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Ham K.,TNO | Marangon A.,University of Pisa | Middha P.,GexCon AS | Versloot N.,TNO | And 11 more authors.
International Journal of Hydrogen Energy | Year: 2011

A benchmarking exercise on quantitative risk assessment (QRA) methodologies for hydrogen safety has been conducted within the project HyQRA, under the framework of the European Network of Excellence (NoE), HySafe. The aim of the exercise was twofold: (i) to identify the differences and similarities in approaches in a QRA and their results for a hydrogen installation and (ii) to identify knowledge gaps in the various steps and parameters underlying the risk quantification of hydrogen safety. First, a reference case was defined for the benchmark: a virtual hydrogen refuelling station (HRS) in virtual surroundings comprising housing, school, shops and other vulnerable objects. For the study, a two phase approach was followed. In phase 1, all nine partners were requested to conduct a QRA according to their usual approach and experience. Basically, participants were free to define representative release cases, to apply models and frequency assessments according their own methodology, and to present risk according to their usual format. To enable inter-comparison, a required set of results data was prescribed, like distances to specific thermal radiation levels from fires and distances to specific overpressure levels. Moreover, complete documentation of assumptions, base data and references was to be reported. It was not surprising that a wide range of results was obtained, both in the applied approaches as well as in the quantitative outcomes and conclusions. This made it difficult to identify exactly which assumptions and parameters were responsible for the differences in results. These results provided the basis for a more guided QRA, the second phase. This phase 2 was defined in which the QRA was determined by a more limited number of release cases (scenarios). The partners in the project agreed to assess specific scenarios in order to identify the differences in consequence assessment approaches. The results of this phase provide a better understanding of the influence of modelling assumptions and limitations on the eventual conclusions with regard to risk to on-site people and to the off-site public. © 2010 Professor T. Nejat Veziroglu. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


De Vocht F.,University of Manchester | Northage C.,HSE - Health and Safety Executive | Money C.,ExxonMobil | Cherrie J.W.,Institute of Occupational Medicine IOM | And 7 more authors.
Annals of Occupational Hygiene | Year: 2013

The British Occupational Hygiene Society, in collaboration with the Institute of Occupational Medicine, the University of Manchester, the UK Health and Safety Executive, and the University of Aberdeen hosted the 7th International Conference on the Science of Exposure Assessment (X2012) on 2 July5 July 2012 in Edinburgh, UK. The conference ended with a special session at which invited speakers from government, industry, independent research institutes, and academia were asked to reflect on the conference and discuss what may now constitute the important highlights or drivers of future exposure assessment research. This article summarizes these discussions with respect to current and future technical and methodological developments. For the exposure science community to continue to have an impact in protecting public health, additional efforts need to be made to improve partnerships and cross-disciplinary collaborations, although it is equally important to ensure that the traditional occupational exposure themes are still covered as these issues are becoming increasingly important in the developing world. To facilitate this the 'X' conferences should continue to retain a holistic approach to occupational and non-occupational exposures and should actively pursue collaborations with other disciplines and professional organizations to increase the presence of consumer and environmental exposure scientists. © 2013 The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Occupational Hygiene Society.


Durling J.,UK Environment Agency | Gaskarth D.,UK Environment Agency | Whitfield A.,UK Environment Agency | Ashcroft S.,HSE - Health and Safety Executive | McCann R.,HSE - Health and Safety Executive
Institution of Chemical Engineers Symposium Series | Year: 2014

The Control of Major Accident Hazards (COMAH) regulations (UK, 1999) will be updated in June 2015, to transpose into UK law the requirements of the Seveso III Directive which was published in 2012 (EC, 2012). The new Directive requires more information on the risk posed by major hazard sites to be made available to the public. Some of this information must be made "permanently electronically available" whilst other information, including safety reports, must be "available on request". In 2012, the UK COMAH regulators established a project to explore the options for providing this information to the public. The aim was to strike a balance between the Directive requirements to make information available to the public and the need to restrict public access to certain information for national security or commercial confidentiality reasons. The regulators have worked with the Government and industry to produce examples of COMAH site public information for nine existing top-tier COMAH sites. © Environment Agency.


Mellor N.,UK Health and Safety Laboratory | Mackay C.,HSE - Health and Safety Executive | Packham C.,HSE - Health and Safety Executive | Jones R.,HSE - Health and Safety Executive | And 3 more authors.
Safety Science | Year: 2011

The aim of this paper is to identify what constituted barriers to progress in the implementation of the Management Standards for preventing and reducing work-related stress nationally, an approach advocated by the Health and Safety Executive in Great Britain. Data were collected from more than 100 public sector organisations through inspector visits and research interviews. Findings show that under supportive contexts, organisations were able to follow the process of a stepwise method for assessing psychosocial risks and implementing interventions using HSE assessment tools and guidance. Main enabling factors included the active and visible support from senior management, human resource departments, and line managers; regular communications on progress, sufficient organisational capability in terms of resources and expertise; departmental/team level assessment as opposed to an overall corporate wide assessment, and involvement of key stakeholders (e.g. Trade Union, employees). Some of the critical barriers across many public sector organisations included in this study were: major or on-going organisational changes; lack of organisational capability; and the resource intensive aspect of the method requiring focus groups in addition to stress survey data. Implications of the findings for policy development are discussed. © 2011.


Saw J.L.,HSE - Health and Safety Executive | Flauw Y.,INERIS | Demeestere M.,INERIS | Naudet V.,Air Liquide | And 3 more authors.
Institution of Chemical Engineers Symposium Series | Year: 2016

Hydrogen is expected to become a highly valuable energy carrier and significant mechanism for meeting future energy needs. The 3-year European FireComp project was initiated in 2013 to explore the thermo-mechanical behaviour of high pressure vessels in composite materials when exposed to fire conditions. FireComp brings together European partners from diverse disciplines with the main objective to better characterise the conditions that are needed to avoid loss of hydrogen containment. The project comprises six work packages, which include looking at fire protection strategies and providing input into regulations, codes and standards, as well as dissemination activities. The main activities include: Experimental work in order to improve the understanding of heat transfer mechanisms and the loss of strength of composite high-pressure vessels in fire conditions. Modelling of the thermo-mechanical behaviour of these vessels. The current paper briefly outlines the FireComp project, and describes quantitative risk assessments of the hydrogen composite storage systems exposed to fire conditions using bow-tie analysis, based on previous results from earlier tasks. Different applications were considered: stationary applications, transportable cylinders, bundles and tube trailers, and were illustrated by a case study. Risk analyses have been conducted for each application with the aim of leading to the definition of optimised safety strategies; the main goal is to ensure that the composite storage systems are at least as safe as systems using steel cylinders. Further work within the FireComp project will provide bonfire test results to allow refinement of the risk analysis. © 2016 IChemE.


Chambers C.,UK Health and Safety Laboratory | Harte H.,HSE - Health and Safety Executive
Institution of Chemical Engineers Symposium Series | Year: 2015

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) instigated their Key Programme 4 (KP4) to look into the problem of Ageing and Life Extension (ALE) of the United Kingdom Continental shelf (UKCS) oil and gas infrastructure in hostile environments such as the North Sea. Two key findings of the KP4 programme were that: Better use could be made of data trending to support ALE decision making; UKCS Oil & Gas sector had not identified leading (Key Performance Indicators) KPIs suitable to support ALE decision making. As part of the KP4 programme, the Health and Safety Laboratory (HSL) looked at the apparent lack of data trending performed in the UKCS oil and gas industry, in particular, trending used to support ALE. HSL discussed data trending issues with HSE offshore specialist inspectors who undertook KP4 work, oil and gas engineers and oil and gas specialist contractors involved with data trending. HSL identified issues associated with the collection, storage and management of data that could impede the implementation of data trending in the UKCS oil and gas industry. The available data covered a range of factors such as equipment performance, maintenance and production factors. Industry uses KPIs as a metric for the measurement of key factors such as maintenance, performance and equipment reliability. KPIs that indicate the current condition of equipment and systems can be said to be lagging indicators with regard to ALE. ALE is focused on the future condition of equipment and systems, and the trending of lagging KPIs enables the future condition of the asset to be estimated. Therefore, trending can be said to convert lagging KPIs into leading KPIs and it is these leading KPIs that can directly support ALE decision making. This paper presents and discusses the key findings of HSL's work, such as issues surrounding data collection, management and use of data, and how such factors can affect the uptake of data trending. It suggests a number of KPIs that can be trended to support ALE, and presents two examples of trending KPIs. It also discusses potential problems with analysis methods, suggesting that while basic trending of performance measures such as equipment breakdown frequency can be trended by engineers, there are pitfalls associated with trending that need to be understood. It is concluded that sufficient data exist that can be trended to support ALE decision making and that a better understanding of data trending requirements can help the industry take full advantage of the resultant benefits. © 2015 Amec Foster Wheeler.


Mellor N.,UK Health and Safety Laboratory | Smith P.,UK Health and Safety Laboratory | MacKay C.,HSE - Health and Safety Executive | Palferman D.,HSE - Health and Safety Executive
International Journal of Workplace Health Management | Year: 2013

Purpose - In Great Britain, the 'Management Standards were launched in 2004 and formally published in 2007 by the Health and Safety Executive to help organizations manage work-related stress. The purpose of this paper is to examine how these Standards are translated into organizational practice. Design/methodology/approach - The research uses case studies carried out in five large organizations drawn from the public and private sectors in Great Britain. Findings - Senior management commitment and worker participation are key to managing work-related stress and are commonly reported across organizations, although to variable form and depth. The solution chosen to identify stress issues is a short assessment of all staff via annual staff surveys, coupled with in-depth assessments of groups at risk. Common practice also includes combining individual and organizational interventions. One significant challenge emerges as the translation from identified stress issues to focussed interventions and their evaluation. Research limitations/implications - The implementation processes outlined in this study are by no means exhaustive due to the small sample size but are consistent with previous research. Practical implications - The findings suggest that the HSE Management Standards approach for dealing with stress issues is do-able. Refining the information in the HSE guidance on implementing and evaluating interventions and broadening the current focus on organization-level interventions is needed. Originality/value - Publication of case studies of the implementation of the Management Standards has been limited. This paper illustrates the efforts made by large organizations to integrate national guidance on stress and this could be used for guiding and improving stress management in similar work settings. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.


Bell N.,UK Health and Safety Laboratory | Lunt J.,UK Health and Safety Laboratory | Webster J.,UK Health and Safety Laboratory | Ward T.,HSE - Health and Safety Executive
International Journal of Workplace Health Management | Year: 2015

Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to investigate the dimensions that distinguish high from low performing manufacturing companies in Great Britain with respect to controlling noise. The findings should assist regulators and industry to develop interventions that help organisations to effectively manage noise, particularly amongst the low performers. Design/methodology/approach - The research uses quantitative and qualitative methods. Survey data was obtained from 215 manufacturers and supplemented with 15 qualitative interviews to assess performance and individual, social, environmental and organisational influences on duty holders' decision making for controlling noise. Findings - Relative to low performers, decision makers from high performing companies had: greater in-depth knowledge of noise risks and controls; taken steps to promote positive health and safety attitudes and values; were large companies; and faced fewer resource barriers (time, costs, staffing). Managers in small, low performing companies sought simple interventions with a practical focus. Research limitations/implications - The differences reported between high and low performing companies showed a small magnitude of effect but these are considered significant in a health and safety context. Practical implications - Improvements in training and education, and addressing workplace health and safety culture, are recommended as offering most potential to raise the standard of noise control. Originality/value - To the authors' knowledge, this is the first study to systematically assess the specific knowledge, attitudes, values and beliefs that employers hold about noise and the influence of social, environmental and organisational factors on manager's decisions about noise controls. © Bell, Lunt, Webster & Ward. Published by Emerald Group Publishing Limited.


News Article | August 16, 2015
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