Large oil and gas and chemical processing facilities operate facilities where hazardous materials are processed and/or stored. These facilities include buildings with varying levels of occupancy that may be at risk from accidental releases that can cause fire and explosion damage and/or toxic chemical exposure.
The design of older facilities may have not initially considered/addressed facility siting risk and may have placed more emphasis on operability and efficiency of operations. It is not typical, for example, for an oil and gas processing facility that was built in the 1950’s to have blast resistant control rooms or office buildings, even though these buildings may be very close to operating units processing large volume of hazardous chemicals.
Building risk evaluation methodologies that are too conservative can lead to excessive mitigation costs without achieving the intended risk reduction. Building risk evaluation methodologies that are inadequate can leave companies exposed to high levels of risk for its portfolio of buildings.
Depending on the scale of operations, companies will need to balance building mitigation costs with risk reduction for occupied buildings. The portfolio of building risk can be significant for large companies with global presence.
There is a need to establish a systematic methodology for (a) identifying the buildings at risk, (b) assessing if the risk is tolerable, (c) and cost effective risk reduction where applicable to as low as reasonably practicable (ALARP).
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