CoatingsPro Magazine

NOV 2015

CoatingsPro offers an in-depth look at coatings based on case studies, successful business operation, new products, industry news, and the safe and profitable use of coatings and equipment.

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22 NOVEMBER 2015 COATINGSPROMAG.COM Rather than adopting a "we've always done it this way" approach, a fre risk analysis should really be performed for the project, whether internally by the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) frm or through a third-party consulting frm that specializes in these kinds of studies. O ne of the most danger- ous phrases today in any industr y is, " We've a lways done it this way." In the oil and gas industr y, it is a key stumbling block to improv ing the safet y for both onshore facilities and offshore insta llations, whether you are in early stages of identif y ing hazards or doing detail design to mitigate specific consequences, i.e., protecting against jet fire impact using passive fire protection (PFP). A continual improvement in safety requires a multifaceted approach that crosses a variety of disciplines. T he issue is that different disciplines don't always work together and they just look after themselves and then throw the results over the fence. But certain aspects of the design cannot be managed by one discipline and require a multi-disciplinar y approach that is often missing. One such example is PFP. Tere is a need for better commu- nication and cooperation within the groups that identify fre events, optimize PFP schemes, and select and perform feld-application of PFP materials. Make no mistake, the goal is not to intentionally point fngers at any individual company, group, or specifc discipline; rather, it's an efort to draw attention to the need for a break in traditional habits and the elimination of the phrase, "We've always done it this way." Choosing a PFP Currently, there's a disconnect between the diferent engineering groups working on major ofshore — and to a lesser extent, onshore — installations. Many of the fre protection subject matter experts (SMEs) associated with the fnal selection of PFP materials and those overseeing their applications are simply not cognizant of the fre analy- sis results with which they make their decisions. No account for when, where, or how a fre study was performed is provided to the SME, and the PFP specifcation is just taken at face value. In fact, in many instances, the fre protection SMEs are not involved with the fre studies that eventually produce the PFP scheme for the facility in question. In some instances, no fre study is performed at all and the "we've always done it this way" approach is taken, so that the PFP is specifed in line with whatever was chosen and used on a previous project. But this is a dangerous habit for several reasons, least of which may be that the PFP Photos courtesy of MMI Engineering Notes From the Field By Morgan Reed, Engineer, Process Safety, for MMI Engineering Choosing Passive Fire Protection: Beyond "We've Always Done It This Way"

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