It takes usually 3 to 4 years on an average to build a complex oil and gas facility from concept to commissioning. All critical features of the facility are decided during the early stages of the project. In fact the concept stage can be called as the stage when the DNA of the facility is cast. During rest of the project all that is being done is to develop and translate this DNA to reality. Very little can be done in later stages to correct safety problems buried in concept itself.
Are we paying enough attention to process safety during this stage? Projects are implemented under several constraints and process safety sometimes takes a backseat. While there are several methods of Process Hazard Analysis by which process hazards are checked during design, how far are they effective? As the project accelerates towards completion all focus will be usually on the schedule. Are project teams able to see the compromises made on process safety during the fast track implementation? This paper will review the current practices for ensuring process safety during project implementation. Further it will present case histories of projects where hazards where buried deep inside design in spite of safety reviews that were carried out.
The paper will argue the case for deeper understanding of process safety and the need for better management of the same during project implementation. Summary of latest research on the subject from diverse fields of Technical Safety, Behavioral Science and Systems theory will be included in the paper.
In conclusion, the paper will provide better ways of understanding the complex issues and demonstrate several important factors that will help in ensuring process safety during project implementation.