Abstract

As technology has progressed new tools have become available which can be used to provide assistance to managers and controllers in the process of handling an incident. To date these tools have tended to address specific problems requiring a number of different tools to be used to deal with an incident effectively. Technology advances now allow all the tools to be integrated into a single system and together with the use of 'Intelligent software' can enable considerable improvements in effectiveness to be achieved.

This paper provides an explanation of the current state of technology relating to the design and use of these integrated 'Crisis Management/Incident Response' systems and how they, together with the use of 'Intelligent' software, can effectively be used to:

  1. Reduce the operational risk by providing:

  2. Simulation and training systems which allow highly realistic training to be undertaken at the time and place convenient to the company or student

  3. Intelligent monitoring systems which provide a fully automatic and consistent level of supervision to operators

  4. Minimise effects of serious events by:

  5. Providing systems which provide and assist in administering all information, facilities and decisions required for dealing with a such an event

  6. Using intelligent systems to filter the amount of information, provide assistance in decision-making and automate processes throughout the incident response process.

An example of how such a system can be implemented to deal with a scenario such as an oil spill occurring on an offshore platform is included. The example shows that the integration of the training, control and event management systems is a relatively easy process and that by doing so many of the goals of previous systems can now be achieved offering the possibility of significant improvements in the management of the overall operation and in the event of an incident occurring.

Introduction

When undertaking normal day-to-day activities, how those activities are managed is dependent upon how the information on which the activity is based is processed. This processing capability may just be based on the experience and expertise of the individual operator or manager using his/her knowledge to make an assessment and act upon it. Where larger activities are involved, the processing may comprise of groups of people assisted by other sources of information such as databases or tools and procedures that have been developed over time. The one feature about managing activities in a normal day-to-day situation is that time and or resources are normally readily available to enable the evaluation and processing of the information to be conducted in a regulated and detailed manner.

When the normal situation changes into one involving a sudden incident or crisis that has to be dealt with rapidly there will not be the time or resources available to enable the information to be assessed in the usual way. In addition, the relative amount of information that has to be processed in the same time period increases significantly.

To enable such situations to be handled, procedures and systems are implemented which endeavor to make the decision making process easier by prioritizing the information that has to be dealt with.

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