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Document ID (ISN)60595
CIS number 93-1318
ISSN - Serial title 0925-7535 - Safety Science
Year 1992
Convention or series no.
Author(s) Booth M., Butler J.D.
Title A new approach to permit to work systems offshore
Bibliographic information Nov. 1992, Vol.15, Nos.4-6, Special issue, p.309-326. 3 ref.
Abstract On 6 July 1988, the North Sea oil installation Piper Alpha was destroyed following a series of explosions and a major fire. One hundred and sixty-five men lost their lives. One of the most significant causes of the tragedy on Piper Alpha was the breakdown in co-ordination of hazardous activities. This should have been achieved through the Permit to Work procedures. The failure of these procedures led many operators of offshore oil installations to review their own systems. This article is about the radical overhaul of the Permit to Work procedure of one of the largest operators, Shell UK Exploration and Production, and the introduction of the revised systems to over 30 of its installations over a period of 18 months. Particular emphasis is placed on the control and co-ordination of dangerous operations, the maintenance of effective plant and process isolations and the establishment of defined authorities and responsibilities. All these have been backed up by an extensive training and competence assurance programme reinforced by strict auditing and a quality improvement process.
Descriptors (primary) occupational safety; occupational accidents; piping; permits-to-work; major hazards; disasters; offshore oil extraction; emergency organization
Descriptors (secondary) United Kingdom; safety training in industry; safety programmes; work involving responsibility
Document type D - Periodical articles
Country / State or ProvinceUnited Kingdom
Subject(s) Chemicals, plastics and rubber
Broad subject area(s) Fires, explosions and major hazards
Browse category(ies) Major hazards
Petroleum and natural gas industry
Compressed gases and pressure vessels
Safety supervision