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§ 5 Barriers

Barriers shall be established that at all times can
  1. identify conditions that can lead to failures, hazard and accident situations,
  2. reduce the possibility of failures, hazard and accident situations occurring and developing,
  3. limit possible harm and inconveniences.
Where more than one barrier is necessary, there shall be sufficient independence between barriers.
The operator or the party responsible for operation of an offshore or onshore facility, shall stipulate the strategies and principles that form the basis for design, use and maintenance of barriers, so that the barriers' function is safeguarded throughout the offshore or onshore facility's life.
Personnel shall be aware of what barriers have been established and which function they are intended to fulfil, as well as what performance requirements have been defined in respect of the concrete technical, operational or organisational barrier elements necessary for the individual barrier to be effective.
Personnel shall be aware of which barriers and barrier elements are not functioning or have been impaired.
Necessary measures shall be implemented to remedy or compensate for missing or impaired barriers.
Section last changed: 01 January 2015

Barriers as mentioned in the first subsection, mean measures intended either to prevent a concrete chain of events from occurring or to affect a chain of events in a way that limits harm and/or losses. Barriers fulfil their functions in case of failures, hazard and accident situations on an offshore or onshore facility, be it a case of potential harm done to people, the external environment and/or financial assets. Barriers can, as such, be measures to prevent, stop and/or limit the spread of acute pollution, but can also comprise various emergency preparedness measures, cf. the Petroleum Act Section 9-2, the Pollution Act Section 40 (in Norwegian only) and the Act relating to health and social preparedness Section 1-2 (in Norwegian only). The function of these barriers is safeguarded by technical, operational and organisational elements that, individually or collectively, reduce the possibility of concrete failures and hazard and accident situations occurring, or that limit or prevent harm/inconveniences.
The requirement for independence as mentioned in the second subsection, entails that it should not be possible for multiple important barriers to be impaired or malfunction simultaneously, e.g. as a result of a single fault or a single incident.
The strategies and principles as mentioned in the third subsection, should be broken down to a convenient level, e.g. area level on the individual offshore or onshore facility, and designed so that they contribute to provide relevant personnel with a common understanding of the basis for the requirements for the individual barriers See also standards NS-EN ISO 17776 Chapter 4, 5, 8 and 9 and NS-EN ISO 13702 Chapter 5. The transition between strategy and established performance requirements should be clear and apparent.
Barrier elements as mentioned in the fourth subsection, mean technical, operational or organisational measures which form part of the realisation of a barrier function.
Technical barrier elements mean equipment and systems that are included in the realisation of a barrier function.
Organisational barrier elements mean personnel with defined roles or functions and specific competence that are included in the realisation of a barrier function.
Operational barrier elements mean the actions or activities the personnel must take/perform to realise a barrier function.
Barrier function as mentioned in the fourth subsection, means the task or role of a barrier. Examples of barrier functions are those preventing leaks, preventing ignition, reducing fire loads, ensuring safe evacuation and preventing detrimental hearing.
Performance as mentioned in the fourth subsection, means verifiable requirements to, inter alia, capacity, reliability, accessibility, efficiency, ability to withstand loads, integrity and robustness.
For safety systems, standard such as IEC 61508, IEC 61511, IEC 62061 and ISO 13849 should be used as a basis. In addition, Norwegian Oil and Gas’ Guideline 070 should be used as a basis for offshore petroleum activities.
Requirements to barriers in the form of emergency preparedness against acute pollution meant to limit possible harm or negative consequences to the environment caused by the pollution, are stipulated pursuant to Section 40 of the Pollution Control Act (in Norwegian only).
Barriers to limit possible damage or negative consequences to the environment in case of acute pollution offshore as mentioned in the third subsection, shall be sufficiently robust to be able to handle the broadest possible spectrum of weather conditions. The requirements to risk reduction, cf. Section 11 of the Framework Regulations and Section 4 of the Management Regulations, and to continuous improvement, cf. Section 6 of the Management Regulations, entail that the operators have a responsibility to contribute to a further development of the emergency preparedness in order to handle different situations. The barriers should be sufficiently robust so that a technical failure in individual elements of a barrier, does not result in a technical failure in the next barrier.
Performance requirements to barriers to limit possible damage or negative consequences to the environment in case of acute pollution offshore, should express functionality, be easy to understand, be concrete and measurable and realistic (NORSOK Z-013). They should, inter alia, be based on results from environmental risk and emergency preparedness analyses, cf. Sections 16 and 17 of the Management Regulations.
Performance requirements to emergency preparedness mean, primarily, necessary capacity and response time for relevant emergency preparedness measures. They can also be goals for the protection of vulnerable environmental values, competence of personnel and persistence in actions against acute pollution. The performance requirements should cover all phases of emergency preparedness and be specified so that they allow relevant indicators to be evaluated and used. Availability of emergency preparedness resources should not be a limiting factor for this assessment.
More detailed requirements to establishment of barriers against acute pollution are given in Section 73 of the Activities Regulations.