Risk Assessment and Management is achieved through a number of technical safety and risk studies which deal with the problem of understanding the causation, progress and escalation of events which have the potential to cause the harm (to people and environment) and damage (to assets and reputation)
A full risk assessment involves the estimation of the frequency and consequences of a range of hazard scenarios and of individual and societal risk where this is applicable. This is a major undertaking. Our services will allow the client to understand the risks and proactively develop internal measures to eliminate the causes or control the effects effectively. We align with our clients to provide tailored risk management programs that work with their business. We offer the following suite of risk management tools for application in accordance with client’s needs:
Most incidents start with a discharge of flammable or toxic material from its containment. This may be from a crack in a process vessel or pipe-work, from an open valve, or from an emergency vent. Source characterization, ground level concentrations of flammable and toxic vapours, radiation heat and explosion overpressure are an integral part of hazards and their consequences analysis and assessment. AMConsult engineers are proficient users of all major proprietary software packages and are experienced developers of custom applications for consequence assessment.
Accidental releases of toxic and flammable substances are one of the largest contributors to the hazards of most facilities. Assessing the consequences and risks of such accidental releases is essential in any Risk Assessment for both onsite/on-plot and offsite/off-plot effects. AMConsult can assess those hazards and minimize their probability of occurrence. Our competences in assessing the practical implications of toxic and flammable releases, as well as our skills in modelling, will ensure an optimal solution that suits your operation.
Fire & Explosion
Facilities handling flammable substances are exposed to those substances. One of the most severe hazards associated with flammable materials is the pressure caused by an explosion. Therefore, when undertaking a risk assessment, it is crucial to know the consequence of potential explosions hazards on facilities. The Flammable Hazard Analysis (FHA) addresses fire and explosion events related to loss of containment of flammable inventories from different areas and sources at or near the facility which have the potential to cause major accidents. The purpose of the FHA is to, through the series of FHA studies, assess the following aspects of flammable major accident hazards:
- Types of fires and explosions and the associated likelihood and consequences, and
- The range of technical and other control measures for eliminating or otherwise reducing the risk from those fires and explosions, such as manual or automatic means of detection of loss of containment or fires and smoke, control of escalation by isolation of hydrocarbon inventory, prevention of ignition, fire-fighting, passive fire and explosion protection, escape mustering, emergency response and evacuation. AMConsult has extensive understanding of the effects of various factors on the dynamics of an explosion; including different fuel types, mixtures of different gases, gas concentrations, ignition locations, mitigation and aerosols.
Quantitative Risk Assessment
The Quantitate Risk Assessment (QRA) typically collates the outputs and the results from the risk assessment studies in order to calculate the risk to personnel from the identified major accident risks and individual occupational risk.
The main objectives of the QRA are to:
- Quantify the risk associated with the normal operation, maintenance and maximum occupancy periods of a facility
- Determine whether the risks are unacceptable, are tolerable and fall within the ALARP region or are broadly acceptable, and
- Identify the major contributors to the overall risk.
The QRA uses data sets from industry sources, assumptions and estimates of the probability of a fatality from an event to predict the risk. This includes the likelihood that an individual would be at a specific location at any time. This is achieved by sub-dividing the installation into a number of areas and estimating the number of persons within each work group who are likely to be in that area at any time.
The risk levels are determined for the following worker groups, the workers of which are exposed to similar hazards and types of work:
- Maintenance and electrical/instrument, and
- Administration and catering
Additional worker categories for campaign maintenance and startup/shutdown personnel are also considered.
The QRA assesses the risk from the major accidents and presents this estimate in terms of the:
- Individual risk per annum– the occupational and major accident risk an individual is exposed to during a working year on a facility. The IRPA is based on the main worker group categories on a facility, i.e. production, maintenance and administration and
- Potential loss of life per annum – the overall estimated risk that an occupational or major accident causes a fatal accident event during a working year on a facility.
In addition to the traditional scope of QRA studies with the main emphasis on loss of life; our engineers are at the forefront in the development of methodologies to incorporate other risks such as assets and production losses, environmental damages, company image and reputation; and therefore, bring allow its clients to make better informed decisions.
Buildings Risk Assessment
API RP 752, Management of Hazards Associated with Location of Process Plant Buildings provides guidance for managing the risk from explosions, fires and toxic material releases to on-site personnel located in new and existing buildings intended for occupancy. We have extensive experience in the application of the standard to provide cost-effective solutions to buildings at risk both by design input to new buildings and structure strengthening to the existing buildings. Building Risk Assessment requires a systematic 3-stage approach. The complexity and required resources of the analysis increase with each stage. The intent is to screen out buildings at the lowest stage possible in order to provide an efficient, yet suitable analysis. The information and resources necessary for conducting the assessment also increase with each stage.
Escape, Evacuation and Rescue Studies
The Escape, Evacuation and Rescue Analysis (EERA) addresses the potential impairment and adequacy of the related facility safety features, technical controls and other arrangements whilst considering the following:
- The types of emergency at or near a facility
- The means ensuring:
- That the range of routes are available and remain available so that the persons can escape to the safe refuge
- The survivability of the safe refuge for the required period of time to accomplish the mustering, emergency response, command and control
- Availability of the emergency communications and emergency response actions (including prior planning and specific training requirements)
- That the emergency provisions, safety equipment and the floating means of evacuation (and supporting electrical, mechanical and structural systems) to accommodate all personnel on site are available, and
- The appropriate rescue arrangements.
Emergency Systems Survivability Studies
The Emergency Systems Survivability Analysis (ESSA) examines the performance of a facility’s emergency systems against the identified major accidents during which they may be required to operate.
The purpose of the ESSA is to establish whether, following a major accident, the emergency system is:
- Required to perform its required function, and
- Capable of successfully performing its function during the event
- These systems;
- Mitigate the consequences of major accidents by preventing escalation and protecting the accommodation, evacuation and escape systems and
- Aide recovery from a major accident by enabling escape to, and evacuation from, the accommodation.
Risk and Scenario Based Emergency Response Planning
No company has resources to cover every possible incident scenario. Therefore, a better approach is to develop emergency response plans based on the results of the facility risk assessment. Such an assessment can identify both the worst case credible and the most likely scenarios so the company can plan its resources.
Furthermore, the assessment can provide detailed description of credible incident scenarios so the emergency response teams can prepare for facility specific events.
We can assist with the development of risk based emergency plans from offshore search and rescue to refinery fires and explosions
HSE Case / Impact Assessment development
The safety case is “a structured argument, supported by a body of evidence that provides for a compelling, comprehensive and valid case that a system is safe for a given application in a given operating environment”.
Different countries and companies have different arrangements in place, but typically the safety case consists of the following parts:
- Facility Description – provides a description of the offshore installation, including its overview, configuration and layout, primary functions and activities. It also provides a description of the technical and other control measures, including safety features and systems, identified as the result of the formal safety assessment, required to reduce risk to a level that is ALARP
- Safety Management System (SMS) Description – describes the health and safety management process in place to ensure all aspects of the facility are safely managed. This includes provisions for the management of all activities, hazards and risks, technical and other control measures, communications and emergency response etc., and
- Risk Assessment Process Description – describes the series of assessments through which the hazards and the risk associated with those hazards are assessed by means of a number of hazard identification and quantitative and qualitative risk, escalation, consequence and impact studies.
Finally, the risk assessment process is the vehicle of identification of the technical and other control measures necessary to reduce the assessed risk to level that is ALARP.
ALARP stands for As Low As Reasonably Practicable. This term refers to reducing risk to a level that is as low as reasonably practicable. In practice, this means that the operator has to show through reasoned and supported arguments that there are no other practicable options that could reasonably be adopted to reduce risks further.
ALARP is a fundamental concept in safety legislation of many countries. An obligation is placed on operators to control risks to make sure that the levels of risks are ALARP.
Typically, ALARP is demonstrated by showing that the residual risk (i.e. risk present after the implementation of the identified control measures) is either:
- Broadly acceptable requiring no further controls (aside from ongoing monitoring and management), or
- Tolerable and demonstrably ALARP.
The argument that the risks are reduced to ALARP is achieved through demonstrating the following:
- Demonstration that the inherently safer design practice has been followed
- Compliance with appropriate industry and company codes and standards and good industry practice
- Engagement of the operators and process owners so they can bring their experience, knowledge and competence to the safety case process
- Ensuring that lessons learnt from operations were identified and incorporated through appropriate workforce involvement
- Identification of all required control measures through the safety and risk assessment process as demonstrated through, for example, a safety case
- Implementation of the recommendations/measures identified during the risk assessment process
- By showing that it is not reasonably practicable to further reduce the residual risk (i.e. risk present after implementation of the identified control measures), meaning that there is gross disproportion between the cost of risk reduction and the amount of risk that can be reduced
- Judgement, based on the robust demonstration, that sufficient number of effective controls are in place for each major accident event (being an event connected with the facility, having the potential to cause multiple fatalities of persons at or near the facilities)
- Presentation that there is a robust safety management and emergency response control measures
- Demonstration that there the continuous identification of hazards, assessment of risks and the ongoing reduction to ALARP is established through the safety management system implemented for all stages in the lifecycle of an offshore facility.