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Improving safety of DP operations: learning from accidents and incidents during offshore loading operations


  • Yining Dong

    () (Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU))

  • Jan Erik Vinnem

    (Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU))

  • Ingrid Bouwer Utne

    (Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU))


Abstract The risk caused by DP vessels in offshore marine operations is not negligible, due to wide applications of DP vessels in complex marine operations, and the sharp increase of DP vessel population. The DP accidents/incidents on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS) that have occurred after 2000 indicate a need for improving safety of DP operations, which calls for new risk reduction measures. The focus of this paper is particularly on the offshore loading operations with DP shuttle tanker in offloading from floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) vessels on the NCS, but the results may be relevant also for other types of DP vessels in offshore oil and gas operations. In the paper, Man, Technology and Organization (MTO) analysis is applied to investigate the cause and barrier failures of nine reported accidents/incidents occurring over a 16-year period (2000–2015). MTO is based on three methods, including structured analysis by use of an event- and cause-diagram, change analysis by describing how events have deviated from earlier events or common practice, and barrier analysis by identifying technological and administrative barriers which have failed or are missing. The results are categorized into technical failures, human failures, organizational failures, as well as a combination of failures. The main finding is that the majority of the accidents are caused by the combination of technical, human and organizational failures. Critical root causes, results of change analysis and barrier analysis, and combination of failures are focused in the discussion. Recommendations of potential safety improvements are made on the aspects of the assessment of the actual system function, barrier management for marine systems, risk information to support different decision-makings, and the development of an on-line risk monitoring and decision supporting system.

Suggested Citation

  • Yining Dong & Jan Erik Vinnem & Ingrid Bouwer Utne, 2017. "Improving safety of DP operations: learning from accidents and incidents during offshore loading operations," EURO Journal on Decision Processes, Springer;EURO - The Association of European Operational Research Societies, vol. 5(1), pages 5-40, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:eurjdp:v:5:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s40070-017-0072-1
    DOI: 10.1007/s40070-017-0072-1

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Børge Rokseth & Ingrid Bouwer Utne & Jan Erik Vinnem, 2017. "A systems approach to risk analysis of maritime operations," Journal of Risk and Reliability, , vol. 231(1), pages 53-68, February.
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