397550 Safety Case VS SEMS: Are They Really All That Different? an Operator's Perspective
Many regions in the world instill regulatory requirements that follow a safety case model for the oil and gas industry. In contrast, the US uses SEMS and/or PSM compliance as the foundation of health and safety in their oil and gas corporations. With that being said, there have recently been several waves of discussions in the US that petition to adopt the safety case as their means of safety measures so that the world can move one step closer to a global standard for measuring safety in the oil and gas industry.
From an operator’s standpoint, there are many factors that come into play when considering whether or not the US should side towards a safety case model or a SEMS/PSM model. Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, for instance, has been working for many years towards continuous improvement of the AMS system which includes SEMS implementation. This focuses on the new installation and existing assets as well. The goal of this approach is to be more proactive than reactive in their operations. A close look at their program and its validation indicates that they are already following many of the components as required by the safety case model. In addition to Anadarko, when ones looks at process safety as a moral responsibility of the corporation that extends for the life of the facility, most of the US corporations already meet the standards that are set forth by safety case requirements.
This paper will compare and contrast the similarities and differences between the safety case model and the SEMS/PSM model. Both these models are performance based, with variations falling into categories of who sanctions and/or enforces the respective models. What distinguishes the true successor is how effective the implementation of the safety case or SEMS/PSM model are, and how well the model adheres to a proactive approach.