Operating procedures or work instructions (WIs) are universally used to control routine hazardous work activities and are a key risk control measure. The customer needed to ensure that their WIs were written to adequately reflect and manage the risks associated with the work activity and, in particular, the potential for human failure.
A two-stage WI risk assessment procedure was created, based on guidance from industry and the UK HSE:
- Risk-based screening to systematically identify which work activities require a WI and how critical the WI is in managing the risks
- Risk assessment of the activity to understand its associated hazards and risks and ensure that the WI is robust enough to adequately manage them. This risk assessment is proportional to the criticality of the WI established in the screening step such that more effort is expended on more hazardous activities.
Outcome and benefits
The process, carried out for all critical procedures offshore, produced higher quality, more robust WIs and therefore better management of human failure risks. The process satisfied regulator expectations regarding management of safe operations.