This paper will demonstrate that the use of quantitative risk analysis (QRA) has limitations and does not, in isolation, demonstrate adequate management of risks. The only way to demonstrate that risks are being appropriately managed is to identify all hazards; understand the level of risk; identify all prevention, control and mitigation barriers; and then demonstrate that those barriers are adequate and effective in managing that risk to a level that is as low as reasonably practicable.

This paper is applicable to all process industries and, in particular, those industries operating under a legislated safety case regime. Under these safety regulations we have a legal obligation to demonstrate that we are managing risk to levels that are demonstrably ALARP.

In summary this paper will show that QRA has its place in demonstrating adequate management of risks; however, it should not be used in isolation. Having a QRA conducted can sometimes provide a false sense of security that risk is being managed. The UKOOA Risk-based Decision Making Framework is a useful tool in demonstrating the small part that QRA plays in managing risk. The answer to managing risk effectively lies in demonstrating that adequate and effective controls are in place. Not only do we need to identify the controls that are required to manage risk effectively, we also need to demonstrate that those controls are actually in place, are performing as they should and that competent people have confirmed that this is the case.

In the process industry, post-Macondo & Montara, it is essential that operators move away from just demonstrating that they understand the level of risk that personnel and the environment are exposed to. We all need to move towards demonstrating that we have adequate and effective barriers and controls in place to manage that risk effectively.

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