Factors in offshore planning that affect the risk for major accidents
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionJournal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries. 2015, 33 188-199. 10.1016/j.jlp.2014.12.005
The purpose of this paper is to systematically analyse a typical planning process in the offshore industry from the perspective of causes of major accidents, with the ultimate aim of identifying factors that affect the risk for major accidents occurring. We first study and describe a typical planning process for offshore oil and gas operations in Norway. Then we analyse a number of theories of major accidents, to see how the different theories and their explanations of causes and contributing factors can be of relevance for future plans and planning processes. Finally, we review accident investigations to search for evidence of how weaknesses in planning processes can contribute to major accidents through the above identified factors. Also, we try to identify any additional factors that have not been recognised through the theoretical review. This provides empirical support for the theoretical basis. Thirteen factors which directly or indirectly can influence the planning process causing a major accident potential are identified. These are exemplified through a review of investigation reports. The paper suggests that planning process should focus more on increasing quality in the plans at an early phase, with examples from incidents, and illustrate the relation between planning quality and potential for major accidents.