ALARP Demonstration: The How to Guide

  • Type:
    Conference Presentation
  • Conference Type:
    AIChE Spring Meeting and Global Congress on Process Safety
  • Presentation Date:
    August 17, 2020
  • Duration:
    20 minutes
  • Skill Level:
    Intermediate
  • PDHs:
    0.40

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This paper will describe the process for demonstrating that risks have been reduced to As Low As Reasonably Practicable (ALARP). ALARP Demonstration / Justification is a requirement under law in most safety case regimes around the world. Even when ALARP Demonstration is not specifically required by law or regulations most operating companies still have an expectation that risks are managed to acceptable / tolerable levels and that all reasonable care is taken to further reduce those risks as far as practicable.

It is important to understand that ALARP Demonstration is a process and not a deliverable or end product. Many people confuse risk acceptability / tolerability with ALARP – the two are not the same. In fact understanding and demonstrating risk acceptability / tolerability is just one step in the process to achieving risk levels which are ALARP. 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 regime. It applies equally to onshore as well as offshore high risk activities throughout all phases of the project lifecycle from initial concept development, through FEED and detailed design to operations and ultimately decommissioning and abandonment.

In summary this paper will show that hazard identification and risk analysis have their place in demonstrating adequate management of risks; however, they are only part of the process. 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 to levels that are demonstrably ALARP.

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