Midland & Scottish Resources PLC (MSR) is a company which was established to exploit production opportunities in marginal fields, with a combination of reusable facilities and a management structure which directs and responds through short and effective lines of communication. As owner and licensed operator of the Emerald Field, MSR's wholly owned subsidiary Midland & Scottish Energy Limited (MSE) had to develop and apply realistic strategies for ensuring safe and stable operations in the face of a declining asset The paper deals frankly and openly with the experi-ence gained and lessons learned from developing and applying innovative techniques to meet this challenge.

From the outset, the Safety Case and a Total Quality Management System were used as both focus and drive for a company strategy that demanded change in both workforce attitude and management practice. It provided an opportunity for fostering workforce involvement but tech-niques and procedures had to be developed in order to demystify terms such as ALARP and to make them usable in the workplace. A system was conceived and developed by the company to enable workplace risk assessments to be performed and demonstrated. This approach has not only improved risk management but also led to generation and continuous renewal of operating procedures that are effec-tively targeted to critical activities and visibly linked to the Safety Case.

Innovations in the production and treatment of safety management system documentation, that enabled their active ownership, were also deyelnned. These were intended to facilitate accurate translation of policy into practice and underpin the Safety Case by ensuring it faithfully reflected operational activity.

Difficulties arose for some, in the acceptance and understanding of devolved authorities and in determining the appropriate authority ieveis for certain decision making. Cautionary lessons were also learned when certain innova-tive changes to safety management practices were misund-erstood. The paper concludes by outlining the next stages of development for the management systems in order to deliver improved mechanisms for change control, performance standards and competency.

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