Risk Management Assignment

Added on - 29 Apr 2020

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Running Head: Risk managementRisk managementName of the StudentName of the UniversityAuthor Note
1RISK MANAGEMENTIntroductionAn oil production platform located in the North Sea, Piper Alpha is notoriously knownfor its deadliest explosion that had ever occurred in the oil and gas industry in the year of 1988.On July 6 of the year of 1988, owing to a miscommunication as well as the occurrence of asafety lapse involving one of the platform’s two condensate pumps, resulted in the biggest man-made catastrophic incidents in the human history, that in turn had resulted in the death of 167workers, with 165 crewmen gone mussing and 30 bodies never ever been recovered again(Broadribb 2015). Considering the adversity of the explosion, and the large number of fatalitiesinvolved in the accident, the question that arises here is that how could the safety regime in theUS offshore oil industry have remained apparently impervious to the lessons of previousdisasters. Further, the next question that arises in this connection is that are the safety standardson this rig so far below the prevailing norms in the industry that it resulted in such a massiveexplosion (Ellul 2014). It becomes clearly evident that the issue of risk prediction, and riskassessment and prevention remain absolutely intractable issues in the offshore industry. Hence,the report intends to critically evaluate the risk factors that should have been identified andassessed by Piper Alpha, and the identification of which could help in the elimination of thedisaster as well.Failure of safety measures that caused explosionPrior to discussing the key risk management features of the safety case regime, it isimportant to highlight what caused the explosion.The Piper Alpha Platformwas constructed in two sections. The platform consists of thegas processing system containing two high pressure condensate pumps. For safe side the
2RISK MANAGEMENTplatform was built 300m high and the design was modular. It comprises of four main operatingareas which were separated by firewalls. The platform was equipped with the automatic firefighting system. Both the electric and seawater pumps were present to supply water (Shallcross2013). On one of the high-pressure condensate pumps, maintenance work was carried outsimultaneously. It led to the leak in condensates. During this situation, one of this pump’spressure safety valves was removed for repair. The condensate pipe was temporarily sealed withthe blind flange due to incomplete work. Unaware of the fact that the maintenance work is goingon, one of the night crew turned on the alternate pump. Consequently, severe explosion hasoccurred, as the firewalls and the blind flange could not handle the pressure. Further, the teamfailed to close the gas from the other platform that is connected with the Piper. This intensifiedthe explosion. In addition the automatic fire fighting system also did not work as before theaccident the drivers worked underwater. The heat and smoke prevented the helicopter services(Broadribb 2015). It can be concluded from the literature review that the cause of the accidentwas human factor. The initial leak in the Piper Alpha was due to maintenance error.The key risk management features of the safety case regimeThe key risk management features of the safety care regimes that are helpful in reducingthe risks are-Management and human resources- Any worker newly recruited are to be giventraining. The training should be based on the use of safe procedures andemergency response. It includes training of the platform mangers on respondingto emergencies, and appropriately instructs the workmen on the board. A greatemphasis should be laid on the practice of permit to work system. There must be
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