Simultaneous Operations (SIMOPS)
Simultaneous Operations (SIMOPS) is the execution of two or more tasks by two or more functional groups on the same location at the same time. In the Oil & Gas and Petrochemical industries, SIMOPS takes place specifically when activities from construction, commissioning, start-up and production operations are being carried out simultaneously. In this regard, in addition to hazards concerned with every single task, additional risks can be generated due to simultaneous execution in the same area. In order to identify potential hazards and to eliminate, minimize or manage the risk associated with SIMOPS, dedicated risk assessment process shall be put in place involving all stakeholders.
The SIMOPS assessment study workshop is the initiator event of SIMOPS risk assessment process, the key moment to share necessary information and coordinate the involved parties. Participation of multi-disciplinary group from all process and project sectors to help the facilitator to initiate discussion among the group. During the workshop the following will be discussed
- Identification of the SIMOPS scenarios
- Identification of the related hazards
- Evaluation of the risk of simultaneous execution of the activities
- Identification of control measures and/or operating procedures already planned and consequent assignment of the responsibility for their implementation
- Evaluation of the residual risk with risk control measures already in place
- Identification of additional risk control measures, if required
- Assignment of responsible person for the implementation of identified countermeasure.
The first step of SIMOPS workshop is the identification of SIMOPS Scenario, types of activities performed simultaneously to be shared by the multi-disciplinary team.
Next to identify the hazards involved during the execution of simultaneous activities. In accordance with the HSE management system, a risk matrix will be generated defining low risk, medium risk and high risk operations.
High Risk – this level of risk is unacceptable leading to intolerable losses of property, asset, people and environment causing fatalities and need to be addressed immediately.
Medium Risk – it is acceptable but need to be managed at ALARP (As Low As Reasonably Practicable). The solution available should be easily implementable and the benefits should be greater compared to loss which can be incurred in case of improper application of safety measures. Recommendations will be provided if required.
Low Risk – it is acceptable without any action.
A SIMOPS worksheet and SIMOPS layout will be used to record all the discussions and results. After which recommendations and follow up measures will be provided to make the necessary changes and implementations in the system.
It has to be noted that SIMOPS risk assessment is a living activity, it shall be updated regularly according to the project status and according to the sequence of incoming site activities. SIMOPS related documentation shall be kept updated so that the site users can use the current version of documents. In the same way, the mitigation actions shall be continuously reviewed according to work site progress and their implementation on field must be punctually monitored.