Integrity verification of safety critical elements

- By:

Courtesy of ABS Consulting

Independent integrity verification of safety critical elements is undergoing a steep change. The regime, once restricted to the United Kingdom North Sea, has undergone a significant expansion and development to wider markets and a variety of legislative frameworks.

Originally tracing its development from the Piper Alpha accident in the United Kingdom North Sea in 1988 and via the “Cullen Inquiry Report,” to Health and Safety Executive legislation, the process of technical integrity assurance of safety critical elements has evolved and spread to many areas of the world’s oil and gas industry, as well as other industries. This has been due to two influences — changes in corporate policy and legislative influences.

Initial changes in corporate policy were primarily in response to the United Kingdom’s legislation. However, in the past 10 years, many internationally active companies have voluntarily adopted such a regime as corporate policy. The more recent BP Texas City, Texas, accident and its subsequent BP U.S. Refineries Independent Safety Review Panel report identified issues, which have prompted many companies to assess their integrity management processes in relation to safety critical elements.

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