The Safety Case is a structured argument made to regulative bodies to demonstrate that a process has gone through rigorous analysis and employee-input to manage safety. The owner and process are left to self-regulate by the regulator who must be convinced that the facility is using acceptable practices, which can be dismissed by the regulator for safer methods if the facility’s plan is deemed insufficient.
The Safety Case was first implemented into the regulatory world in the United Kingdom (UK) in 1992 through recommendations in The Public Inquiry into the Piper Alpha Disaster (also known as the “Cullen Report”, released in 1990). The safety case has since been implemented in many offshore oil and gas operations, as well as some onshore facilities, in countries such as the UK, Norway, and Australia. Currently, the use of the Safety Case is being investigated by regulatory bodies in the United States. If a “Safety Case Regime” is adopted for US facilities, it would augment existing Process Safety Management (PSM) prevention programs with additional quantitative analysis to assess risk to personnel, the community, and the environment, along with a determination that the risk associated with the facility design is as low as reasonably possible (ALAR).
Risk Management Professionals staff has worked abroad, which has included supporting the development of Safety Case programs.