This will
ideally be a remote operated blowdown valve which is an integral part of the leak test
envelope and which will operate automatically on an Installation trip and blowdown
event. If this is not possible, a manual blowdown route should be identified and both
the BP Isolating Authority and the leak test contractor should be aware of its location

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UKCS-SSW-001 Safe Isolation and Reinstatement of Plant

Whenever the test envelope extends beyond one site (eg pipelines), effective
communication including formal procedures must be established between each site.
During turnarounds where a boundary isolation provides the isolation from the process
(eg reservoir and export line) the isolation standard used to carry out nitrogen leak
testing within the boundary may be relaxed to single valve isolation, subject to Level 2
Risk Assessment of the hazards to work on the adjacent systems.

6.9 Preparation
The site shall be inspected by the Performing Authority to confirm that:
• The equipment to be tested is free from any obvious flaws
• All low-pressure attachments have been removed or effectively isolated
• Pressure-indicating and pressure relief devices are secure and online, calibrated and

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set to the appropriate pressure as necessary
• Any temporary restraints are in place and sufficient to restrain movement on
system failure
• Vent and drain valves are in the correct position
• The pressuring equipment and all associated fittings and connections are secure, in
sound condition and free from contaminants (eg diesel oil)

6.10 Access Restrictions


Protection against unauthorised access to the test area, and other protective measures,
shall be provided by the following measures:
• Cordoning off the area (eg with tape or erection of shields) at an adequate distance
from the equipment to be tested, as specified on the Work Control Certificate
• Posting warning signs at access ways, other strategic positions and on the equipment
to be tested; or on the door of test workshops or other designated test areas
• Broadcasting warnings that a pressure test is imminent
The area in which the test takes place shall be ‘swept’ beforehand to ensure that no
personnel are present inside the barrier.
A minimum safe practical distance for barriers shall be set at a distance where it is
physically impossible for an individual to touch any part of the system under pressure
without crossing the barrier.
A maximum safe practicable distance must be maintained in all circumstances given the
nature and location of the pressurising medium.
Access will be prohibited for all personnel during pressurisation periods. Following
pressurisation, access to the test area will be prohibited until the pressure has stabilised.
Access for leak detection shall be restricted to essential personnel (minimum of two), as
specified on the Work Control Certificate.

40 June 2002 Issue 2


Safe Isolation and Reinstatement of Plant UKCS-SSW-001

6.11 Control of Leak Testing and Test Procedures


The Performing Authority in charge of the test shall be responsible for the preparation of
a plan covering definition of test category, procedural instructions (including those for
pressurisation and venting) and relevant drawings (P&IDs) showing isolation points, fill
and vent points, valve status etc. A process for recording the pressure of the system
during the test at suitable intervals shall also be included in the plan. For large scale tests
conducted by a specialist testing contractor the work procedure shall be approved by the
appropriate BP Site Supervisor or Technical Authority.
All tests shall be carried out under a WCC within the Integrated Safe Systems of Work.
Testing carried out by a specialist contractor shall be subject to a Level 2 Risk
Assessment.
Regularly recurring tests may be conducted solely under the control of a routine provided
there is a specific test procedure for the item of equipment being tested.
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Non-routine tests shall be controlled by a Work Control Certificate (Permit) in addition to


an authorised procedure to provide additional control of adjacent activities.
For tests involving a specialist contractor, prior to pressurisation, the BP Area Authority
or delegate and Leak Test Supervisor shall walk through the system to be tested with
the marked up P&IDs and verify the following:
• Battery limits are as specified
• Isolations including valve positions are as specified
• Secondary isolations are as specified
• Injection points are as specified
• Overpressurisation protection and monitoring positions are as specified
• Sufficient provision is made for the rapid and safe depressurisation of a system
should it be required as indicated on the P&IDs
• The test area is adequately barriered off
• Leak test contractor’s relief valve is online and settings are as specified
• Overpressure protection skid is set to the predetermined setting

6.12 Pressure Buildup and Test Monitoring


Throughout the test, the boundaries of the test area shall be monitored to ensure that no
unauthorised personnel enter the area. During pressurisation all personnel are prohibited
from entering the test area.
Neither the pressurising equipment nor the equipment under test shall be left
unattended at any time during the test.
The pressurising equipment shall be isolated from the pressure envelope (and
disconnected, where practicable) when the test pressure is reached. The pressurising
valve should be locked in the closed position.

June 2002 Issue 2 41


UKCS-SSW-001 Safe Isolation and Reinstatement of Plant

The possibility of a pressure increase due to thermal expansion shall be considered in


the case of an extended test.
Pressure monitoring shall include any adjacent systems which are not positively isolated.
The equipment under test shall not be subjected to any form of shock loading,
eg no hammer testing.
Initial pressurisation of any system must always be performed in a slow and controlled
manner, stopping initially at 5barg or 25% of the final test pressure if the final test
pressure is less than 20barg. The pressure should then be increased in increments
equivalent to 25% of the final test pressure, in order to allow the system to stabilise and
to check all joints and flanges for visible or audible leakage at each step change in
pressure. Pressurisation shall be halted at these intervals (ie 25%, 50% and 75%) and
visual and audible inspection checks carried out. Pressure drop time assessments should
be carried out at each stage to satisfy the BP Area Authority of leak test envelope

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integrity. Once system integrity is established then pressurisation will recommence and
continue in 25% increments of the final test pressure, with all checks carried out as
previously stated until the acceptable leak criteria has been met at 100% system test
pressure.
If any leakage is detected whilst a system is being pressurised, pressurisation must
cease immediately and that system must be totally depressurised via the approved
venting point and left open to atmosphere. Confirmation that the system pressure is at
0barg must be confirmed by the BP Area Authority or their delegate prior to any remedial
works commencing.

6.13 Depressurising and Return to Service


On completion of the test, the pressure shall be reduced gradually and under controlled
conditions until atmospheric or desired operational pressure is reached. The pressure
shall be recorded following completion of the test and when isolation from the pressure
source and depressurisation/venting has taken place, prior to any other work starting on
the system.
Vents shall be opened at high points before draining liquids, to ensure that a vacuum is
not drawn.
Where possible inert gases shall be vented to the Installation flare and vent system or if
this is not practical, to a safe area where they will not affect personnel. Pressuring fluid
may sometimes be decanted into another test envelope in order to conserve pressuring
medium. If it is necessary to vent large volumes to atmosphere, a risk assessment of
this activity should be conducted and a procedure developed detailing how personnel
will be protected during such a depressurisation event.
Clamps or bolts on bolted flanges shall not be loosened while the system is still under
pressure. Clamps should only be removed by competent persons who have been trained
in the appropriate procedures.
Checks should be made to ensure that no part of the envelope retains any trapped
residual pressure, eg behind non-return valves or check valves.

42 June 2002 Issue 2


Safe Isolation and Reinstatement of Plant UKCS-SSW-001

Prior to returning equipment to service, the hazards of any residual pressuring fluids shall
be assessed and actions taken to eliminate them, eg:
• In the case of water, its effects on products on high or low temperature service may
require the use of special drying methods, such as hot, dry air
• The need to inert (remove oxygen) prior to introducing process fluids
Consideration should be given to the normal operating temperature of the process.
Where practicable, the operating temperature should be increased slowly and all broken
connections monitored until a stable operating temperature is maintained.

6.14 Service Testing


Service leak tests, using the service fluid rather than 110% MAWP tests, are acceptable
methods of testing for leaks during the post-operations phase on low-pressure systems
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such as instrument air, potable water and diesel distribution systems.


For process hydrocarbon systems, although it is not the preferred means of testing,
under certain conditions it may be considered appropriate to carry out testing with the
service fluid (ie liquid or gas) rather than with water, nitrogen or some other medium.
This should only be considered where it can be clearly demonstrated that it is impractical
to carry out leak testing due to the configuration of the system and that the hazards
associated with the introduction of high-pressure testing equipment etc would be
greater than the hazards associated with the service testing.
Where this method is proposed, a written justification must be recorded via a Level 2
Risk Assessment.
The following criteria and precautions should be considered as the minimum in support
of carrying out service tests on hydrocarbon systems:
• The number of joints that have been broken shall be small to guarantee the ability to
control and monitor the test
• A competent technician shall have witnessed the joints being re-made in accordance
with the Guidance on Certification (GOC) Procedure for Critical Joint Installation
• Pressurisation should be controlled via a designated pressurisation route where
possible, eg a small bore line fitted with a globe valve
• Pressurisation shall be in small incremental steps (5bar max) where possible
• Depressurisation routes shall be specified and if possible both local/manual
depressurisation and remote depressurisation from the control room shall be
designed into the leak boundaries
• The boundary isolation valves for the service test shall be controlled under the ISSOW
isolation control
Once it has been decided to carry out a service test, a formal procedure shall be
developed including marked-up P&IDs defining the service test and detailing compliance
with the above criteria.

June 2002 Issue 2 43


UKCS-SSW-001 Safe Isolation and Reinstatement of Plant

6.15 Post-test Integrity Checks


After hydrocarbons or hazardous utilities have been introduced, an initial visual check of
joint integrity shall be made for all broken joints and any other joints that may have been
disturbed. Further checks shall be carried out every 12 hours until the plant has reached
its normal operating pressure and temperature. Checks shall be carried out for at least
2 days.

NUIs
It is recognised that for NUIs where a permanent presence does not exist, the ability to
monitor will depend on the length of stay and timing of subsequent visits. The flange
tagging process (refer to Paragraph 3.3) should still be applied and the monitoring
process followed as far as is practicable, with a final check and removal of the flange
tags being made at least on the next return visit to the site.

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6.16 Records (Certification)
All leak tests and service tests shall be formally certificated and recorded, and all
certificates included with the relevant equipment records within the BU/Installation
management system.
For leak tests Form SL1 from GOC should be used.
Service tests and the critical joint installation should be recorded using Form JI1 from the
GOC guidelines.
Form JI1 from GOC should be used for recording post integrity checks.

6.17 Use of Specialist Testing Contractors


In cases where pressure/leak testing is contracted to a specialist third-party the contract
shall, as a minimum, specify the need to observe the requirements of this document,
and in addition:
• The roles and responsibilities of the relevant BP and Contractor personnel
• The authority for approval of procedures
• The required competency of the Contractor personnel and the means of controlling
compliance
• The keeping of test records
• Shift handover procedures
• Emergency procedures and automatic shutdown of pumping units
• The means of monitoring the adequacy of the Contractor’s safety
management system

44 June 2002 Issue 2


Safe Isolation and Reinstatement of Plant UKCS-SSW-001

6.18 Shift Handover


At every shift change the Performing Authority will be expected to conduct a verbal and
written account of the previous shift’s operations. If a specialist contractor is performing
the leak testing, the oncoming BP Isolating Authority for the area of plant under leak test
shall attend the shift handover.
The shift handover period shall include a site visit to review the status of the
systems under test.
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June 2002 Issue 2 45/46


Safe Isolation and Reinstatement of Plant UKCS-SSW-001

Addendum 1
References

(1) BP Amoco Drilling and Well Operations Policy (BPA-D-001).


(2) BP Group Recommended Practice RP32-2.
(3) Working with Asbestos (UKCS-SOP-010).
(4) Gas Testing Standards.
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References
June 2002 Issue 2 Add 1-1/2
Safe Isolation and Reinstatement of Plant UKCS-SSW-001

Addendum 2
Glossary of Terms

Blank/Blanking The installation of a piping specification rated device such as a


blind flange, spade (blind) or spectacle blind (reversible spade) for
the purpose of achieving positive isolation.
Boundary Isolations A set of isolations which define the boundaries of a discrete
process envelope.
Breaking Containment The opening up of process/utility systems for any reason, including
inspection, repairs or modifications, where there is a risk from
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egress of toxic, flammable or otherwise dangerous materials.


Breathing Apparatus A device which ensures that the wearer has a continuously
available supply of uncontaminated air through a face mask,
helmet or mouthpiece.
Canister Respirator Respiratory equipment consisting of a face piece attached to a
canister which contains a filter absorber to remove specific
contaminants. It has no separate supply of air.
Cold Work The carrying out of any task, or the use of any tool or equipment
which will not produce a source of ignition (refer also to Hot
Work). It includes the use of tools for erection, dismantling and
cleaning, which are not liable to produce incendive sparks,
and operations such as drilling, tapping and cutting carried out in
such a way as to limit the heat produced and keep the
temperature of the tools and work below 100°C.
Combustible Gas An instrument designed to measure the concentration of
Indicator flammable gas.
Competent Person A person who, by reason of his or her training, knowledge,
experience and judgement is considered by management to be
capable of carrying out a specific task or activity.
Containment Systems Systems (eg transmission pipelines, pipework generally, tanks and
vessels) either pressurised or atmospheric, used for the storage
and/or conveyance of gases, liquids, slurries or mixtures thereof.
Flammable Refers to any substance, solid, liquid, gas or vapour,
(synonymous with which is easily ignited. The addition of the prefix ‘non’
Inflammable) indicates that the substances are not readily ignited but does not
necessarily indicate that they are non-combustible.
Flammable Limits The limits of combustibility of flammable vapours when
mixed with air (refer to Upper Flammable Limit and Lower
Flammable Limit).

Glossary of Terms
June 2002 Issue 2 Add 2-1
UKCS-SSW-001 Safe Isolation and Reinstatement of Plant

Flash Point The lowest temperature to which a liquid must be heated to give
off sufficient vapour to form a mixture with air that can be ignited
momentarily in prescribed laboratory apparatus.
Gas Free A tank is considered to be gas free when the concentration of
flammable gases is within safe prescribed limits. The term gas
free does not imply absence of toxic gases or sufficiency of
oxygen for vessel entry.
Hazardous Area An area in which there exists, or may exist, a hazardous
atmosphere.
Hazardous Atmosphere An atmosphere containing flammable gas or vapour in a
concentration capable of ignition. (The term refers exclusively to
hazards arising from ignition. Where there is hazard from other
causes such as toxicity, asphyxiation or radioactivity, this is

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specifically mentioned.)
Hazardous Utility Corrosive, toxic or irritant chemical fluid, nitrogen, steam or hot
water, drilling mud, diesel oil, Aviation Turbine Kerosene (ATK) and
other fluids that could have an environmental impact.
Hot Work This includes welding or the use of any flame or electric arc or the
use of any equipment likely to cause heat, flame or spark. It also
includes caulking, chipping, drilling, riveting and any other
heat-producing operation, unless it is carried out in such a way as
to keep the temperature below 100°C (refer to Cold Work).
Incendive Spark A spark of sufficient temperature and energy to ignite a
flammable gas.
Isolation A method of preventing the passage of fluids through connecting
pipework in order to allow safe access to vessels or other intrusive
equipment maintenance.
Leak Testing The application of a pressure differential to detect leakage paths or
leakage rates. The pressure applied, liquid or gaseous, may be
much less than the maximum service pressure eg vacuum tests,
search gas tests, air tests, and water or service fluid tests.
Local Procedures Site-specific or BU-specific procedures which address the
arrangements in place for the implementation of HSE Practices,
TIPS or other Federal documents.
Lower Flammable The lowest concentration of flammable gas in air at atmospheric
Limit (LFL) pressure capable of being ignited. The figure is expressed as
percentage by volume.

Glossary of Terms
Add 2-2 June 2002 Issue 2
Safe Isolation and Reinstatement of Plant UKCS-SSW-001

MAWP Maximum Allowable Working (Operating) Pressure should


normally be taken to mean the design pressure. It is the basis for
the pressure setting relieving device.
Non-hazardous Utility Cold water, air.
Positive Isolation Isolation by means of a fixed barrier, such as a blank flange
(following spool removal), blind plate or spectacle plate, bolted or
clamped in place and conforming to the pipework specification,
which provides an equivalent standard of containment to the
pipework in which it is installed.
Process Fluid Well fluids, live crude, stabilised crude, gas, NGL or any other
produced fluid containing hydrocarbon gas or liquid. H2S, LSA
scale/NORM (Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material) or hydrates
may also be present.
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Pyrophoric Scale or Usually finely divided ferrous sulphide formed inside a tank,
Deposits pipeline or equipment, in the presence of mercaptans or hydrogen
sulphide. It is capable of such rapid oxidation on exposure to air
that heating to incandescence can occur.
Reasonably Practicable This term implies that an evaluation of costs versus benefits must
be made. Where the cost or difficulty of a precaution is grossly out
of proportion to the reduction in risk likely to be achieved by
implementing the precaution, the precaution can be considered
not reasonably practicable.
Any additional risks which may arise while installing or removing
the precaution must also be taken into consideration in
determining what is reasonably practicable.
Source of Ignition Naked lights, fires, certain electrical equipment, hot surfaces
above ignition temperature or a spark or flame produced by any
other means.
Tanks Within the context of this document, the majority of the tanks
referred to are located onshore and consist of the following types:
(a) Atmospheric fixed roof, normally used for the storage of
water, chemical or heavy oils, ie materials that do not give
off vapour at normal ambient temperature.
(b) Atmospheric floating roof, where the floating roof can be of
the pan, pontoon or double deck design. The roof floats on
the tank contents. These tanks are mainly used for the
storage of materials which have a flashpoint at or below
normal atmospheric temperatures.

Glossary of Terms
June 2002 Issue 2 Add 2-3
UKCS-SSW-001 Safe Isolation and Reinstatement of Plant

(c) Pressure storage tanks, eg for the storage of liquefied


petroleum gas (propane, butane etc). These tanks may also
be refrigerated.
Above ground tankage is contained within a bunded area;
ie surrounded by walls of earth, concrete or other impermeable
material of appropriate height so as to completely contain any
spillage or rupture within the bunded area.
Test Pressure Except where it is required to meet design code or statutory
requirements for strength testing (ie 150% of design pressure),
the test pressure shall be limited to not more than 110% of
Maximum Allowable Working Pressure (MAWP).
Upper Flammable The concentration of flammable gas in air at atmospheric pressure
Limit (UFL) above which combustion will not occur. The figure is expressed as

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a percentage by volume.

Glossary of Terms
Add 2-4 June 2002 Issue 2
Safe Isolation and Reinstatement of Plant UKCS-SSW-001

Addendum 3
Typical Valve Isolations Integrity Tests

Paragraph Page

1 DBB Isolation Integrity Test (Two Valves) 1

2 DBB Isolation Integrity Test


(BP-approved Double Sealed, Single Valve) 2

3 Single Valve Isolation Integrity Test 3


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Typical Valve Isolations Integrity Tests


June 2002 Issue 2 Add 3-i//ii
Safe Isolation and Reinstatement of Plant UKCS-SSW-001

1 DBB Isolation Integrity Test (Two Valves)

Vent/Drain Vent/Drain
M1 M2

Break
Point
V1 V2

UKCSSSW001_003.fh8
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Key
V1 First (upstream) isolation valve from live system.
M1 Live side monitoring point (pressure gauge or vent/drain).
V2 Second (downstream) isolation valve from live system.
M2 Monitoring point between valves and break point (pressure gauge or vent/drain).
B Bleed point between the isolation valves.
(1) If possible, ensure that tappings at M1, M2 and B are not blocked and that
pressure gauges, where installed, are operating.
(2) Close downstream valve V2 and secure in closed position.
(3) Note pressure at monitoring points M1 and M2.
(4) Vent/drain section of line to be broken into and monitor at M2 until the pressure is
near zero.
(5) Close vent/drain at break point and monitor at M2 for a minimum of 10 minutes.
No pressure buildup at M2 indicates the integrity of the downstream valve V2.
(6) Close upstream valve V1 and secure in closed position.
(7) Note pressure at M1 and B.
(8) Vent/drain between V1 and V2 (B) and monitor at B until pressure is near zero.
(9) Close vent/drain (B) and monitor at M1 and B for a minimum of 10 minutes.
(No pressure buildup at B indicates integrity of upstream valve V1.)
(10) Leave vent/drain (B) in closed position to allow further monitoring.
Note: The two block valves are now closed and secured. The bleed valve is closed but
not locked. It is possible for pressure to build up between the two block valves
therefore regular monitoring of the isolation is essential; a suitable pressure
gauge may be fitted to the vent to monitor the pressure.

Typical Valve Isolations Integrity Tests


June 2002 Issue 2 Add 3-1
UKCS-SSW-001 Safe Isolation and Reinstatement of Plant

2 DBB Isolation Integrity Test


(BP-approved Double Sealed, Single Valve)

Vent/Drain Vent/Drain
M1 M2

Break
Point

Uncontrolled
UKCSSSW001_004.fh8

Key
M1 Live (upstream) side monitoring point.
M2 Monitoring point between valve and break point (downstream).
C Cavity drain (between seals).
(1) If possible, ensure that tappings at M1, M2 and C are not blocked and that
pressure gauges, where installed, are operating.
(2) Close isolation valve and secure in closed position.
(3) Note pressure at M1, C (in cavity) and M2.
(4) Vent/drain downstream section of line to be broken into and monitor pressure at
M2 until pressure is near zero.
(5) Close vent/drain at break point and monitor at M2 and C for a minimum of
10 minutes. (No pressure buildup at M2 and no pressure fall-off at C indicates
integrity of downstream seal.)
(6) Note pressure at M1 and C.
(7) Vent/drain off fluid in cavity (between seals) and monitor at C until the pressure is
near zero.
(8) Close cavity vent/drain (C) and monitor at M1 and C for a minimum of 10 minutes.
(No pressure buildup at C indicates integrity of upstream seal.)
(9) Leave vent/drain (C) in closed position to allow further monitoring.
Note: The double sealed, single block valve is now closed and secured. The bleed valve
is closed but not locked. Any fluid passing through the upstream seal will be
detected at the cavity drain (C). Regular monitoring of the isolation is therefore
essential and a suitable pressure gauge may be fitted to the vent to monitor
the pressure.

Typical Valve Isolations Integrity Tests


Add 3-2 June 2002 Issue 2
Safe Isolation and Reinstatement of Plant UKCS-SSW-001

3 Single Valve Isolation Integrity Test

Vent/Drain Vent/Drain
M1 M2

Break
Point
SVI

UKCSSSW001_005.fh8
Uncontrolled

Key
M1 Live (upstream) side monitoring point.
M2 Monitoring point between valve and break point (downstream).
(1) Ensure that tappings at M1 and M2 are not blocked and that pressure gauges,
where installed, are operating.
(2) Close isolation valve and secure in closed position.
(3) Note pressure at M1 and M2.
(4) Vent/drain downstream section of line to be broken into and monitor at M2 until
pressure is near zero.
(5) Close downstream vent/drain and monitor at M2 for a minimum of 10 minutes.
(No pressure buildup at M2 indicates integrity of single valve.)
(6) Leave downstream vent/drain at break point in closed position to allow further
monitoring.
Note: The single isolation valve is now closed and secured, and the downstream
vent/drain is closed. Any fluid passing through the single valve seal would be
monitored by means of the mandatory additional safeguards listed in Table 1.

Typical Valve Isolations Integrity Tests


June 2002 Issue 2 Add 3-3/4
Uncontrolled

June 2002 Issue 2


Requirement for Isolation
Safe Isolation and Reinstatement of Plant

Is this a
No Yes
confined space entry?
(Paragraph 5.1)

No Is this a Yes Assess breaking containment risks/ Yes Can physical No


breaking containment hazards (Paragraphs 2.5 and 4) disconnection or spading
task? be used?

Select isolation method Define cleaning/flushing/


purging method (Paragraph 4)
Ensure that the highest
level of process isolation
has been achieved.
Positive isolation
recommended for hot
Is this a No Can the Yes
work, mothballing and
special isolation technique? minimum isolation standard
long-term isolations
Paragraph 2.3.4 be achieved?
Addendum 4 and
Paragraph 2
Yes No
Isolation
Confirmation
Certificate

Level 2 Risk Assessment


(Paragraph 2.6)
(acceptable to review
and refer to Install initial isolation
existing assessments)
STOP if risk unacceptable

Complete draining/flushing/
Isolation
purging of equipment where
Confirmation
necessary (Paragraph 4)
Certificate
Addendum 4

Progress work, monitor Isolation


isolation integrity successfully proved? Install final Isolation
Yes Yes No
of Plant Flowchart

(Paragraph 3.11) System/equipment free isolation successfully proved?


If vessel entry, follow of hazards? (if applicable) Paragraph 3.10
guidelines in Paragraph 5 Paragraph
3.10

No STOP
Reassess and consider
production shutdown,
Safe Isolation and Reinstatement

Job complete Yes deferral of work and


Reinstate plant (Paragraph 6.1) further risk assessment
Leak test required?

No Is
leak test covered by No Prepare specific
existing procedure leak test procedure
(Paragraph 6.2)

Yes
Service test for
Service test for process hydrocarbons Carry out appropriate level
non-hazardous Carry out leak test
Mandatory Level 2 Risk of risk assessment within
utilities and record test result
Assessment required ISSOW of leak test operation

Fully deisolate and return to service


Paragraph 6.13
Record any lessons learned

UKCSSSW001_001.fh8
Add 4-1/2
UKCS-SSW-001

Safe Isolation and Reinstatement of Plant Flowchart


Safe Isolation and Reinstatement of Plant UKCS-SSW-001

Addendum 5
Workplace Assessment Plan Template

Paragraph Page

1 Introduction 1

2 Objectives 1

3 Underpinning Knowledge 1
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4 Assessment Methodology 2
4.1 Field Assessment Requirements 2
4.2 Observation, Demonstration and Questioning 3
4.3 Simulation 3
4.4 Guidance on the Assessment Process 3

5 Field Assessment Contents 5

Workplace Assessment Plan Template


June 2002 Issue 2 Add 5-i/ii
Safe Isolation and Reinstatement of Plant UKCS-SSW-001

1 Introduction
The following assessment plan consists of four components which make up the unit
Safe Isolations and Reinstatement of Plant:
• Process isolations
• Breaking containment
• Confined space entry
• Pressure/leak testing
It provides the framework for the workplace D32/33 Assessor to carry out
the assessment.
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2 Objectives
This assessment plan sets a common standard for assessing an individual as a
competent BP process isolator. It should be applied to all candidates, however, the
extent of the assessment process will depend on the previous experience of the
individual (refer to Paragraph 4.4).
Successful assessments will be recorded within the CMAS system by a D32/33
Assessor with the appropriate comments.

3 Underpinning Knowledge
Prior to the workplace assessment the candidate must have completed the following
training.
• SIRP Training Course (either classroom or CBT)
• Permit to Work or ISSOW training to Performing Authority level

Workplace Assessment Plan Template


June 2002 Issue 2 Add 5-1
UKCS-SSW-001 Safe Isolation and Reinstatement of Plant

4 Assessment Methodology
Assessing competence will be carried out by observation, practical demonstration and
questioning. Plant availability and practicality may dictate an element of simulation.

4.1 Field Assessment Requirements


Eight field assessments are provided covering a range of systems, pressures and
activities. To be deemed competent in the unit Safe Isolation and Reinstatement of Plant
the candidate must complete the following:
• Any two of assessments 1 to 3
• Any two of assessments 4 to 6
• Assessments 7 and 8

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For consistency each site/Installation should decide which six field assessments will be
applied and ensure that the CMAS database is edited to reflect that. Guidance on editing
the CMAS database is available from the CMAS Team if required.

Field Activity System Operating


Assessment Description Pressure
1 Process isolation Non-hazardous <10barg
utilities
2 Process isolation Non-hazardous >10barg
Two from here
utilities <55barg
3 Process isolation Non-hazardous >55barg
utilities
4 Process isolation Process fluid <10barg
and hazardous
utilities
5 Process isolation Process fluid >10barg
Two from here and hazardous <55barg
utilities
6 Process isolation Process fluids >55barg
and hazardous
utilities
7 Process isolation Process fluids Any pressure
and confined
space entry
Both operations
8 Plant Process fluids >10barg
reinstatement and
leak testing

Workplace Assessment Plan Template


Add 5-2 June 2002 Issue 2
Safe Isolation and Reinstatement of Plant UKCS-SSW-001

4.2 Observation, Demonstration and Questioning


The D32/33 Assessor will accompany the candidate and observe him in the preparation,
application and removal of the assigned isolations.
Prior to, during and after the practical assessment, relevant questions should be asked to
ensure that all aspects of the job are addressed and that the underpinning knowledge
has been fully understood and is being applied correctly.
In particular, owing to the criticality and importance of process isolations,
any opportunity to demonstrate competence in carrying out effective isolation
procedures should be taken; this is particularly important with regard to breaking
containment and confined space entry.

4.3 Simulation
Uncontrolled

Where the opportunity does not exist to assess the candidate either by observation or
demonstration on complex isolations, the competence can be assessed by the use of
simulated scenarios.
Simulation can involve:
• Detailed description of all aspects of applying isolations to a specific system or
section of plant and equipment. The exercise should include all documentation
required, marked up diagrams and the application of locks and tags
• Answering questions or participating in desktop scenarios, which show the depth of
knowledge gained
Note: Complex isolations which cannot be readily applied and therefore lend
themselves to simulated exercises may include such topics as:
• Confined space and vessel entry
• Actions on not being able to obtain integrity of isolation
• Breaking containment, drain flush and purge
• Leak test and reinstate plant and equipment

4.4 Guidance on the Assessment Process


The extent of assessment required will depend on the experience and prior knowledge
of the individual concerned.

Candidate with No Previous Isolating Experience


A candidate with no previous isolating experience should work through each of the six
field assessments covering all the sections. The D32/33 Assessor should expect them to
demonstrate satisfactorily their understanding and practical application of all aspects of
the BP SIRP policy as defined in each field assessment section.

Workplace Assessment Plan Template


June 2002 Issue 2 Add 5-3
UKCS-SSW-001 Safe Isolation and Reinstatement of Plant

Candidate with Previous Isolating Experience


For an existing authorised process isolator the assessment process should be simplified.
The D32/33 Assessor should use his judgement based on his knowledge of the
individual concerned to establish the level of assessment required to confirm their
competency. This may involve taking them through one of the field assessments in
detail to confirm their knowledge and understanding and then focus on any differences
for the other assessments. It could involve, primarily, simulation as an evidence source.
This will be at the discretion of the D32/33 Assessor.
Where records exist of Accredited Prior Experience and Learning (APEL) on the
application of practical isolations and where such experience is still valid (meets the new
standard), it can be considered for use as an assessment in support of competence. For
those who have completed workplace assessments for isolations under previous
systems, and where this material is relevant and current (meets the new standard),

Uncontrolled
credit can be given for this.
The D32/33 Assessor will still be required to register the candidate as satisfactory
against six field assessments within the CMAS database adding appropriate comments
to substantiate the assessment judgement.

Workplace Assessment Plan Template


Add 5-4 June 2002 Issue 2
Safe Isolation and Reinstatement of Plant UKCS-SSW-001

5 Field Assessment Contents

Field Assessment 1 Isolation – Non-hazardous Utility >10barg


Section 1 Design Isolation Establish minimum level required from Table 1 of
the SIRP document. Design to highest standard
achievable. Obtain correct P&ID and validate –
define isolation points, vent points, bleed points
and mark up P&ID. Power/energy source location –
identify requirement for other Isolating Authority
(electrical). Identify flushing/purging requirements.
Section 2 Preparation and Prepare locks and labels – review
Completion of ICC procedure/method statement/plan of how task is to
be performed – consider future requirements for
Uncontrolled

Sanction to Test. Complete ICC – cross-reference


to associated documentation – overrides/inhibits
register updated – appropriate signatories in place.
Section 3 Application of Install isolations – locking of valves – physical
Isolations disconnection – tagging – integrity checks – record
status on ICC.
Section 4 Breaking Flushing and purging method followed. Safeguards
Containment for breaking containment in place (Table 1 –
Category A + B). Potential hazards understood –
additional precautions in place.
Section 5 De-isolate and Confirm isolation integrity prior to de-isolation –
Reinstate Plant and lock/tag removal – ICC and associated
Equipment documentation update – removal of equipment and
return of area to satisfactory level of housekeeping
– final onsite checks.
Overrides/inhibits removed – register updated.
Other associated registers updated (eg LO/LC
register).

Workplace Assessment Plan Template


June 2002 Issue 2 Add 5-5
UKCS-SSW-001 Safe Isolation and Reinstatement of Plant

Field Assessment 2 Isolation – Non-hazardous Utility


<10barg <55barg
Section 1 Design Isolation Establish minimum level required from Table 1 of
the SIRP document. Design to highest standard
achievable. Obtain correct P&ID and validate –
define isolation points, vent points, bleed points
and mark up P&ID. Power/energy source location –
identify requirement for other Isolating Authority
(electrical). Identify flushing/purging requirements.
Section 2 Preparation and Prepare locks and labels – review
Completion of ICC procedure/method statement/plan of how task is to
be performed – consider future requirements for
Sanction to Test. Complete ICC – cross-reference
to associated documentation – overrides/inhibits

Uncontrolled
register updated – appropriate signatories in place.
Section 3 Application of Install isolations – locking of valves – physical
Isolations disconnection – tagging – integrity checks –
record status on ICC.
Section 4 Breaking Flushing and purging method followed. Safeguards
Containment for breaking containment in place (Table 1 –
Category A + B). Potential hazards understood –
additional precautions in place.
Section 5 De-isolate and Confirm isolation integrity prior to de-isolation –
Reinstate Plant and lock/tag removal – ICC and associated
Equipment documentation update – removal of equipment and
return of area to satisfactory level of housekeeping
– final onsite checks.
Overrides/inhibits removed – register updated.
Other associated registers updated (eg LO/LC
register).

Workplace Assessment Plan Template


Add 5-6 June 2002 Issue 2
Safe Isolation and Reinstatement of Plant UKCS-SSW-001

Field Assessment 3 Isolation – Non-hazardous Utility >55barg


Section 1 Design Isolation Establish minimum level required from Table 1
of the SIRP document. Design to highest
standard achievable. Obtain correct P&ID and
validate – define isolation points, vent points,
bleed points and mark up P&ID. Power/energy
source location – identify requirement for other
Isolating Authority (electrical). Identify
flushing/purging requirements.
Section 2 Preparation and Prepare locks and labels – review
Completion of ICC procedure/method statement/plan of how task
is to be performed – consider future
requirements for Sanction to Test. Complete
ICC – cross-reference to associated
Uncontrolled

documentation – overrides/inhibits register


updated – appropriate signatories in place.
Section 3 Application of Install isolations – locking of valves – physical
Isolations disconnection – tagging – integrity checks –
record status on ICC.
Section 4 Breaking Containment Flushing and purging method followed.
Safeguards for breaking containment in place
(Table 1 – Category A + B). Potential hazards
understood – additional precautions in place.
Section 5 De-isolate and Confirm isolation integrity prior to de-isolation –
Reinstate Plant and lock/tag removal – ICC and associated
Equipment documentation update – removal of equipment
and return of area to satisfactory level of
housekeeping – final onsite checks.
Overrides/inhibits removed – register updated.
Other associated registers updated (eg LO/LC
register).

Workplace Assessment Plan Template


June 2002 Issue 2 Add 5-7
UKCS-SSW-001 Safe Isolation and Reinstatement of Plant

Field Assessment 4 Isolation – Process Fluid and Hazardous


Utility <10barg
Section 1 Design Isolation Establish minimum level required from Table 1
of the SIRP document. Design to highest
standard achievable. Obtain correct P&ID and
validate – define isolation points, vent points,
bleed points and mark up P&ID. Power/energy
source location – identify requirement for other
Isolating Authority (electrical). Identify
flushing/purging requirements.
Section 2 Preparation and Prepare locks and labels – review
Completion of ICC procedure/method statement/plan of how task
is to be performed – consider future
requirements for Sanction to Test. Complete

Uncontrolled
ICC – cross-reference to associated
documentation – overrides/inhibits register
updated – appropriate signatories in place.
Section 3 Application of Install isolations – locking of valves – physical
Isolations disconnection – tagging – integrity checks –
record status on ICC.
Section 4 Breaking Containment Flushing and purging method followed.
Safeguards for breaking containment in place
(Table 1 – Category A + B). Potential hazards
understood – additional precautions in place.
Section 5 De-isolate and Confirm isolation integrity prior to de-isolation –
Reinstate Plant and lock/tag removal – ICC and associated
Equipment documentation update – removal of equipment
and return of area to satisfactory level of
housekeeping – final onsite checks.
Overrides/inhibits removed – register updated.
Other associated registers updated (eg LO/LC
register).

Workplace Assessment Plan Template


Add 5-8 June 2002 Issue 2
Safe Isolation and Reinstatement of Plant UKCS-SSW-001

Field Assessment 5 Isolation – Process Fluid and Hazardous Utility


>10barg <55barg
Section 1 Design Isolation Establish minimum level required from Table 1 of
the SIRP document. Design to highest standard
achievable. Obtain correct P&ID and validate –
define isolation points, vent points, bleed points
and mark up P&ID. Power/energy source location –
identify requirement for other Isolating Authority
(electrical). Identify flushing/purging requirements.
Section 2 Preparation and Prepare locks and labels – review
Completion of ICC procedure/method statement/plan of how task is to
be performed – consider future requirements for
Sanction to Test. Complete ICC – cross-reference
to associated documentation – overrides/inhibits
Uncontrolled

register updated – appropriate signatories in place.


Section 3 Application of Install isolations – locking of valves – physical
Isolations disconnection – tagging – integrity checks – record
status on ICC.
Section 4 Breaking Flushing and purging method followed. Safeguards
Containment for breaking containment in place (Table 1 –
Category A + B). Potential hazards understood –
additional precautions in place.
Section 5 De-isolate and Confirm isolation integrity prior to de-isolation –
Reinstate Plant and lock/tag removal – ICC and associated
Equipment documentation update – removal of equipment and
return of area to satisfactory level of housekeeping
– final onsite checks.
Overrides/inhibits removed – register updated.
Other associated registers updated (eg LO/LC
register).

Workplace Assessment Plan Template


June 2002 Issue 2 Add 5-9
UKCS-SSW-001 Safe Isolation and Reinstatement of Plant

Field Assessment 6 Isolation – Process Fluid and Hazardous Utility


>55barg
Section 1 Design Isolation Establish minimum level required from Table 1 of
the SIRP document. Design to highest standard
achievable. Obtain correct P&ID and validate –
define isolation points, vent points, bleed points
and mark up P&ID. Power/energy source location –
identify requirement for other Isolating Authority
(electrical). Identify flushing/purging requirements.
Section 2 Preparation and Prepare locks and labels – review
Completion of ICC procedure/method statement/plan of how task is to
be performed – consider future requirements for
Sanction to Test. Complete ICC – cross-reference
to associated documentation – overrides/inhibits

Uncontrolled
register updated – appropriate signatories in place.
Section 3 Application of Install isolations – locking of valves – physical
Isolations disconnection – tagging – integrity checks – record
status on ICC.
Section 4 Breaking Flushing and purging method followed. Safeguards
Containment for breaking containment in place (Table 1 –
Category A + B). Potential hazards understood –
additional precautions in place.
Section 5 De-isolate and Confirm isolation integrity prior to de-isolation –
Reinstate Plant and lock/tag removal – ICC and associated
Equipment documentation update – removal of equipment and
return of area to satisfactory level of housekeeping
– final onsite checks.
Overrides/inhibits removed – register updated.
Other associated registers updated (eg LO/LC
register).

Workplace Assessment Plan Template


Add 5-10 June 2002 Issue 2
Safe Isolation and Reinstatement of Plant UKCS-SSW-001

Field Assessment 7 Isolation for Confined Space Entry and


Confined Space Entry Operations
Section 1 Design Isolation Obtain correct P&ID – define isolation points. Spool
and Entry Plan removal/positive isolations required. Mark up P&ID.
Vent points, bleed points – identify spools for
removal. Identify flushing/purging requirements –
medium to be used.
Section 2 Preparation for Prepare locks and labels – review
Isolation and procedure/method statement/plan of how task is to
Completion of ICC be performed – consider future requirements for
Sanction to Test. Complete ICC – cross-reference
to associated documentation – overrides/inhibits
register updated – appropriate signatories in place.
Uncontrolled

Section 3 Preparation for Attendance at pre-task Level 2 Risk Assessment.


Entry Operations Preparation of Entry Certificate – gas testing
requirements – vessel cleaning requirements –
Entry Attendant requirements – emergency
arrangements.
Section 4 Application of Install isolations – locking of valves – physical
Isolations disconnection – tagging – integrity checks – record
status on ICC. Use of flange tagging.
Section 5 Breaking Flushing and purging method followed. Safeguards
Containment for breaking containment in place (Table 1 –
Category A + B). Potential hazards understood –
additional precautions in place if appropriate.
Section 6 Confined Space Entry certificate approval + issue, gas testing
Entry Operations and AGT duties, Entry Attendant duties, work party
briefed on duties, BA requirements, emergency
response arrangements, ventilation and cleaning
requirements.
Section 7 De-isolate and Confirm isolation integrity prior to de-isolation –
Reinstate Plant and lock/tag removal – ICC and associated
Equipment documentation update – removal of equipment and
return of area to satisfactory level of housekeeping
– final onsite checks.
Overrides/inhibits removed – register updated.
Other associated registers updated (eg LO/LC
register).

Workplace Assessment Plan Template


June 2002 Issue 2 Add 5-11
UKCS-SSW-001 Safe Isolation and Reinstatement of Plant

Field Assessment 8 Plant Reinstatement and Leak Testing


Section 1 Define Plan Identify extent of pressure envelope – identify all
joints that have been broken – identify any hazard
within envelope with reference to the SIRP
document Paragraphs 6.2 to 6.3 – identify material
requirements for test including the figure for 110%
of MAWP, associated PSV settings, pressure
ratings and valid certification for hoses – pressuring
medium – produce method statement/plan.
Section 2 Preparation Ensure all relevant Work Control Certificates are in
the correct stage – ensure correct signatories have
signed for Sanction to Test (if appropriate) – erect
barriers at worksite – make tannoy announcements
– follow the checklist in Figure 2 of the SIRP

Uncontrolled
document.
Section 3 Performance of All safety measures undertaken – site patrolled –
Test recording of pressure of system during test at
suitable intervals – monitoring of system and
adjacent system.
Section 4 Depressuring and Recording of test pressure and any pressure fall-off
Return to Service after it is locked in and isolated – gradual and
controlled pressure reduction – correct use of
vents and drains – correct reinstatement of
worksite.
Section 5 Completion of Sign off relevant Work Control Certificates –
Documentation ensure test is formally certificated and recorded –
and Post Test carry out visual checks as per the SIRP document
Integrity Checks Paragraph 6.15.

Workplace Assessment Plan Template


Add 5-12 June 2002 Issue 2