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AMEC

Inherent Safe Design

amec.com

Inherently Safer Design
An Essential Strategy to Risk Management

Cees de Regt, Director of Process Safety
23 March 2010

Inherently Safer Design – What is It?

 The intent of ISD is to eliminate a hazard completely or
reduce its magnitude sufficiently
 Thereby eliminating / reducing the need for safety systems
(“engineered controls”) and procedures (“administrative
controls”)
 Furthermore, this hazard elimination or reduction would be
accomplished by means that were inherent in the design and
process and thus permanent and inseparable from them

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Risk Management Strategies
Inherent

Eliminate hazard or significantly reduce the risks associated
with hazard(s)

Engineered
– Passive

Reduce the consequence or likelihood of an incident arising
from a hazard through devices which do not require
detection of an incident or action by any person or device

Engineered
– Active

Reduce the consequence or likelihood of an incident arising
from a hazard by detection of an incipient incident and
activation of devices which interrupt the sequence of
events resulting in the incident or mitigate the
consequences of the incident

Procedural

Reduce the consequence or likelihood of an incident arising
from a hazard by detection of an incipient incident followed
by implementation of procedures or human activated
devices to interrupt the sequence of events resulting in the
incident or mitigate the consequences of an incident

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Strategies for ISD Two Key References

Kletz (1998)

CCPS (1996)

1.Intensification
2.Substitution
3.Attenuation
4.Limitation of effects

1.Minimize
2.Substitute
3.Moderate
4.Simplify

Add-on ‘friendly plant design’ strategies:
1.Simplification
2.Avoiding knock on effects
3.Making incorrect assembly impossible
4.Making status clear
5.Tolerance of misuse (error tolerance)
6.Ease of control
7.Understandable software for computer control
8.Instructions and procedures
9.Life-cycle friendliness (construction and demolition)
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INHERENTLY SAFER DESIGN
1 . Minimise – use smaller

2 . Substitute – replace a material with a less

quantities of hazardous substances

hazardous substance

Gas

Hot Oil
Gas

THE BASICS
•Fewer hazards
•Fewer causes
•Reduced severity
•Fewer consequences

4 . Simplify – design facilities that eliminate unnecessary

complexity and make operating errors less likely and that are more
forgiving of errors which are made

Hot
Water

3 . Moderate – use a less

hazardous condition, a less hazardous
form of a material, or facilities that
minimise the impact of a hazardous
material or energy

barg

barg

Strategy for Hazard Management UK HSE (OTH 96 521)
Identify Hazards
Understand /Assess Hazards
Inherently
Safer
Design (ISD)

Avoid Hazards
Reduce Severity
Reduce Likelihood
Segregate / Reduce Impact

Additional
Engineering
Controls

Apply Passive Safeguards
Apply Active Safeguards
Apply Procedural Safeguards
Risks ALARP

No

Yes

OK
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Examples of ISD Measures

 Minimise hazardous quantities

– Avoid or minimise large (liquid) hydrocarbon inventories
(process vessels, storage tanks, hydrocarbon storage in hull)
– Reduce length of hydrocarbon piping
– Reduce diameter of piping and risers / pipelines
– Limit amount of chemicals stored
 Minimise exposure of personnel to hazards
– Unmanned platform or Not-Normally Manned concept
– Reduce overall POB or reduce POB in hazardous areas
– Reduce need for hazardous activities
– Limit need for well operations and other simultaneous
operations during installation life
– Limit brownfield activities

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Examples of ISD Measures

 Substitute hazards

– Apply less hazardous heating / cooling medium
– Use different gantry cranes to move equipment rather than
pedestal cranes
– If possible, limit number of personnel transfer operations by
helicopter and use crew boats
 Moderate and ensure less hazardous conditions
– Reduce process operating pressures and temperatures
 Simplify process
– Reduce number of trains, risers / pipelines, separators
– Minimise need for “High Pressure /Low Pressure” interfaces

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Examples of ISD Measures

 Minimise leak frequencies of hydrocarbons

– Minimise number of flanges
– Minimise number of instrument connections
– Locate risers in location protected from external impact (e.g.

within jacket structure, protected by fenders)
Minimise the dropped object risk associated with pedestal
cranes and supply vessel operations
– Lifting path relative to live process hydrocarbon
equipment
– Lifting path relative to live risers and pipelines

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Dropped Object Risk

Prevailing
Wind
Directions

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ISD considerations to Limit Dropped
Object Risk

Eliminate hazard (preferred ISD solution)
 Can lifting operations be avoided?
 Can lifting over risers / pipelines be avoided at all times?

Reduce Severity – can consequences / impact be limited
 Can the risers / pipelines be designed for dropped object impact?

Reduce Likelihood
 Can the number of lifts be limited?
 Can alternative cranes by used?

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Examples of ISD Measures

 Safeguards for process hazards should follow the principle of “
layers of protection”
– If possible, maximum operating pressure should not exceed
design pressure of process equipment
– If this is not possible focus on improving the effectiveness of
(in order of preference)
– Basic process control system
– Critical alarms, operator supervision and manual
intervention
– ESD, Safety Instrumented Systems
– Relief and blowdown systems
– Post-release physical protection
– Emergency response
 Each layer should be designed for all conceivable conditions
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Layers of Protection
People, the
Environment and
Property (and
Plant
and Community
Reputation)

Emergency Response

Post-release Physical Protection (bunds,
Active & Passive Fire Protection)
Physical Protection - Relief & blowdown devices
ESD, Safety Instrumented
Systems, F&G Detection
Critical Alarms, Operator Supervision
and Manual Intervention

ISD
Scale

Basic Process Control System
Process Design

Hazard
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Safety Gradient –
Bridge Linked Platform
Safety
Gradient

Non
hazardous
areas

Most
hazardous
areas

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Safety Gradient –
FPSO

Safety
Gradient

Non
hazardous
areas

Most
hazardous
areas
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Safety Gradient –
Floater

Most
hazardous
areas
Safety
Gradient

Non
hazardous
areas

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Examples of ISD Measures

 Layout must prevent fires and explosions in areas with
hydrocarbons (process area, risers etc) escalating to less
hazardous and safe areas
– Create a “safety gradient” on the topsides layout from
“safe” areas (accommodation) through to areas with
maximum hydrocarbon “risk” by distance
– As much as possible (large) liquid hydrocarbon containing
vessels should be located at lower elevations, HP gas
equipment at upper levels
– Reduce the probability of flammable gas build-up and the
increased likelihood of an explosion
– Prevent escalation of fires and explosions

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Examples of ISD Measures

 “ALARP” EER facilities





Temporary Refuge to allow for timely mustering and evacuation
TR designed to withstand impact of fires and explosions
Means of evacuation shielded from fires and explosions
Redundancy in evacuation means (lifeboats / liferafts)
Consider freefall lifeboats vs. davit launched lifeboats
 Establish ergonomic design
– Process control / operational philosophy
– Design of Control Room
– Physical access for normal operational tasks (e.g. valves,
sampling, maintenance activities)
– Exposure to occupational hazards (e.g. heat stress, vibration
and noise, exhaust gases) during normal operations – including
maintenance

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Lifecycle Risk Management Strategy

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How to Implement ISD Practices

1.

At an early phase define a set of ISD goals

2.

Conduct a staged ISD process centred around ISD reviews to see how these
goals can be met

3.

Ensure that ISD principles are applied by all disciplines

4.

Agree on ISD actions and plan for implementation (or possibly further review)

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Hierarchy of ISD Reviews

1.
2.

3.

Review of field concept and configuration
• Location of installations
Concept
Select
• Type and number of installations
Review of layout of installation
• Orientation of installation
• Functional segregation (e.g. import, process, export,
utilities, flare, accommodation, firewater, EER)
FEED
• Location of grated / plated decks, fire and blast walls
Review of equipment layout
• Location and orientation to minimise risk associated
with Major Accident Hazard (explosions, fires) and
Detailed
occupational safety
Design
• Detailed ergonomics

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Success or Failure of ISD –
Some Factors

 Establishing and maintaining an ISD strategy requires
commitment from all parties, and the entire team
 As early as possible clear ISD goals should be agreed. These
should be documented and communicated to all project staff
including sub-contractors and suppliers
 ISD workshops should be attended by all relevant staff possibly
including sub-contractors and suppliers
– Findings of the workshops should be documented and actions /
recommendations should be recorded and tracked
 Often “ISD design features” do not receive the credit and
attention they should, or are only known amongst a few
– ISD design features should be acknowledged as such, and
should be shared with a wider audience

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Summary

 ISD is an approach to plant and process design, whereby the
hazards are avoided or reduced to such trivial levels that the
plant and process pose no threat of harm to people, property
or environment
 And as a result there is no or little need for additional
“engineered controls” or “procedural safeguards”
 Consistent application of ISD reflects best industry practice
and in regulated countries is a legislative requirement
 Successful implementation requires
– Commitment from the entire project team
– Participation and dedication of all disciplines
– A structured process
 Extracted from presentation by AMEC’s Director of Process
Safety to BP 23rd March 2010

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