• Assessing the risks of a new water treatment media

    2003 - Waste

    This project was funded by WRAP. The client had developed a process for manufacturing a water treatment media from recycled glass. However, for it to be used for drinking water supplies, the regulator required stringent tests. Andy assisted a colleague, who was addressing wider ranging issues with the project, by developing a method of assessing the potential risks of using the new treatment media. Working with the client, this was used to demonstrate that, whilst risks did exist, they were comparable or less than those associated with more traditional media (e.g. sand). Given that the new media had been shown to have very good performance in treating water, the risk assessment was an important element in making the case to the regulator.

    The client was planning to change from a 8-hour to 12-hour shift pattern. The main driver for this was that they were having problems arranging cover for holidays, sickness etc. This had resulted in frequent working of double shifts (i.e. 16 hours). Andy made extensive use of fatigue research documented in HSE Contract Research Report 254/1999, and the working time directive and UK regulations. Communication was key element in this project and research about shift handover described in HSE offshore report OTO 96003 was used.
  • Assessment of occupational dust exposureign stage of a LNG storage and export facility

    2003 - Waste Water

    A very large sewage drying facility was located on the site. Problems with continual leaks had resulted in high levels of dust being experienced in the process buildings. The staff were concerned about the potential affects to their health, but little action had actually been taken to reduce dust levels. Andy's role in this project was to evaluate the risks posed by the dust exposure and communicate those risks to staff and management in a way they would understand so that effective action could be taken. Dust level monitoring was carried out by sub-contractors and an occupational hygiene company was employed to provide some analysis of the results. Andy worked with the staff to elicit their views and concerns, and to determine what practical solutions existed. Tasks were risk assessed (according to potential dust exposure) and those with the highest risk were analysed further. There was a significant cultural element to the situation, where high levels of dust were being tolerated, although everyone know this was a problem. The assessment showed that the risks from dust exposure were unacceptable and had to be reduced. Andy proposed some immediate behavioural changes that would reduce personnel exposure. Also, he advised the company that a wide ranging culture change was necessary to ensure dust releases were no longer tolerated, and when they did occur, dealt with efficiently and effectively. Andy presented the report to an action group tasked with addressing the problem, who accepted the findings and recognised the need to urgent action.

    The client was planning to change from a 8-hour to 12-hour shift pattern. The main driver for this was that they were having problems arranging cover for holidays, sickness etc. This had resulted in frequent working of double shifts (i.e. 16 hours). Andy made extensive use of fatigue research documented in HSE Contract Research Report 254/1999, and the working time directive and UK regulations. Communication was key element in this project and research about shift handover described in HSE offshore report OTO 96003 was used.
  • Availability, reliability and maintainability (ARM) of a gas storage facility

    2006 - Gas Storage

    The client was completing the definition phase for a project to develop a gas storage facility using salt caverns. An ARM study was required to demonstrate the proposed plant arrangements would be suitable for the planned operating and commercial activity. Andy led the project with other consultants carrying out the modelling and analysis. He was required to communicate closely with the client to ensure the data used was appropriate and the results were appropriate to their needs. Andy was able to use his knowledge of the gas industry to interpret the modelling results and developing practical recommendations for achieving a reliable plant. He was also able to comment on human and managerial factors that would ultimately affect reliability once the plant was operational.

  • COMAH risk assessment processes

    2006 - Steel manufacture

    The client had experienced an incident that should have been predicted and prevented as a result of risk assessment carried out for COMAH. Andy was asked to investigate how the risk assessment process had failed. From talking to key personnel and reviewing related documents, Andy was able to develop a root cause 'why tree.' From this he recognised that the incident had been predicted but the mindset of people at the site meant they focused on only part of the problem and hence did not develop a full solution. This was further affected because assessments had been carried out at a generic level, and specific areas with higher risks had not been identified . Also, changes had occurred in the way areas of the site were being used and because the management of change processes had not worked as intended, there had been no prompt to revisit the original risk assessments. Andy was able to make recommendations about how to improve the underlying processes and specific applications of risk assessment and management of change. The objective being to not just prevent the same incident occurring, but to have a wide ranging impact on how risks are managed.

  • COMAH safety management system

    2007 - Food and drink

    The client was planning to significantly increase the quantity of highly flammable material being stored on site. This would make it a Top Tier establishment under the COMAH regulations.

    Andy's role was to specify requirements for developing the company's safety management system required to demonstrate major hazard risks were as low as reasonably practicable. This involved discussions with the Competent Authority and analysis of the company's activities. Andy developed a specification that identified what systems and procedures the client needed to develop in order to satisfy the requirements of COMAH. This specification was written in a way that could be included in the COMAH safety report as a description of how the company manages its major hazard risks.

  • Critical task identification

    2008 - Gas Terminal

    During a previous piece of work Andy commented that the client lacked a robust system for procedures, training and competence. As a result he was invited to return to site to develop a detailed plan of how to proceed.

    Andy proposed that a full list of operational tasks ranked according to criticality would be the best way to start and proceeded to develop this with site personnel. Using a modest number of assessment criteria, Andy was able to create a spreadsheet that automated the criticality ranking and also suggested the optimum solution for managing risks through use of detailed procedures, job aids, on the job training, more formal method of training and competency assessment.

    As a result the client had a very good idea of exactly what they needed to do to develop an effective system, and was able to demonstrate an approach based on process risk and human factors principles.

  • Developing a company procedure for functional safety addressing the requirements of IEC 61511

    2012 - Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG)

    The client had recognised that they had a number of safety instrumented systems and hence IEC 61511 would apply.  However, they had no experience of applying the standard and were unsure about the best way to develop an in-house procedure.  They asked Andy to develop a procedure for them taking into account the standard, industry good practice and the company's systems and organisation.  The result was an eight page document following the structure of HSE's POPMAR model (i.e. Policy, Organising, Procedures, Measuring, Audit and Review).  This was very well received because it addressed all the requirements in a very clear and simple way that was straightforward to implement.

  • Development of a management of change policy

    2003 - Chemical

    The client had recognised that the way they were managing changes on the site did not guarantee sufficient control, and it was not possible to demonstrate after the event how changes had been managed. Andy, working with a colleague, assessed how changes were identified, assessed and implemented for process plant, procedures, materials and organisation. From this he was able to conclude that the same underlying process was present in all cases, but that this was not reflected in the existing procedures. He also identified that other systems played a part, especially permit-to-work where modifications to process plant were involved. From the assessment carried out, Andy developed an 'overarching change management policy' that documented the stages to be followed in implementing all types of change on site. This also formed the basis for specific procedures for different types of change and integrated other systems and procedures, including permit-to-work.

    The client was planning to change from a 8-hour to 12-hour shift pattern. The main driver for this was that they were having problems arranging cover for holidays, sickness etc. This had resulted in frequent working of double shifts (i.e. 16 hours). Andy made extensive use of fatigue research documented in HSE Contract Research Report 254/1999, and the working time directive and UK regulations. Communication was key element in this project and research about shift handover described in HSE offshore report OTO 96003 was used.
  • Development of a methodology for the assessment of supervision in the chemical and allied industries

    2004 - Health and safety executive

    The Health and Safety Executive had recognised that many organisations had changed their team structures (e.g. downsizing, multi-skilling, self-managed teams), and this had affected the way supervision was being delivered. This project examined how these changes could affect health and safety, and developed a method that organisations can use to assess their supervisory arrangements and make improvements. Andy managed the project, and had a major role carrying out site visits, developing the methodology and writing the research report. He was assisted by a small team of consultants assisted performed literature searches and carried out some of the site visits. The practicality and value of the methodology was demonstrated in a series of site trials with eight process companies in the UK. The report was published as Research Report RR292.

  • Development of a permit-to-work system

    2004 - Oil

    The site had recently become a COMAH establishment. This created the requirement for a formal permit-to-work system. Being a very small and simple operation, the client did not have the resources to develop, operate or maintain a complex system. Andy was asked to develop a system that was compliant with relevant regulations and guidance, but practical for the operations taking place and staffing levels present on the site. Andy developed a two-part permit-to-work system. The first part was used during the planning stage of a job to analyse the potential risks and specify the necessary controls. The second was used to control the work on the days it was being carried out. The client felt this was a very practical solution.

  • Development of a safety management system

    2006 - Retail, food

    This was a small but rapidly expanding company. They recognised that they needed a safety management system, but wanted to ensure it was fit for purpose.

    Andy carried out a number of risk assessments of their activities and collated key findings into a simple, user friendly system. The result was a management manual and separate staff handbook. The client was very impressed with how concise and 'to the point' the documents were.

  • Development of a safety management system

    2006 - Financial

    The client had an existing management system that was overly bureaucratic and complex, given the modest risks associated with their business. Andy advised how the system could be slimmed down by focusing on significant risks and setting the objective of selling health and safety to managers and staff. He facilitated the development of a policy statement, safety organisation and risk control measures.

  • Development of an emergency preparedness report for a LNG storage and export facility

    2003 - Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)

    The client was the design contractor for a large Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) facility to be located in Northern Norway. As part of the contract the client was required to provide an 'emergency preparedness report' that defined equipment and procedural requirements, that was to be used by the Operator to develop emergency systems for the facility. Andy developed the emergency preparedness report for the client. This involved reviewing the Operator's specifications and the plant design and risk assessments. Andy advised the client on the minimum requirements, and practical considerations given likely manning levels and environmental conditions (note the facility was to be operated in northern Norway). He attended meetings with the client and Operator to confirm the necessary arrangements.

    The client was planning to change from a 8-hour to 12-hour shift pattern. The main driver for this was that they were having problems arranging cover for holidays, sickness etc. This had resulted in frequent working of double shifts (i.e. 16 hours). Andy made extensive use of fatigue research documented in HSE Contract Research Report 254/1999, and the working time directive and UK regulations. Communication was key element in this project and research about shift handover described in HSE offshore report OTO 96003 was used.
  • Development of the Design Accidental Load specification for a LNG storage and export facility

    2004 - Liquefied Natural Gas

    The client was the design contractor for a large Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) facility to be located in Northern Norway. Following on from the Quantified Risk Assessment of the plant, which Andy was involved in, this project involved assessing the likely consequences of fire and explosion events that may occur. It was necessary to be able to demonstrate that the plant design would mean that it would withstand any of these events that had a frequency above a specified threshold. These were known as the 'Design Accident Loads.' The analysis was used to confirm that appropriate design standards had been used, and that the provision of passive and active fire protection, and emergency shutdown systems were adequate. Andy developed the method for carrying out this analysis, and wrote the report.

  • Evaluation of the Safe and Healthy Working service (Scotland)

    2004 - NHS Health Scotland

    Safe and Healthy Working is a service aimed at small and medium sized enterprises to improve occupational health performance as a contribution to the overall health of the Scottish population. This project was a cohort study of awareness and understanding of occupational health, before and one year after the introduction of the service. The study involved telephone and postal surveys, site visits and focus groups. Andy's role was project manager and quality review of the output. Although not actively involved in the research, he made a significant contribution to the completion of the report and overall coordination

  • Human factors audit at a gas terminal

    2012 - Gas

    Andy was asked to carry out a human factors audit to determine how well the client was meeting the requirements of COMAH (Seveso II) regulations and industry best practice.  He developed a question set that covered the HSE's 'Top 10' human factors topics, interviewed a range of personnel and collected documentary evidence.  His audit showed that the company was managing most human factors issues very effectively, but sometimes the arrangements were not clearly defined.  He developed a list of actions that provided a plan for tightening up arrangements to ensure they remained sustainable over the longer-term.

  • Human factors for a new facility

    2006 - Gas terminal

    Andy was seconded to the pre-operations team during the final design and construction phases of a new gas terminal. Andy's role was to facilitate task analysis and risk assessment, and to use the results to specify plant and interface design, procedural and competence requirements. This was a significant contribution to the preparation of the COMAH safety report and development of safe systems of work. Andy has provided ongoing support to the project, and this has demonstrated that human factors best practices can be incorporated into a project with minimal extra time and cost over 'traditional' approaches.

  • Human factors review of bow ties supporting an offshore safety case

    2014 - Offshore gas

    The client had completed a number of bow tie analyses in support of their safety case.  Andy was asked to review these to identify any significant human factors issues.  He reviewed the barriers in order to determine which would be considered safety critical tasks or safety critical activities; and made recommendations about how the adequacy of these barriers could be ensured.

  • Human factors risk assessment of live line, high voltage electrical work

    2008 - Electrical system at an oil company

    The client's operation involved a number of remote, onshore sites that were supplied by 33kV electrical supplies. In the past any work on the electrical supply lines required them to be isolated. In order to minimise production interruption the client was considering carrying out some activities with the electrical systems live. Andy was asked to evaluate the risks of human error of live line working and to advise whether it should be pursued by the client. He visited the preferred contractor for the work, observed them in practice and held lengthy discussions with their technical experts. He completed task analyses of the tasks for both live and dead line working, and used these to identify the potential human errors. His conclusion was that live line working has been accepted in many countries as a safe way of working and with good management and control there was no reason why the client should not adopt it. In fact it could be safer than dead working implemented correctly. Andy provided the client with the information they needed to inform their decisions and a list of recommendations that they would need to implement to carry out live line working safely.

  • Loss of containment assessment


    2005 - Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)

    The client was the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor for a liquefied natural gas (LNG) import, storage and regassification facility being built in Spain. Andy's role was to review the engineering design in order to identify credible loss of containment events and to evaluate the potential consequences. This involved him working with the design team, examining piping and instrument diagrams (P&IDs) and reviewing plant and equipment specifications. His analysis was used to determine the accidental loads that the plant had to be able to withstand so that escalation did not occur. It needed to be presented in a way that the designers could understand and their client would accept.