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HSSE Management Tours:

Asset Integrity Guide


Design &
Build Integrity
Identify &
create Barriers

Sustain
Integrity

Maintain Barriers

Asset
Integrity

Operate with
Integrity
Working within
the Barriers

HSSE Management Tours:


Asset Integrity Guide

Contents
1

Introduction

Key Integrity Barriers

HSSE Management Tours:


Asset Integrity Guide

Topic 8 - Operating within the Envelope

How to Structure Your Asset Integrity


Management Tour

Topic 10 - Pressure Vessels

Topic 9 - Pressure Safety Valves

Asset Integrity Overview

Topic 11 - Piping (incl. small bore piping)

Managing Integrity

Topic 12 - Structural Integrity

Topic 1 - Maintenance of Barriers

Topic 13 - Process Control

Topic 2 - Integrity Communications

Topic 14 - Alarm Management

Topic 3 - Performance Management

Topic 15 - Leak and Fire Detection

Topic 4 - Planning and Resourcing

Topic 16 - Emergency Shutdown & Blowdown Systems

Topic 5 - Corporate Safety Culture

Topic 17 - Control of Ignition Sources

Topic 6 - Management of Change

Topic 18 - Fire Protection

Topic 7 - The Safety Case

Topic 19 - Escape, Muster and Evacuation

Summary
HSSE Management Tour Briefing Cards

Introduction

HSSE Management Tours:


Asset Integrity Guide

HSSE Management Tours: Asset Integrity Guide


Asset integrity (process safety) differs from
occupational safety (personal safety) because it
focuses on the hazards that are more likely to result
in major accidents (gas explosions, jet fires, ship
collisions, etc.) affecting large numbers of personnel
rather than incidents affecting individual workers
(slips, falls, struck-by incidents, electrocution, etc.).
The management of occupational safety and asset
integrity has both similarities and differences, but
it is important to understand that management
of one does not assure management of the other.
Robust systems need to be in place to manage both,
and the workforce should understand that both are
important to the success of BG Group.

these tours have been dominated by occupational


safety observations and discussions, and so the
purpose of this handbook is to broaden the scope
so that asset integrity is also discussed during
such visits.
This handbook should be used in conjunction with
the HSSE Management Tours: A Guide handbook,
which contains general guidance for planning and
performing a HSSE Management Tour.

This handbook is intended to provide senior


personnel with a basis for discussing asset integrity
topics during a HSSE management tour. Historically

Introduction

HSSE Management Tours: Asset Integrity Guide (continued)


Each topic in this handbook provides a broad
overview of the subject area and suggested initial
engagement questions. The language is deliberately
plain to provide a level of comfort and confidence for
users regardless of their background. The questions
are structured in an open way to provide the basis for
an open discussion with employees.
Open discussions on asset integrity issues offer the
potential to understand perceived problem areas and
identify opportunities for improvement. An attitude
of openness and honesty is required in discussions
and the desire to listen to, and discuss, an individuals
issues is critical to avoid any potential filtering or
good news only responses.

Introduction

HSSE Management Tours:


Asset Integrity Guide

How to Structure Your Asset Integrity


Management Tour
Prior to the tour it will help to familiarise yourself
with the safety case for the facility. This will provide
a good overview of the facility, the processes, the
associated hazards and the way in which the risks are
managed. It will help you to decide what your focus
areas will be.
You should review the topics in this book prior to
the tour and select a few topics that you plan to use
(some of the topics may be selected by the organiser
to ensure good coverage over several tours). Choose
some topics from the Managing Integrity section
and some topics that relate to typical barriers that
are relevant for the facility (based on what you have
learned from the safety case).
BG Groups incident reporting system (Synergi) can
also be used to see what recent incidents an asset
may have had.

Introduction

How to Structure Your Asset Integrity


Management Tour (continued)
During the tour you should ensure that you speak
to a range of people with different responsibilities
for asset integrity. It is recommended to conduct
visits to supporting departments in an asset
(e.g. maintenance, engineering, contracts and
procurement, human resources) as well as the
operating plant and its personnel. The questions
that you choose should be relevant to the people
you are speaking to (their particular responsibilities
and their level in the organisation).

A significant difference between occupational


safety and asset integrity is that very often the
deficiencies in asset integrity are not visible, and
so these can only be uncovered by having the right
conversations with the right people.
Following visits and discussions, any identified
concerns or issues should be fed back to the
relevant line manager or the organising manager
for consideration.

You should take the opportunity to inquire about


specific activities that are ongoing during your tour,
and in particular to ask about any activities that
are not a part of what is considered as normal
operations.

Introduction

HSSE Management Tours:


Asset Integrity Guide

Asset Integrity Overview


Asset integrity (also referred to as process safety)
is the ability of the asset to perform its required
function effectively whilst safeguarding life and
the environment. Good asset integrity is critical to
our business, as a loss of asset integrity can have
catastrophic effects, leading to major accidents
that result in multiple fatalities as well as very large
economic, environmental and reputational damage
(for example Macondo, Texas City, Piper Alpha, etc).

Asset integrity management can be visualised as a


series of control measures or barriers, which either
prevent the hazard from being realised, or limit the
effects of the incident if the hazard is realised. These
barriers are depicted in the swiss-cheese model (see
Figure 1) and each contains a mix of plant, people and
processes.

Each barrier is a high level functional grouping of


safeguards and controls selected to prevent, or limit
the effect of, a major accident or environmental
Asset integrity management is all about the
event. A barrier may therefore include a number of
prevention and mitigation of unintentional releases
safety critical systems, and safety critical elements
of potentially dangerous materials or energy. For BG
(SCE).
Group, this means safely transporting hydrocarbons
or energy from source to final destination without

Physical plant barriers include, for example,
loss of containment or other hazardous event. In the
systems provided for emergency shutdown, relief
event of a loss of containment or other hazardous
event, systems need to be in place and be available in and blowdown, fire protection and evacuation.
good working order to detect and control the event as The presence of the physical plant barriers alone
is not sufficient; these require competent people
well as mitigate the effects.

Introduction

Asset Integrity Overview (continued)


and effective processes to ensure that they are
correctly specified and that their ongoing suitability
is assured. People and processes include internal
procedures and work practices; for example
operating procedures or training and experience.
The effectiveness of an assets integrity controls
is a function of the quantity and the quality of
the barriers which are used to protect against a
major accident. No barrier is perfect the design
limitations, and the potential for barriers to fail
or be by-passed is represented by the holes in
the barrier (swiss-cheese) model. Asset integrity
programs are primarily focussed on assuring the
ongoing suitability, and improving, the barriers.
Another way to visualise the role of barriers is by
the use of bow-tie diagrams (see Figure 2). Bow-tie
diagrams combine fault trees (the left hand side)

and event trees (the right hand side). The left


hand side of the diagram shows all the causes (or
threats) with the potential to cause the hazardous
event (top event). The top event is the release of the
hazard, e.g. the release of a flammable gas stored
under pressure. The right hand side of the diagram
shows all the potential consequences (or end
events) that can result from the top event. Taken
together, the two sides show the links between
the causes and consequences (for each chosen
hazardous event) and the role of the barriers which
prevent the event (left hand side) or control or
mitigate the consequences (right hand side).
Bow-tie diagrams provide a powerful visual
representation of the role of the barriers in
managing the hazards and are used in BG Group
safety cases for this purpose.

Mitigation
Emergency Response
Arrangements

Control

Emergency Power
& Lighting

e.g. Training & Competence

Escape Evacuation
Muster & Rescue

e.g. Fire & Gas Detection

Fire Suppression

Introduction

Emergency Alarms &


Communications

People

Passive Fire Protection

Plant

Secondary Containment

Layout

Shutdown System

Detection

Safe removal of
Inventory

Prevention

Ignition Control

THREATS/
CAUSES

Leak & Fire Detection

Critical Process &


Equipment Monitoring

Mechanical Damage
Prevention

Structural Integrity

Primary Containment

1
HSSE Management Tours:
Asset Integrity Guide

Asset Integrity Overview (continued)

Figure 1 The Concept of Barriers


Processes

e.g. Safe Working Practices

TOP
EVENT
IMPACTS

Emergency Response

Introduction

Asset Integrity Overview (continued)


Figure 2 Bow-Tie Diagram
DETECTION, CONTROL, MITIGATION
and EMERGENCY RESPONSE

PREVENTION

Barriers to eliminate and prevent causes


of hazardous event

Barriers to control consequences and effects

Barrier

THREATS / CAUSES

Barrier

Barrier

Barrier

Barrier

Barrier
Barrier
Barrier

Barrier
Barrier
Barrier

e.g. Overpressure protection,


collision warning system
Sequence of failures leading to
realisation of the hazard

Barrier

TOP
EVENT
Realisation of the hazard
e.g. Loss of containment,
ship collision, etc

Barrier
Barrier

Barrier
Barrier

Barrier
Barrier

IMPACTS / CONSEQUENCES

Barrier

Barrier

e.g. Fire and gas detection,


escape and evacuation
Sequence of failures leading to
escalation of the hazard

HSSE Management Tours:


Asset Integrity Guide

Managing Integrity

Topic 1 Maintenance of Barriers


All equipment placed into service on a plant will
undergo some form of physical degradation,
resulting in diminished performance and eventual
failure over time.
Maintenance activities seek to safeguard
equipment performance and integrity by
appropriate intervention. To do this successfully
requires an understanding of the deterioration
mechanisms such that the correct maintenance,
testing activities and frequencies are established
and carried out by competent persons. Equipment
is classified as safety critical if their performance is
deemed to be necessary for ongoing plant safety
and effectiveness.
In reviewing a maintenance management system,
it is of vital importance that activities are carried
out in accordance with the plans. A high ratio of
planned maintenance to corrective/breakdown
maintenance (planned maintenance should be

significantly greater) is a good indicator of an


effective maintenance management system.
The presence of significant backlogs, especially
of safety critical equipment, is symptomatic of a
problem. A system for the approval of continued
operation if integrity cannot be fully maintained
(degraded barriers, inhibits, deferrals) should be in
place, including escalation up to and including the
AGM where necessary.
Procedures relating to maintenance should be
clearly understood and carried out to the desired
quality. Sound maintenance implementation
requires adequate budgets and resources as
well as numerous support activities including
logistics, warehousing, planning, contracts and
operational support. Maintenance and inspection
activities should also address the integrity of
temporary equipment.

10

Managing Integrity

Topic 1 Maintenance of Barriers


Questions
1. Tell me how maintenance of equipment is
planned and executed on this plant? Who
carries it out (core crew or 3rd Party)? What
about temporary equipment?
2. 
How does the system for classifying
equipment and work order criticality
work?
3. How do we know how effective our
maintenance management system is?

5. What is the process for the approval


of continued operation in the event
of degraded barriers, inhibited safety
functions, or backlog of safety critical
maintenance?
6. How is training and competency of
maintenance personnel assured? How
are 3rd party personnel included in this
process?

4. How are maintenance backlogs monitored


and managed?

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HSSE Management Tours:


Asset Integrity Guide

Managing Integrity

Topic 2 Integrity Communications


Asset integrity requires facilities to be designed,
constructed, operated and maintained effectively.
This requires significant amounts of written and
face to face communication.
As well as construction drawings and
documentation, all maintenance and inspection
history data (material wall thickness, function
test results etc) must be kept for assessment,
trending and fault analysis. Such information must
be available and appropriately communicated
to the correct personnel such that analysis and
appropriate actions can be taken to prevent failures
and incidents.
It is essential that all asset integrity incidents and
near-misses are identified and reported and that
the potential for a major accident to have resulted
from these incidents is recognised. A mature
incident reporting system would consider an unrevealed failure of a barrier to be a high potential
incident, even if that barrier had not been called

upon to operate; the concern is that it would not


have worked when required if an accidental event
had occurred.
Having identified incidents and near-misses, rootcause failure analysis should be applied and the
results of these analyses need to be communicated
appropriately to ensure that learning and
improvements can be implemented.
The critical aspects in a functional integrity
communication system are:
Goals, objectives and responsibilities for asset
integrity are clear and have been communicated
Flow paths for integrity information, data and
decisions are understood
All unplanned events are rigorously analysed and
learning applied
Integrity data, documents and other relevant
information is updated, shared and managed

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Managing Integrity

Topic 2 Integrity Communications


Questions
1. How do we ensure that information
from inspection (and maintenance) is
communicated to the right personnel?
2. How well do you think information flows
up and down the management chain? How
could this be improved?
3. Are integrity related data and documents
readily available for those who need it?
How do we ensure they are up to date?

5. How do we determine the causes of


unplanned events/failures when they
occur? What type of personnel undertake
these investigations?
6. Do we have a mechanism for capturing
lessons and applying them to our
operations? Have you applied the findings
from incidents outside this site, from
elsewhere in BG or the industry? Can you
provide an example?

4. How do you identify asset integrity related


incidents and near-misses? What defines a
high-potential incident or near-miss?

13

HSSE Management Tours:


Asset Integrity Guide

Managing Integrity

Topic 3 Performance Management


As with many processes, asset integrity
management is founded on the concept of
continuous improvement. To do this, systems must
be in place to measure current performance and
underlying trends (to allow improvements to be
identified).
Performance management within asset integrity
is based upon the notion of having appropriate key
performance indicators (KPIs) which provide clear
measurement of critical aspects of the integrity
management system. A process for analysis and
review of the KPIs should be in place along with a
mechanism for driving further improvements.

The critical aspects in a performance management


process are:
Ensuring that relevant KPIs are used (measurable,
and in areas that do need improvement)
Implementing a regular process of performance
review and improvement
Having clear plans for performance improvement
(where required)

14

Managing Integrity

Topic 3 Performance Management


Questions
1. Can you tell me some of the KPIs used to
measure asset integrity performance? Do
you report all of the required BG Group AI
KPIs and if not, why not?
2. How is KPI performance reviewed and
communicated?

3. How does your role impact any of these


KPIs? Which KPIs are most relevant to your
role?
4. Do you see KPI performance results and
trending on a regular basis? How do the
results of these KPIs influence the way you
work now and going forward?

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HSSE Management Tours:


Asset Integrity Guide

Managing Integrity

Topic 4 Planning and Resourcing


Good asset integrity requires a clear vision of
the objectives that will maintain or improve the
integrity performance. These goals need to be
translated into clear plans at various levels and the
plans must be supported by systems that provide
the required resources. This approach forms the
basis of BG Group aims to operate all Assets under
a process of Integrated Activity Planning and
Scheduling (IAPS).
Integrated planning has to be done at multiple
levels but must be consistent with the overall asset
goals that have been set. Resources, which may
consist of people, budgets, logistics, materials etc,
are a crucial link in the integrity chain and if not
available at the correct time and place will cause
delays in risk reduction activities.

Within planning and resourcing, the key areas are:


Having sound documented plans in place at all
levels and for various timescales, from long-term
strategic goals through to daily executable work
Management of the planning process to ensure
fulfilment and adjustment of the plans based
upon actual performance
Provision of adequate resourcing to ensure that
activities can be done within the required time
periods
Prioritisation and alignment of activities
across functions to ensure that maintenance
opportunities (e.g. during unplanned
plant shutdown) are always taken and
that maintenance activities are prioritised
appropriately with respect to other activities

16

Managing Integrity

Topic 4 Planning and Resourcing


Questions
1. What clear asset integrity improvement
goals and targets have been set for this
facility?
2. How do you input to plans and how do you
manage delivery against plans?

3. What are the major resource restrictions


you have in fulfilling your plans?
4. How do you manage the various resource
requirements that you need to ensure
successful completion of planned
activities?

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HSSE Management Tours:


Asset Integrity Guide

Managing Integrity

Topic 5 Corporate Safety Culture


The development of a strong corporate safety
culture on a plant is just as important to asset
integrity as is the design of sound facilities and
development of the right work processes.
The safety culture which is driven by the shared
values at all levels of management and employees,
serves to reinforce subconscious beliefs and
therefore decision making related to asset integrity
at all levels.
Many integrity failures (up to 80%) have their root
either in part or wholly in human factors. Against
that background, it is clear that significant benefits
would be derived from ensuring that there is a
strong safety culture which is clearly understood at
all levels and which translates into consistent and
positive behaviour.

A workforce that is convinced the organisation


fully supports safety and asset integrity as a core
value will tend to do the right things, in the right
way, at the right time - even when no one else is
looking. The perception of risk across all levels at a
plant is also a good insight into the overall culture.
Do they feel they are safer than other plants or
do they recognise that they operate with a higher
than typical level of risk; how well do the workforce
feel that this is being managed? Has an abnormal
increased risk become the accepted normal
condition?

18

Managing Integrity

Topic 5 Corporate Safety Culture


Questions
1. What messages do you get from asset
management about the importance of
asset integrity?
2. Can you describe any occasions when
you felt there was not a suitable long
term commitment to asset integrity? (For
example where other shorter term targets
have been over-emphasised?)

4. Are you (or plant personnel) comfortable in


reporting equipment failures, incomplete
work or other asset integrity shortcomings
on site?
5. Where do you think that attention would
best be directed to improve the process
safety culture on the plant?

3. Where are asset integrity responsibilities


defined and documented?

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HSSE Management Tours:


Asset Integrity Guide

Managing Integrity

Topic 6 Management of Change


It is necessary to carry out changes on operating
plants over time. This results in engineering,
procedural and organisational modifications.
Because changes can have impacts on many other
aspects of the operation, they can introduce new
or unintended risks. It is therefore critical that a
comprehensive review of the potential change
impacts is undertaken before implementation.

Ensuring that all changes follow the process


Having suitable quality arrangements in place
for design, construction, commissioning and
handover phases of all engineering modifications
Ensuring that the risk assessment of any change
has the correct level of validity by including the
relevant operational, engineering and technical
safety personnel in the review process

The management of change process seeks to


ensure that the potential impact of any change is
fully understood, and that any risks associated with
the change are mitigated appropriately. The critical
aspects in a functional management of change
process are:
Having a robust process that is documented
and approved that applies at all levels (from
day to day operations through to major plant
modification)

20

Managing Integrity

Topic 6 Management of Change


Questions
1. Tell me how we identify, approve and
implement engineering changes /
improvements to the plant?

4. What are the main challenges experienced


in getting necessary changes implemented
quickly (e.g. procedures)?

2. Do you think we get good design,


construction and commissioning of
modifications?

5. How good are we at managing procedural


and organisational changes?

3. How are you involved in identifying


and assessing the risk of any proposed
changes?

6. How do you deal with assessing the changes


required in day to day tasks changing the
way we have to operate something or when
carrying out a predefined activity controlled
by a permit?

21

Managing Integrity

HSSE Management Tours:


Asset Integrity Guide

Topic 7 The Safety Case


All BG operated facilities are required to
have a safety case in place. The safety case
documents the process that has been followed
for the identification of major accident hazards,
assessment of the risks and the control measures
that are implemented to manage these risks. By
doing this, the safety case provides a justification
for the continued safe operation of the facility.

The safety case should be a living document. It


should be prepared, and regularly reviewed and
updated as required, with the involvement of the
workforce. The content of the safety case should be
effectively communicated to the workforce as part
of their first induction to the facility, and should
also be utilised in subsequent training sessions,
operational risk assessments, tool box talks, etc.

The safety case should provide a description of:

It is important that the safety case is a true


reflection of the way in which the facility is really
operated and that the key assumptions made in the
safety case remain valid.

The facility and the processes that it operates


The major accident hazards that are present
The HSE management system that is in place
The measures in place to manage the major
accident hazards
The safe operating envelope for the facility

22

Managing Integrity

Topic 7 The Safety Case


Questions
1. What are the major accident hazards at
this site? How can we be sure that we have
identified them all?

4. How do you ensure that the Safety Case


remains valid? What do you see as your role
in this process?

2. Can you explain to me how the facility


Safety Case has been communicated to you?
Do you understand its purpose?

5. Have you been involved in the review of any


part of the Safety Case, and if so, how?

3. Can you describe how the Safety Case is


used at the facility?

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Key Integrity Barriers

HSSE Management Tours:


Asset Integrity Guide

Topic 8 Operating within the Envelope


The key objective of operations is to ensure that
the plant is operated safely and effectively within
the limits of the design. In order to achieve this,
competent operations personnel need to be
provided with the required information, tools and
training to understand and operate the plant.

Safe operations is therefore the end result of having


well trained operators with the correct support
systems in place and represents a crucial link in
attaining asset integrity assurance the operators
are a key part of the barriers (Figure 1).

The operating environment changes over time;


reservoir conditions change, networks grow, third
parties may be connected.
Operational procedures need to be accurate,
understandable, followed in practice and updated
appropriately. All the required operational
support systems should be in place. In addition,
a clear corporate safety culture which empowers
operators to make the correct decisions under all
circumstances is essential.

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Key Integrity Barriers

Topic 8 Operating within the Envelope


Questions
1. Describe the key operating procedures that
you follow to safely operate this plant. Are
these easy to understand? Do you follow
them strictly or have actual operating
practices evolved since the procedures
were written? How do we ensure that our
procedures are up to date?
2. Where is the operating envelope for the
plant defined? Are there any areas where
we are having problems operating within
that envelope?

4. What makes you believe that you are


empowered to take quick corrective action?
(e.g. in the event of an asset integrity
related failure or in discovering a potential
pending failure)
5. How do we make sure that shortcuts
(or workarounds) do not develop in the
way we operate this plant? How do you
recommend operating changes to improve
safety or production?

3. How is the training and competency of


operations personnel undertaken
and assured?

25

Key Integrity Barriers

HSSE Management Tours:


Asset Integrity Guide

Topic 9 Pressure Safety (Relief) Valves


Pressure safety or relief valves represent the last
line of defence in a pressure protection system
and are intended to safely dispose of hydrocarbons
from a pressurised containment system when a set
(high) pressure is reached.

It is also important to ensure that the required tests


are carried out by suitably certified personnel using
suitably certified equipment.

The critical issue for pressure safety valves (PSVs)


is ensuring that the periodic inspections and
tests have been carried out to prove that they will
operate when required, i.e. at the right pressure.
Failure to carry out the prescribed testing could
potentially lead to the PSV failing to function on
demand and so it is important to determine if there
are any overdue inspection and testing activities.
In the event that tests are deferred there should be
a structured system in place for the management
of deferrals that is appropriately approved by the
Asset Technical Authority.

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Key Integrity Barriers

Topic 9 Pressure Safety (Relief) Valves


Questions
1. Tell me how PSVs are managed on this
facility?
2. What would we do, if it was not possible to
carry out a test at the required time?
3. How do we ensure that PSV testing is
carried out correctly (calibration, competent
personnel, records etc?)

4. Have we ever had a PSV fail to function


when tested? If this occurred, how would
we resolve this problem? Do we have any
spares?
5. Who, in this asset, is the Technical
Authority for PSVs and what are their
responsibilities?

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Key Integrity Barriers

HSSE Management Tours:


Asset Integrity Guide

Topic 10 Pressure Vessels


Pressure vessels are key components in a
pressurised containment system. Vessels facilitate
hydrocarbon processing such as separation, mixing,
distillation, reaction, etc.
The critical issue for pressure vessels is ensuring
that the periodic inspections have been identified,
carried out to the full requirement, results assessed
and that there are none overdue. Vessel failure
usually occurs as a result of material degradation
(from corrosion or erosion, etc.) and it is critical that
inspections take place in order to understand the
status of the vessels structural integrity.

All deferred inspections need to be done against


the background of an agreed and robust system for
management of deferrals that is suitably approved.
Just as critical, is ensuring that the required tests
and inspections are carried out appropriately and
abnormal results are assessed by a competent
person.

There are several inspection techniques ranging


from non-destructive testing (NDT) methods
such as ultrasonic inspections and radiography to
external visual or internal inspections.

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Key Integrity Barriers

Topic 10 Pressure Vessels


Questions
1. Tell me how we determine where, how
and when we carry out pressure vessel
inspections?
2. What happens when an inspection cant
be carried out as planned? At what
level in your organisation are deferrals
approved?

4. How are results of inspections considered


and what might result if abnormal results
were reported? (e.g. lower than expected
wall thickness or major loss of coating)
5. What parts of the vessel do we inspect is it
just the shell? What about the flange faces,
bridles, supports, etc?

3. How do we ensure that pressure vessel


inspections are carried out correctly (right
type, calibration, procedures, competent
persons, etc?)

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Key Integrity Barriers

HSSE Management Tours:


Asset Integrity Guide

Topic 11 Piping (Incl. Small Bore Piping)


Piping systems represent the conduit in a pressure
containment system by which hydrocarbons
and other contained fluids are transported for
processing. They form critical components of a
pressurised containment system and are usually
the weak point in the process as a result of material
degradation through a range of mechanisms,
predominantly corrosion (internal or external) or
erosion processes.
The critical issue in facility Piping systems is
ensuring that the periodic inspections have been
carried out. Because they are usually very complex,
it is best to analyse and categorise piping systems
using criticality (susceptibility to failure and likely
consequences of failure). The inspection program is
then driven by the derived criticality.
Some important areas are:
Small bore piping (< 2) is thin walled and

more susceptible to damage, and failure due to


vibration. A register of small bore piping with a
prescribed program of inspection is best practice.
Piping joints are particularly vulnerable. Flanges
should be subject to a flange management
programme to provide assurance of their quality.
Corrosion under insulation (CUI) is a key risk
leading to piping failure. An assessed and
documented inspection programme is needed.
Likely or expected internal corrosion mechanisms
that relate to the fluids within the facility should
be captured in a corrosion risk register.
Temporary repair of piping by various means
(engineered clamps or wraps) may be allowed
at site, however these repairs must be closely
monitored whilst in place, be recorded on a
register, have a maximum defined life and a clear
priority for permanent repair.

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Key Integrity Barriers

Topic 11 Piping (Incl. Small Bore Piping)


Questions
1. Please explain how we ensure that piping
on our facility is in good condition
2. Have we had any piping systems failures?
Do you know what caused them (e.g.
damage, vibration in small bore piping,
corrosion?). What have we done to prevent
recurrences?
3. What do we do to minimise the risk of
flange leaks or failures?

4. Which areas might be prone to Corrosion


Under Insulation (CUI), or internal corrosion,
on this site? How do we manage and
minimise these risks?
5. Is there a procedure for temporary repairs
to pipework? Do you know how many
temporary repairs you have, and how the
permanent repairs are prioritised?

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Asset Integrity Guide

Key Integrity Barriers

Topic 12 Structural Integrity


Critical structures are those which are required
to retain the overall integrity of the facility or
to provide support for safety critical functions
(for example large hydrocarbon vessels, control
building, offshore accommodation, offshore
helideck, etc.). Structures are also critical if their
collapse could damage process equipment, causing
significant hydrocarbon release and escalation of
the event.
The critical structures are required to resist the
loads imposed on them by events including storms,
earthquakes, fires and explosions.

Critical structures will be periodically examined


for signs of corrosion or other degradation,
coating defects, etc. This will usually be as part
of a risk-based inspection program, where the
results of inspections will be used to determine
future inspection requirements based on projected
corrosion rates.
Corrosion protection systems also require periodic
inspection, testing and maintenance to ensure
continuing protection.

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Key Integrity Barriers

Topic 12 Structural Integrity


Questions
1. How is structural integrity assured on this
facility?
2. Can you explain how structural inspections
are prioritised? Is there a clear distinction
between critical and non-critical structures
on this facility?
3. How are the results of inspections used to
optimise the inspection process?

4. If significant defects and degradation (i.e.


corrosion of steel structures, breakdown
of concrete structures) are identified
in structures, who decides what the
appropriate action should be?
5. Are you aware of any structural issues on
this facility at the moment, and what is
being done to resolve them?

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Key Integrity Barriers

HSSE Management Tours:


Asset Integrity Guide

Topic 13 Process Control


Process plants are usually controlled by complex
process control systems which are essential to
safely manage the fluid processing in the plant.
There are many control loops in any given
plant. Each loop typically consists of three main
components:
The sensor picks up data from the process (e.g.
temperature, pressure, etc.)
The controller analyses the data from the sensor
and sends signals to:
The final control element (e.g. control valve,
shutdown valve, etc.) which carries out required
functions on command

As with other active systems, the process control


system functionality must be tested and analysed
periodically to ensure it will function as and when
required. The critical aspects in a functional process
control loop are:
A robust process for system function testing
Ensuring that function tests are actually carried
out and the results recorded for analysis
Review of results and follow up on any
deficiencies found
Certain testing activities will require isolation of
one or a number of devices, and it is therefore
important to fully understand what functions are
being withdrawn in this period and that any risks
and loss of operability are fully assessed.

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Key Integrity Barriers

Topic 13 Process Control


Questions
1. How do we ensure functionality of the
process control systems?
2. What happens when we find deficiencies in
the system as a result of testing?
3. How are records from the testing of
the process control system maintained
and reviewed?

4. What problems have there been with the


process control systems? Are there any
modifications planned/ongoing to resolve
these issues?
5. Are there currently any control loops on
manual control? If so, why is this? Can you
explain the process for management of
process control over-rides.

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HSSE Management Tours:


Asset Integrity Guide

Key Integrity Barriers

Topic 14 Alarm Management


Alarms are placed within process plants to alert
operators when specified process conditions (e.g.
level, pressure, temperature) exceed specified
values. Typically alarms are sent via the control
system to the control room so that appropriate
action can be taken.
A problem that is faced in the industry is that of
managing the number of alarms received by the
control room operator. Having too many alarms can
result in reduced efficiency and in many instances
has been a critical factor in hiding integrity
incidents until much too late. Managing this
phenomenon, referred to as alarm flooding, is key
to minimising risks.

The critical aspects of alarm management are:


There is a clear hierarchy and system for
prioritisation of alarms (design)
The number of alarms handled by the operator
is measured and actions are taken to eliminate
nuisance and other non-essential alarms
Having a plan to rationalise the alarm handling
process (where this is needed)

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Key Integrity Barriers

Topic 14 Alarm Management


Questions
1. Can you explain how alarms are received
and responded to?

3. Who has responsibility for ensuring alarm


rates are at a reasonable level?

2. How are alarm rates measured and


managed? What is the current normal rate?
How does that change when an unplanned
shutdown or plant upset occurs?

4. If the operators are currently overloaded,


what plans are there to improve the
situation?

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HSSE Management Tours:


Asset Integrity Guide

Key Integrity Barriers

Topic 15 Leak and Fire Detection


One of the key objectives of asset integrity
management is to ensure that the hazardous fluids
remain within the confines of the pressurised
containment system. However, if a leak occurs,
then it has to be detected as quickly as possible to
allow remedial actions such as equipment isolation,
power supply shutoff or process shutdown to be
taken.
Various leak detection systems (flammable gas,
toxic gas, fire, smoke) are provided on facilities to
initiate actions, either automatically or through
alarms, and thus mitigate possible effects of any
releases.

Leak detection has to function as required, when


required. Thus such systems and their components
are subject to periodic testing to confirm
functionality. The function of operating personnel
is also to be vigilant for the lower level weeps and
seeps that could escalate if unchecked.
Certain plant operations and maintenance may
require that one or more leak detection devices are
inhibited for a short time, and it is important to
understand the degree of cover that remains during
this time and that the risks have been assessed
correctly.
Construction work may result in long term inhibits
(more than one shift) and it may be appropriate to
revise the safety case for such activities.

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Key Integrity Barriers

Topic 15 Leak and Fire Detection


Questions
1. What systems do we have to detect leaks, or
fire, on this plant? Can you briefly describe
how they work?

4. How are flowline or pipeline leaks detected?


How can we ensure such systems are
working properly?

2. How do we ensure that our leak/fire


detection systems are reliable and will be
available when needed? Do we measure
this somehow? Is any of the testing
overdue?

5. Do you know if any of these systems are


inhibited at the moment? What is the
associated risk? How long have the inhibits
been in place?

3. How do we keep a record of all leaks


and seeps? How is the output from this fed
back into the system so that they
are resolved?

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Key Integrity Barriers

HSSE Management Tours:


Asset Integrity Guide

Topic 16 Emergency Shutdown (ESD)


and Blowdown Systems
Emergency shutdown systems are installed on
plants to provide a mechanism to shut down the
plant safely in the event of an emergency. ESD is
usually triggered automatically if some key process
parameter has been exceeded or a fire/gas release
has been detected, or may be manually initiated if
personnel believe that they are no longer able to
ensure safe control of the plant.
Blowdown systems provide a means to rapidly
depressurise the plant by removing the gas
inventory to a safe location (e.g. a flare).
These systems are required to be functional when
called upon to take action. In order to do this
end-to-end tests of the systems (including sensors,
control system and final control elements) have to
be conducted periodically to ensure that the system
is robust and ready to respond if/when required.

The key areas in ensuring ESD and blowdown


system functionality are:
A robust process(s) for system function testing of
all components
Ensuring that function tests are actually carried
out and the results recorded for analysis
Review of results and follow up on any
deficiencies found
Certain testing activities may require one or a
number of devices to be isolated, and it is therefore
important to fully understand what functions are
being withdrawn in this period and that any risks
are fully assessed.

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Key Integrity Barriers

Topic 16 Emergency Shutdown (ESD)


and Blowdown Systems
Questions
1. How do we make sure that ESD and
blowdown systems will work when
needed?

4. Who is technically responsible for the ESD


and blowdown systems? How do they get
involved?

2. What happens when deficiencies are found


in the system(s)?

5. Are there any parts of these systems


isolated at the moment and what is the
reason? Is this a recent change?

3. Can you describe to me where testing


records are kept and what is done
with them?

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HSSE Management Tours:


Asset Integrity Guide

Key Integrity Barriers

Topic 17 Control of Ignition Sources


Potential ignition sources at hydrocarbon handling
facilities must be strictly controlled. Areas of the
plant where there is the potential for a hazardous
(i.e. flammable) atmosphere to be present must
have suitably rated electrical equipment. This
may be intrinsically safe (incapable of providing
enough energy to cause ignition) or explosion
proof (sealed to prevent gas ingress, referred to as
Ex equipment). The emergency shutdown (ESD)
system will isolate all non-essential electrical
equipment in the event of a major gas release, but
equipment that is required to continue to function
in an emergency must be appropriately rated. All
electrical equipment requires periodic inspection,
testing and maintenance to ensure that it is
not damaged or degraded such that its rating is
compromised.

Earth bonding is provided on equipment to prevent


sparks due to stray current or static build-up.
Lightning protection systems are provided to earth
the currents from lightning strikes. Hot surfaces
may also cause auto-ignition of flammable gas/air
mixtures and so maximum surface temperatures
are controlled in hazardous areas. Earth bonding
and insulation materials require periodic inspection
to ensure their integrity.
The activities of personnel present potential
ignition sources. Non-sparking tools must be
used. Hot work must be strictly controlled by the
permit-to-work system. All temporary and portable
equipment must be inspected and certified before
being brought onto site, and either periodically
recertified or removed.

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Key Integrity Barriers

Topic 17 Control of Ignition Sources


Questions
1. If a gas release were to occur, what would
be the most likely ignition sources present
at this facility?
2. How is the ignition potential from electrical
equipment controlled?

3. How is hot-work managed to reduce the


ignition risk?
4. How is the risk of ignition by temporary or
portable equipment items managed at this
facility?

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Key Integrity Barriers

HSSE Management Tours:


Asset Integrity Guide

Topic 18 Fire Protection


Fire protection systems are provided to mitigate
the effects of fires, should they occur. These include
passive and active systems.
Passive fire protection systems include fire rated
divisions (fire walls), and passive fire protection
coatings (typically used on structures, supports,
etc.) and jackets or enclosures (typically used on
critical valves or vessels). Although the passive
systems are inherently more reliable than active
systems, they still require periodic inspection to
ensure that they are not degraded or damaged in
any way that might cause them to fail prematurely
during a fire event.

Active systems include firewater deluge systems,


sprinkler systems, gaseous flooding systems,
hydrants, monitors and mobile and portable
fire extinguishers. These are provided in various
locations on the facility, dependent upon the
specific nature of the fire hazard. These systems
and their components are subject to periodic
inspection, testing and maintenance to ensure
their functionality in accordance with established
performance standards.
If fire protection systems are unavailable or
(wholly or partially) impaired for any period of
time this may mean that the consequences of
a fire in the event of a major accident could be
much worse. Therefore in the event of
unavailability or impairment a risk assessment
should be carried out.

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Key Integrity Barriers

Topic 18 Fire Protection


Questions
1. Which areas of this facility present the
greatest fire hazard and why?
2. What are the principle means of
fire protection in these areas of the
facility?
3. How do we ensure that passive fire
protection measures will be effective?

4. How do we ensure that our active fire


protection systems will function as, and
when, required?
5. What manual fire fighting measures do
we have at this facility? What training has
been provided in their use, and when should
these be used?

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Key Integrity Barriers

HSSE Management Tours:


Asset Integrity Guide

Topic 19 Escape, Muster and Evacuation


All facilities are required to have emergency
response plans in place and make suitable
provisions for escape, muster and evacuation of
all personnel at the facility in the event of a major
accident. These arrangements and provisions are
critical to preventing loss of life in the event of an
integrity failure.

All emergency response facilities must be kept


ready for use at all times. As such they must be
periodically tested and re-certified for use. It is
critical that this is carried out by organisations
and personnel with the required equipment, skills
and qualifications. In the event of unavailability or
impairment a risk assessment must be carried out.

Escape, muster and evacuation provisions may


typically include escape routes, emergency
communications, H2S escape sets, life-jackets, lifeboats, etc. The provisions required must be based
on a specific assessment of the hazards at the
facility, the particular environment and the number
of personnel present. Some facilities (such as
offshore platforms) will require specially designed
muster locations to protect personnel from the
effects of the accidental event while mustering
takes place and a decision to evacuate is made.

The critical issues to be reviewed in examining the


management of emergency response are:
A structured and documented system for
maintenance and recertification of emergency
response equipment exists
Implementation of appropriate drills and tests at
defined intervals to ensure personnel are familiar
with the emergency response arrangements and
to enable continuous improvement.
Records are kept for examination and review

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Key Integrity Barriers

Topic 19 Escape, Muster and Evacuation


Questions
1. What are the arrangements for escape and
muster at this facility? How is it ensured
that the muster points provide protection
against the effects of major accident
events?
2. Tell me how we ensure that life-saving
appliances will work when needed?

4. Tell me about the emergency response


training you have received. How is this kept
current and up to date?
5. Tell me about the last emergency
response drill, exercise or test that you
were involved in.

3. How do we ensure that only


certified personnel inspect and repair
these units?

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Summary

HSSE Management Tours:


Asset Integrity Guide

HSSE Management Tour Briefing Cards


These cards are designed to provide senior
personnel with a basis for discussing asset integrity
based topics during HSSE management tours.
Useful principles to remember are:
Questions are open to generate discussion use them as a starting point of conversations
Only use a few questions (2 or 3) with
each person
Avoid reading cards during discussions
The objective is to discover individuals roles
and concerns, and understand their reality on
the ground regarding asset integrity or other
safety issues
Any identified issues should be fed back to
the relevant line or organising manager for
consideration

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Summary

HSSE Management Tour Briefing Cards (continued)


Related documents and tools which may also
be referred to include:
BG Safety Behaviours
BG Asset Integrity Management standard
and guideline

Comments and suggestions on these


briefing cards are welcome. If you have
any questions or comments, email
box.assetintegrity@bg-group.com

BG Safety Case standard and guideline


BG Asset Integrity Toolkit (https://www.bgassetintegrity.com/content/#)
BG Safety Engineering and Asset Integrity
Community (via BG Connect)

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HSSE Management Tours:


Asset Integrity Guide

This booklet is part of a training programme that asset


managers and senior supervisors should undertake to
aid them in conducting successful HSSE management
tours. The details on how this training should be
delivered can be found in the BG Guideline, Guide to
HSSE Management Tours, BG-GL-HSSE-EFF-524.

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www.bg-group.com
BG Group
Thames Valley Park
Reading
Berkshire
RG6 1PT
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0) 118 935 3222
Fax: +44 (0) 118 935 3484
Registered in England & Wales No. 3690065
BG Group 2011
Published June 2011

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