How many of you would be interested in a face-to-face forum for discussion of issues around pipeline safety management studies?
I’m thinking about a round-table meeting lasting most of a day, probably in conjunction with some other APIA event (ie. the day before or after). It would be an opportunity to learn how others handle various SMS issues, ask questions about aspects that are not clear to you, perhaps present some interesting or unique situations that have arisen.
It would not be a training session – there are other venues for basic training in how to run an SMS.
I envisage few if any formal presentations, although the forum would probably have to be structured around some broad topics so it doesn’t degenerate into an unproductive rabble. Many SMSs are quite routine, but others can involve challenging subjects such as urban encroachment on old thin-walled pipelines, MAOP upgrade, use of off-spec materials, failure of overpressure control, etc. Topics for discussion could be anything from the routine to the exceptional. For example:
- Specific case studies from some of the challenging examples above (made anonymous of course)
- Estimating frequencies and severities (covered previously in this blog, but worth more discussion of useful techniques, sanity checks, etc)
- The relationship between workshops and the broader SMS
- The relationship between HAZOP and SMS (e.g. stations, facilities, pressure control)
- Level of SMS at each phase of a project
- Close-out of SMS actions
Credit for the forum idea goes to Richard McDonough, now with GPA but previously with PIRSA as the SA technical regulator. Richard and myself were part of the ME-038-1 subcommittee that produced the current SMS rules in AS 2885.
I think it’s a great idea. There seem to be benefits to anyone who participates. Exchange of ideas is always good, and in this case it should help participants feel more confident in running SMSs, lift the standard and improve consistency of SMSs around the country, and ultimately that has to help make pipelines even safer.
If you might be interested, let me know. You can just reply below or use the private feedback form at the bottom of the “About” links in the header of this page. If I don’t get enough feedback it won’t happen – the ball is in your court.