Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Dealing with Major Incidents in Africa

During the exploration and production of oil and gas resources a range of risks are present, which if not adequately managed, have the potential to result in a major incident. Large hydrocarbon inventories, high pressure, high temperature wells, the presence of Hydrogen sulphide (H2S), deep water operations in harsh environments, sophisticated control systems, are a few of the factors that can contribute to an organisation having to manage a challenging risk profile.

Unfortunately, sometimes incidents do occur that require support from the flying doctors, either in terms of casaulty assistance or medevac services
Overall, while it can be argued that the Exploration and Production industry has been relatively successful in managing major incident risk, a number of high profile incidents that have occurred over the past few years has brought into question whether the industry can improve the process through which such risks are identified and addressed.

Over the past few decades the industry has focused on reducing the number of fatalities, LTIs, and medical treatment cases. Due to the frequency of these types of incidents, the effectiveness of initiatives aimed at reducing these types of incident can be measured. In the case of major incident risk, the lack of an accepted KPI, and the infrequent nature of major incidents, undermines the application of the traditional management approach which is: 
  • identify a problem
  • determine and implement a change
  • and measure the effectiveness of that change.
Major incident risks have characteristics which differentiate them from the more frequently occurring occupational risks. These are detailed below:

Occupational Safety Incidents

Major Incidents
Difficult to measure
Inputs linked to outputs
Complex link between input and output
Quick feedback loop
Long timescales


These differences bring into question whether, by focusing on reducing more routine occupational safety incidents, sufficient focus has been given to improving the management of major incident risk.

Major Incident
The term major incident is used to refer to incidents with the potential to result in multiple fatalities, significant environmental damage or significant asset damage which could lead to huge financial loss, low or zero production, or complete facility shutdown.
Priorities during a major incident are hazard control, casualty retrieval and emergency helicopter transport assistance as shown below.

For more information on how the Flying Doctors can assist you with major incident planning, training, medevac in Nigeria and the rest of Africa. Please contact sales@flyingdoctorsnigeria.com