The offshore installations (safety case) regulations were developed in the UK in 1992 and came into force in 1993 in response to the accepted findings of the Piper Alpha enquiry. Recently, “the offshore installations and wells (design and construction, etc.) regulations” (DCR 1996) were introduced to offshore safety analysis. From the earliest stages of the installation’s life cycle, operators must ensure that all safety-critical elements in both the software and system domains be assessed. Hazards can be identified and the risks associated with them can be assessed and evaluated using a number of techniques and decision-making strategies, all aimed at producing an installation with lifetime safety integrity. In this paper, following a brief review of the current status of offshore safety regulation in the UK, several offshore safety assessment frameworks are presented. These include top-down, bottom-up, probabilistic, and subjective approaches. The conditions under which each approach may be applied effectively and efficiently are discussed. Probabilistic safety-based decision-making and subjective safety-based decision-making are then studied. Two examples are used to demonstrate the decision-making approaches. Recommendations on further development in offshore safety analysis are suggested. [S0892-7219(00)00901-8]

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