The Offshore Industry is at present witnessing the emergence of guidelines for Formal Safety Assessments, following the Cullen Inquiry. Two decades ago the Nuclear Industry underwent a similar phase of evolution in safety issues which led to the widespread application of Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA). It is proposed that much benefit stands to be gained by developing offshore safety and quality standards along the same rigorous lines as has been done for nuclear safety.

Any analytical tool which plays a major part in PRA is Fault Tree Analysis, which has seen a limited application offshore, but should, in the author’s opinion, be used on a larger scale both in the assessment of safety and in the overall cost/benefit philosophy.

Illustrations of such applications are given from recent offshore safety studies.

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