Making a case for the Safety Case
Nothing is more important than the ongoing safety of an installation and its workforce. To ensure safety, all processes, procedures, and assurance and maintenance tasks must be correctly aligned to a set of key fundamentals. That’s where the Safety Case comes into play. A Safety Case is a document that states to operators, owners, workers and the Competent Authority that the Duty Holder has the ability and means to effectively manage and control major accident hazards.
The Safety Case must reflect the reality of the installation’s current operating status: changes are likely to occur in the environment, in the activities carried out, or in other ways that increase risk. It is thus intended to be a living document, reviewed and revised as often as necessary to ensure it reflects reality. It will require input from technical and safety experts, the installation’s workforce, and external bodies such as a Class Society and a Verification Body.
Failure to embed and embrace the value of a live, relevant Safety Case, will at best lead to increased administrative workload and delay in acceptance by the Competent Authority. At worst, it can lead to a domino effect whereby all processes, procedures and maintenance management strategies are based on incorrect and outdated data, jeopardizing the integrity and the safety of the installation.