Risk Analysis

A Probabilistic Methodology for the Assessment of Safety from Dropped Loads in Offshore Engineering

Journal Article

Pipeline damage by dropped objects from crane activities is a significant hazard for offshore platform installations. In this paper a probabilistic methodology is utilized for the estimation of the pipeline impact and rupture frequencies; this information is obtained both for the overall pipeline section exposed to the hazard and for a number of critical locations along the pipeline route. The presented algorithm has been implemented in a computer program that allows the analysis of a large number of possible drop points and pipeline target point locations. This methodology may be used in common risk analysis studies for evaluating the risk for platform personnel from dropped objects; however, the proposed technique may also be useful for other applications where engineering judgment has so far been the main driving criterion. In particular, two sample cases have been analyzed. The first one is the problem of selecting the best approaching route to a platform. By analyzing different route alternatives, a reduction of the impact frequency and therefore of the risk for the platform personnel may be achieved. The second application deals with the selection of the location for a safety valve at the riser base. The analysis may give useful information, such as the highest impact frequency location and the rupture frequencies upstream and downstream of the valve as a function of the valve position; this information, together with the transported medium inventory upstream of the valve, may give the designer a documented and justifiable rationale for selecting the best location for the valve from a safety point of view.

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