Safety 4.0 Project

Project description

The main objective of the Safety 4.0 project, a consortium consisting of operators, suppliers, academia and the Petroleum Safety Authority (as an observer), is to enable and accelerate the up-take of novel subsea solutions by developing a framework for standardized demonstration of safety.

The need for more cost-efficient solutions and increasingly challenging operating conditions call for innovative technologies. However, while the Norwegian regulations encourage innovation and mainly stipulate what should be achieved and not how, they also contain safety function design requirements which restrict the envelope of solutions. These design requirements are also reflected in Norwegian standards and guidelines referred to in the regulations. 

Systems utilizing new technologies - such as “all-electric” and digital technology - may entail other types of risks and opportunities compared to traditional technologies, and their design may in some cases conflict with design requirements found in Norwegian regulations, standards and guidelines. New technologies introduce new uncertainties, and these must be addressed in a robust and appropriate way. 

The Safety 4.0 project has investigated how to deal with the uncertainties and how the industry can take advantage of the opportunities while maintaining or improving the level of safety achieved through traditional solutions. 

To achieve the primary objective, the secondary objectives for the project were to: 

  • Establish and address gaps in current regulations and standards, e.g. with respect to safety demonstration according to the new uncertainty-based risk context. 
  • Map the needs and challenges both from the industry and the regulatory bodies with respect to achieving an expedient safety demonstration process. 
  • Establish an approach to assess independence, as well as implications of increased integration on hardware, software and organizational levels with respect to process control and safety. 
  • Establish and evaluate methods that explicitly assess the safety level of complex integrated systems where emerging failures may arise, acknowledging potential interdependencies. 
  • Cater for new safety philosophies, including new fail-safe mechanisms, new ways of achieving required independence, or compensate for existing dependencies to allow for novel solutions where current practices are cumbersome. 
  • Enable a lifecycle view of safety, where improved monitoring and diagnostics capabilities based on more and better sensoring of the system, as well as prognostic capabilities enabled by data analytics, may cater for a reduced safety margin in design based on better control in operation. 
  • Assess the implication of sharing sensors between process and safety systems, and how sensor data from process monitoring systems can be utilized to enhance safety and possibly compensate for reduced independence.