The publication of the Cullen report on 12th November 1990 was a milestone in North Sea history. It signposts the way ahead, leaving the Health and Safety Executive and Industry to establish the precise route.
Classification has in many respects covered the structural and system safety aspects of Mobile Offshore Units (MOUs). As such it forms a natural part of a Safety Case asked for in the Cullen report. However the Cullen report asks for a formal safety assessment of major hazards and the implementation of Safety Management Systems. This exceeds that covered by today's classification scheme.
The Certifying Authorities are prepared to assist the industry in meeting the requirements put forward in the Cullen report. Det norske Veritas Classification A/S (DnVC) is working on its Total Safety Class (TSC), an extended scheme which to a large extent will meet the requirements put forward in the Cullen report. This development has been under preparation for the past years.
In this paper we address how TSC responds to Industry needs. TSC will cover the total safety of the unit, paying attention to among others:
the safety management system (SMS), the permit to work system, hazards from risers, fire risk analysis, provision of Safe Heavens (Temporary Safe Refugees)evacuation, escape and rescue analysis and personal safety, emergency shutdown systems and procedures, the formal command organization which is to function in an emergency,
all being important aspects covered by the 106 recommendations issued by Lord Cullen.
TSC will place some additional requirements for documentation that has to be submitted to the Classification Society. However, we do not foresee any major cost impacts on the design and construction of conventional mobile offshore units to be classified within the TSC scheme. The scheme will provide a method to accommodate important requirements put forward to the Industry in the Cullen report.
Safety and pollution prevention is in focus, facing the marine industry with a tremendous challenge. This involve both merchant ships and the offshore oil and gas industry.
For the public, Amoco Cadiz, Herald of Free Enterprise, Exxon Valdez and Piper Alpha are synonymous with an activity both dangerous to man and threatening to the environment.
The public opinion have been followed up by a concern by Authorities responding with a new regulatory framework. For the shipping industry, IMO responded by including "Shipboard and Shorebased Management" in their long term work program in 1987. A draft convention has been prepared.
Some countries have altered their legislation to improve safety in their own waters.
A new Merchant Shipping Act in U.K (1988) and changes in U.S. policy as a Port State are examples for the merchant shipping. policy as a Port State are examples for the merchant shipping. The Offshore industry in the North Sea will work under a new regime, with Lord Cullen's recommendations being implemented in U.K. and a new set of regulations in the Norwegian waters. It is reasonable to expect changes in legislation world wide in the same direction as the British and Norwegian regulations. Risk analysis and formal safety assessment are important elements.