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Project Risk Control & Risk Management

Pre–contract Risk Register

Effective risk management is essential if profits are to be made in a highly competitive market place. ‘Right first time’ should be the project mantra and this is a realistic target if risks are recognised and properly addressed.

The process should ideally be started pre–contract‚ as the biggest risks can often be avoided by carefully worded offers and a sensible discussion with a potential client.

SSL operate with a well developed risk register format and will work closely with the work winning team to develop a project risk register and agree a series of actions to control the risks identified.

Gap Analysis

Specification compliance or at least understanding specification deviations‚ is an important part of risk control. This is particularly the case when working with large EPC contractors (Engineering‚ Procurement‚ and Construction contractors) who typically have complicated (and often contradictory) specifications.

Deviations need to be recognised and a compliance strategy developed. SSL can provide a ‘Gap’ analysis‚ an independant view of a contractors bid compared with client specifications which can then be used to determine the degree of compliance and inform the tendering strategy.

Design phase risk control

Risks and actions identified pre–contract need to be developed into detail as the engineering phase proceeds. SSL has developed a series of key words and phrases that can be applied to most projects and encourage the engineering team to understand the potential risk and develop an effective control measure.

At this phase‚ these control measures usually require technical resolution as a contract is in place. SSL will use this process to identify what the team don’t know by challenging what they think they know.

Process risk Control

On process plant the risks associated with plant safety and control can be the most significant risks identified. There are established process risk control ‘tools’ available to help drive out these risks. SSL can assist with HAZOP studies and even develop a program of ‘mini–hazops’ for standard products or ‘modules’ that simplify this process without compromising the rigour needed.

Other process risk control tools include Layer Of Protection Analysis (LOPA)‚ which is often used in conjunction with a HAZOP study to develop Safety Integrety Levels for safety instrumented systems.

Procurement phase risk control

As a project moves into the procurement phase it is vitally important that risks identified in the pre–contract and engineering phases are properly transferred into the supply chain.

SSL can prepare technical procurement specifications for key sub–contracts and bought in parts and help train your engineers in the preparation of these specifications and encourage the development of a data base to simplify the process on future projects.

Technical Bid Evaluation

Main contractors‚ end clients and sub–contractors alike are often dependent on specialist suppliers for the succesful performance of a project or system. SSL can provide Technical Bid Evaluation (TBA) and ‘Due diligence’ on key process plant and major sub–contracts and can assist in the introduction of a technical bid evaluation process to ensure consistent rigour is always applied to this crucial phase of a project.

Hazard and operability study

A hazard and operability study is a structured and systematic examination of a complex planned or existing process or operation to identify and evaluate problems that may represent risks to personnel or equipment.

The intention of performing a HAZOP is to review the design and identify engineering issues that may otherwise not have been found.

The technique is based on breaking the overall complex design of the process into several simpler sections called ‘nodes’‚ which are then individually reviewed.

It is carried out by a suitably experienced multi–disciplinary team during a series of meetings. The HAZOP technique is qualitative and aims to stimulate the imagination of participants to identify potential hazards and operability problems. Structure and direction are given to the review process by applying standardised guide–word prompts to the review of each node.

The relevant international standard calls for team members to display ‘intuition and good judgement’ and for the meetings to be held in ‘a climate of positive thinking and frank discussion’.

Layer of Protection Analysis (LOPA)

The Layer of Protection Analysis technique or LOPA for short is used mainly in the process industries as a risk assessment tool. Every industrial process has a degree of risk associated with running it and this is one of the popular tools to evaluate it.

It may be used in conjunction with other risk assessment tools such as HAZOP. It is also used to calculate a target SIL (Safety Integrity Level) for a Safety Instrumented Systems.
Though this tool uses probabilities it is not considered as a fully quantitative risk assessment tool‚ but only as a semi–quantitative one. This is because some of the probabilistic values used in Layer of Protection Analysis may be estimates rather than measured values.