Safety trips are a key element of the safe operation of every facility. As a part of the Emergency Shutdown System, safety trips primary function is to shut-down a facility if any parameter is about to breach a safe operating limit. It is also necessary, however, that during abnormal operating situations these safety trips need to be overridden or defeated in order to facilitate operations which are not possible without the overrides in place. Common examples include starting up a facility and overrides configured for disused equipment. These safety overrides are often carried out as and when required for operational reasons and are not then subject to a rigorous permit to work process. When this happens, it is important to avoid unsafe situations which could increase the risk of incidents.

When safety overrides are applied, it is essential that there is a robust process for managing this to prevent unsafe situations arising. This process needs to be easy to implement and operate to ensure that the risk associated with overriding a trip is properly assessed. It must assure that the operating team are aware of the overrides and that this information is effectively transferred between shifts when they change. It must highlight the most important defeated overrides affecting current operations while ensuring that long term overrides are managed effectively.

This paper describes how BP has used the digital oilfield toolset to roll out a new standardised process for managing Safety Overrides to more than 10 assets in diverse geographical locations in the year after a new management process was published. It describes the approach of integrating the capability into the company’s standard logbook for control room operations to speed up the implementation and for ease of operation.

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