Over the last 5 years, experience on seismic, pipeline and major E&P construction projects with international contractors has shown that the application and integration of a ‘life of project’ risk assessment process can lead to a clear reduction in risks and a subsequent reduction in accidents.

It is the experience of the author that too many companies are treating the risk assessment process as a one-off requirement and are relying on standard procedures and experience of its work force to avoid accidents.

Risk assessments are seen as the responsibility of the Health, Safety and Environmental (HSE) specialist; there is lack of ownership, lack of accountability, lack of knowledge of its purpose and uses and, more troubling, lack of implementation.

The paper will describe the Risk Assessment processes used on a project, how they fit in the HSE Management System (HSE-MS), the training needs, clear ownership and accountability, linkage between risk assessments and safe working procedures or method statements, the involvement of all workers in the process, involving the risk assessment in other HSE-MS processes and the involvement of vendors and sub-contractors.

The main theme will be to show that risk assessment is the most efficient proactive system to identify hazards and their associated risks and to control them so as to eliminate accidents and ensure ‘we are doing the best we can’

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