Essays on Safety and Health Management at Piper Alpha Case Study

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The paper "Safety and Health Management at Piper Alpha" is a great example of a management case study.   Safety and health management are areas of critical concern in working environments. All organizations have the duty and the responsibility of promoting safe and healthy working environments. Investing in appropriate safety and health management systems ensures the ability of organizations to be able to control their health risk level. A healthy working environment in an organization helps in growth and continuous improvement. Any health management system adopted by an organization should be able to integrate with the structure of the organization, practices, procedures, and resources.

In doing so, an organization will be able to prevent recurrences of healthy factors and also ensure there is a continuous improvement of the organization. There are numerous benefits associated with the availability of an effective health management system in an organization. An effective health management system in an organization will ensure that an organization maintains a healthy workforce free of illness. It will also ensure the safety of the employee at all times in the organization.

It will lead to a reduction in cost that is used in treating and taking care of workers. In order to understand the importance of a safety and health management system, this paper will be a case study of the Piper Alpha disaster Background of Piper Alpha Piper Alpha was a structure constructed by McDermott engineering. This structure was operated and maintained by the Occidental group. This structure was located close to 120 miles northeast of Aberdeen in Scotland (Macalister, 2013: offshore-technology, 2013). This structure started to be used for oil exploration in 1976.

This structure had four main operating areas. Each area was separated by a firewall that was designed to withstand any oil fire exposed to it. The operating areas were designed to be far from where personnel lived and also away from the command unit areas. The structure design to accommodate two types of diesel propelled seawater pumps. These pumps provided an automatic fighting system that would be used in case of fire. When the oil is extracted from the floor of the ocean, it is usually a combination of oil, saltwater, and natural gas.

This mixture is usually pumped into the Piper Alpha to separate them. Once in the structure, water and gas are separated from the oil. Then the gas is separated from water by cooling gas to gas condensate liquid. The condensate of gas obtained is then mixed with oil and pumped to the onshore refinery where it is refined into various products. The excess gas that is obtained during the process was initially being burned off. The practice of burning gas came to an end in 1978 when the United Kingdom government decided to be processing this gas in Piper Alpha.

Piper Alpha was then modified in order to comply with the new set policies. After the modification, the structure could be able to process gas and also act as a hub whereby lines of gas from other Piper structures would be connected and sent to a processing unit. While complying with the new policies, the modifications of Piper Alpha to be processing gas ignored the safe design concept. The engineers of the platform placed Hazardous Gas Compression Module next to the control room of the structure.


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