When plans for execution of work offshore are prepared, a range of significant risks to HSE are only addressed late in the planning process. This paper highlights and discusses the challenges associated with late risk identification in the planning from the perspective of safe and efficient task execution offshore, and how to enable earlier identification of risks. The paper is based on data obtained from multiple sources based on the principle of triangulation: a literature study of major accident theories, analyses of investigation reports on hydrocarbon leakages, interviews with staff members involved in developing plans for offshore work, and two workshops on the topic of planning with two different operating companies operating on the Norwegian continental shelf. The study suggests that late risk identification reduces the quality of the plans and as a consequence the quality of their execution. Late risk identification leads to a range of inadequacies in planning, e.g. insufficient work descriptions, and relevant information which remains unaddressed during the planning process. These are all factors that can lead to unsafe and less effective task execution. As an example, work with hydrocarbon carrying systems requires end controls in several steps. Such control activities should be included in the job description when the job is established in the systems, rather than identified during the progression of the task execution process. The opportunities lie in earlier risk identification in the planning process and we specify in which phases improvements can be made. The study highlights the importance of quality in planning and how higher plan quality can be achieved through earlier risk identification for work to be executed offshore. This will influence work safety as well as efficiency.

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