The petroleum industry, and especially the offshore operations, is connected with significant and obvious hazards. Therefore, various features of loss prevention were implemented years ago. These included redundancies, safety factors, inspections, sensing devices connected to an emergency shutdown system, etc. In my opinion, the importance of the human factor was not fully appreciated in the earlier days.
In the 1980's, our industry has seen significant progress in more quantitative risk analysis of various kinds and greatly improved designs through increased knowledge and faster, more powerful computers. However, the most significant realization in the 1980's might be the increased recognition of the human factor. A risk analysis will maybe conclude that for a given offshore installation, the probability of disaster is 10−5 per year. Such an installation will either serve its intended purpose or it will meet with disaster, i.e. the probability of disaster is either 0.0 or 1.0. The does not give with the experts use of thr word probability. My contention, however, is that for a given installation, the human element is maybe the most important contributor to success or failure. This is not fully reflected in risk analysis at the present time. Thus, a strong program for personnel safety is also a significant insurance against any type of accident. It fully included in a risk analysis, the quality of the personnel motivation program still strongly influence the probability of failure.
In Phillips Petroleum, as in most companies, safety and loss prevention involves many features. For reasons mentioned above, this paper will almost exclusively deal with the human aspects. My colleague Mr. Bjørn Saxvik will present some of the risk analyses and other activities which have been spurred in Phillips Norway after the Piper A tragedy 1) . His presentation will be in the safety section. A more comprehensive description of our Loss Prevention, activities will be presented in Norway October 26 and 27 this year 2) . In Norway, Phillips Petroleum operates the Greater Ekofisk area with 25 offshore plattforms, pipelines for gas to Emden and for oil to Teesside. About 4500 persons work regularly offshore. However, temporary activities will greatly increase the numbers in peak periods, like in 1987, when more than 11,000 persons worked offshore. The total cost of accidents to a company, or a nation, GT, is the sum of the investment in prevention, CP, plus the cost of repairs after the fact, CR, plus the cost of permanent loss which can not be repaired CL. Figure 1 depicts this. Prevention is usually much cheaper than the other two. The Alexander Kielland and Piper A tragedies are good examples of the terrible cost of permanent losses. But, 20:20 vision is easily obtained in hindsight. Our job as loss prevention professionals is to steadily improve foresight. Money alone does not produce safety. However, money used with knowledge will give generous returns.