RP2.3-05 ALARP decision making

Executive Summary

The pipeline sector puts significant effort in to managing the potential for high consequence, low frequency accidents. For transmission pipelines, the framework for these activities is set out in AS/NZS 2885 Part 6 Pipeline Safety Management. New requirements were developed in 2014 to 2018 and included in the current version of the standard issued in 2018, in particular requirements about recognition of high consequence events and formal demonstration that risk is ‘as low as reasonably practicable’ (ALARP).

This project investigated the experience of industry in implementing these ALARP requirements with a view to determining how safety decision making could be further improved, via a literature review, interviews with industry experts regarding their experience using the ALARP principle and the new requirements for High Consequence Recognition, and development of an ALARP-focused decision-support tool.

This research and work included:

  • Investigation of whether the requirements regarding ALARP in the standard remain aligned with best practice;
  • Examination of if and how the requirements of the standard regarding ALARP are currently being implemented by the pipeline industry; and
  • Development of a Microsoft Excel-based decision support tool based on the ‘Choosing by Advantages’ method, and an associated user guide
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Commencement / End Date January 2020 to October 2021
Outcomes / Impact

This project has examined the challenges faced, and approaches used, when applying formal ALARP assessment methods and considered the potential benefits of expanding the paper-based checklist into a more sophisticated spreadsheet-based decision-making tool.

The resulting decision-support tool to further support the ALARP decision making process and associated guidance provides a new practical tool for improving the quality of risk based decision making.

Partners RMIT University, GPA Engineering, APA Group, Epic Energy, Sage Consulting, SEA Gas, South Australia DEM
Research Contact

Dr Stephen McGrail

Research and Education Program Coordinator