Ale, Ben, Hanea, Daniela, Sillem, Simone, Lin, Pei Hui, Van Gulijk, Coen and Hudson, Patrick (2012) Modelling risk in high hazard operations: integrating technical, organisational and cultural factors. In: International Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Management Conference and the Annual European Safety and Reliability Conference 2012. IAPSAM & ESRA, Helsinki, Finland. ISBN 9781622764365

Recent disasters in high hazard industries such as Oil and Gas Exploration (The Deepwater Horizon) and Petrochemical production (Texas City) have been found to have causes that range from direct technical failures through organizational shortcomings right up to weak regulation and inappropriate company cultures. Risk models have generally concentrated upon technical failures, which are easier to construct and for which there is more concrete data. The primary causes, as identified by the US Chemical Safety Board for Texas City and the Presidential Commission for the Deepwater Horizon, lie firmly rooted in the culture of the organization and determine the way in which individuals go about risky activities. Modelling human activities, especially collectively rather than individual human errors as is done in most human models, is a quite different proposition, in which complex interactions between different individuals and levels change over time as success and failure alter the pattern of payoffs.
This paper examines the development of an integrated model for risk in a real-time environment for the hydrocarbon industry. It is based originally on the CATS model for commercial aviation safety, that first attempted to address some of these problems in a relatively simple way. Aviation is, however, a relatively simple activity, with large numbers of common components in a constrained environment. The Oil and Gas industry is significantly more diverse, covering the gamut from exploration, drilling, production, transport, refining and chemical production, each with its own potential for large scale disaster, but in the case of an integrated oil company all run by individuals within a common company culture. Other papers will cover the details of specific issues; this paper covers the integration of the model as a whole.

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