Barrier Management and the Interaction Between Technical, Operational, and Organizational Barrier Elements

Barrier management is a main priority area for the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA). It has been chosen as a main priority because accident investigations have clearly indicated that failure or weakening of barriers is a general cause of incidents. The lesson learned is that safety barriers need to be implemented in an integrated and consistent manner in order to minimize risk, and technical, organizational, and operational aspects of the barriers need to be considered.

The authors see a need for better understanding of the interaction between operational, organizational, and technical elements that are necessary for the individual barrier to function and to reflect this understanding in risk assessments. There is also a need for better understanding of how to define performance requirements for the operational and organizational elements and how to include these in specific barrier strategies.

The PSA has established a project to improve the supervision of the petroleum industry’s implementation of barrier management on the basis of the principles in the PSA note “Principles for Barrier Management in the Petroleum Industry.”

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