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Functional Safety in a Dive System Assurance Process (DSAP)

Since 2008, Safewell has been assisting Shell UK and other oil and gas operators in the UK and Norwegian sectors to assure the safety of automation systems used in commercial diving operations.

SafeProcess Diving Control Room

´┐╝Modern dive support vessels (DSVs) use programmable systems to automate major dive system functions such as Dive Bell launch and recovery (LARS), saturation chamber pressure control (SAT), gas quality control, environmental control, diver's hot water systems and a range of other tasks which have automated systems embedded by the dive equipment manufacturers.

The safe operation of a commercial dive support vessel is a technically challenging and life critical task. The use of PLCs and automation system software is a largely invisible risk to management and technical teams more used to managing traditional DSV manual systems.

SafeProcess Diving Control Room

In 2012, an industry working group was established through International Oil and Gas Producers (IOGP) to develop a Dive System Assurance Process (DSAP). The working group was chaired by Conoco Phillips and included operators, diving contractors, UK HSE and 3rd party consultants. Safewell took part in the working group with a focus on the development of an audit approach for automated systems. Through this, and its general audit work, Safewell has been helping the industry to develop a standard approach to adopt when auditing the automation systems used in these vessels.

A systematic approach based on the IEC61508 life cycle model has been developed to help manage the safety of the automated systems at all stages of the system lifecycle from system concept to final decommissioning.

Click here for further details of the DSAP

IMCA Workshop

On 11th March 2015 Safewell presented details of the lifecycle functional safety management of automated dive systems at an International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) Workshop in Amsterdam. The workshop was attended by operators, subsea companies, dive equipment manufacturers, certifying bodies and HSE professionals from all over the world. The purpose of the workshop was to provide education, generate awareness and stimulate discussion to determine the actions required by the industry to safely manage the risk.

pdf Download the IMCA presentation (3.19 MB)