This paper discusses the relationship between the management of health, safety and the environment (prevention, preparedness and response) at various phases of pipeline development and operation and the costs and cost benefits associated with this essential management function. HSE management systems are an integral component of all phases of pipeline activity, including concept and design, construction, commissioning, operation and maintenance. Effective HSE management systems are not free and they do involve immediate expenditures of time, resources and money. Future gains are very real but are often difficult to measure in dollars. Future gains may include reduced WCB costs, reduced equipment damage and downtime, reduced property damage claims, reduced production interruptions, improved production quality, improved employee morale, improved customer satisfaction and market share. Management decides the level of expenditure for incident prevention, preparation and response. One approach is to spend little or nothing in advance of a potential incident and react only after an event to correct the conditions that caused the loss. This is unwise. Another approach is to spend the sums needed to cover every conceivable contingency. This is imprudent. We must learn to balance risk and control in an effort to seek an optimum expenditure for all phases of pipeline design, construction, commissioning, operation and maintenance. This paper will discuss the ways and means to accurately assess the costs of actual and potential incidents to learn what the costs are, when and how these costs are incurred and how costs can be minimized. Only when costs are established and understood can we develop appropriate plans to negate these costs. We must learn the difference between the control of costs and the causes of costs relating to health, safety and the environment.

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