What is Technical Safety?
Technical Safety and Process Safety are terms commonly used in the process industries to describe the discipline of Safety Engineering, as distinct to Occupational Safety.
They address the safety requirements related to the design, operation and management of hazardous processes.
At PIM, we have always recognised the close ties between Integrity Management and Technical Safety. Indeed, both of PIM's founding directors have extensive industry experience in the area of Safety Engineering.
In particular Martin Worth has seen a long career as a Technical Safety professional. Starting in the late 80s during the period that saw the release of the Cullen Enquiry into the Piper Alpha disaster, and the creation of the earliest Safety Cases, he has been involved ever since; seeing in the introduction of goal setting with PFEER and DCR, the evolution of the Safety Case with it's numerous revisions, and changes to the way that the HSE work with the industry over 30 years.
All PIM employees are expected to have a good understanding of Safety Engineering principles. Understanding Integrity, Inspection or Corrosion engineering on its own, while essential in an integrity management company is insufficient within the PIM competency framework.
Many PIM employees have standalone technical safety qualifications, but all PIM employees are expected to attend in house training and develop a rounded understanding of legislation, regulations and how integrity and safety are intrinsically linked.
Key Aspects of Safety Engineering
Safety Engineering is a broad subject covering: -
- Regulatory Compliance (Safety Case Regulations - SCR, COMAH, PFEER, DCR, PSR, PSSR etc.)
- Risk Assessment and Risk Management (Individual Risk, Societal Risk, Environmental Risk)
- Consequence Modelling (Release, Dispersion, Fire, Explosion, Escalation etc.)
- Frequency Assessment (Probability of Failures, PFD, Reliability and Availability Assessments
- Evacuation, Escape and Rescue
- HAZOP, HAZID, HAZAN - General Operational, Project and Design Assessment Tools
- Probabilistic Risk Assessment
- Failure Mode and Effect Analysis
- Accident and Incident Investigation
Safety Engineers also have significant involvement in areas including: -
- Management of Change
- Safety Management Systems
- Permit to Work Systems and Assessments
- Environmental Management Systems
- Emergency Response and Emergency Preparedness
In terms of Hardware Systems, the role of Safety Engineering encompasses the Design, Maintenance, Management and Operation of the following systems which are generally considered to be Safety Critical Elements as defined by the Regulations: -
- Fire and Gas Detection Systems
- Emergency Shutdown Systems
- Topsides Isolation and Blowdown Valves
- Relief and Overpressure Protection - PSVs (Relief Valves)
- Ventilation Systems- HVAC
- Active Fire Protection Systems
- Passive Fire Protection Systems (and Explosion Protection)
- Lifeboats (TEMPSCs), Liferafts, Escape PPE and Means of Escape to Sea
- Standby Vessel
- Emergency Power Supplies
- Escape Lighting
- Alarms and Communications
- Collision Avoidance and Navaids
- Hydrocarbon Containment (Process Integrity, Pipeline Integrity, Drains)
- Structures (Structural Integrity, Cranes and Lifting Equipment))
- Hazardous Area Equipment (ATEX), Ignition prevention
- Mooring and Ballast Systems (FPSOs and other Floating Units)