Learning from failures: Accidents of marine structures on Norwegian continental shelf over 40 years time period
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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This paper investigates accidents, major accidents and disasters which occurred on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS) over a period of more than 40 years time (1972-2013). An accident investigation based on the system life-cycle was applied on the data provided by the World Offshore Accident Database (WOAD) where the operation (in-service) stage of the lifecycle was found to be the stage with 96% and the installation stage with 4% of accident occurrences. The marine operations linked to both installation and the operation (in-service) stages are identified to be where 13% of accidents had occurred. In terms of structural types, jackets and semi-submersibles are identified with the highest number of accidents, while the highest rate of accidents per marine structure type is linked to the concrete structures where in average 5.5 accidents per each concrete structures were recorded. 1980 was the year with the highest number of fatalities on NCS within 40 years time span with the occurrence of Alexander L. Kielland disaster. There has been a reduction of number of fatalities over the years, but injuries had always been present. It was found that possible correlations can be established among occurrence of accidents and environmental loads for some months. The results and discussions contributes to learning from the 40 years accidents on the NCS with the aim of risk reduction in operation of marine structures. The predictive and preventive maintenance strategy and condition monitoring during operation (in-service) stage for each individual marine structure is promoted. However, the uncertainty is still present and risk can never be reduced to zero..