Companies on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS) have in recent years mainly focused on control of the integrity of technical barriers. Against the background of learning from incidents, verification and monitoring activities, both authorities and companies have seen the need to strengthen the work of the management of non-technical barriers.
DNV GL and IFE have together with an NCS operator company developed a method to proactively capture factors that have impact on major accident risk in the organisation. The method monitors the use and maintenance of non-technical barriers against major accidents on three levels of management. It is pro-active, and strengthens the management's ability to identify and understand the subtle signals of weakening of non-technical barriers against major accidents. The method may be included in the existing management system; it is based on existing requirements and does not need new systems, resources or expertise.
The testing on the three management levels showed that the method is relatively easy to learn, but using the method required understanding. Those who were involved seem relatively quickly to take ownership and see the usefulness of the method. The strength of the method is its ability to support the company's subject matter expertise to interpret ambiguous information, identify weak signals and assemble knowledge into information that can be used to assess the status of non-technical barriers. Based on this, the expertise can prioritize and highlight few and effective measures at all levels of the organization. On the basis of the good experience from the testing, the project recommends to implement the method in the organisation.