As a consequence of outsourcing, Finnish process-industry
companies aiming to invest in new processes, or wanting
to modify old ones, usually face the need to rely on
external engineering services. It is typical that more
than one external service provider is involved in major
engineering projects. Although most of the external
companies offering engineering services are domestic,
some may be located in other countries.
The obligations and various roles of the 'external
designers' in design and construction work also mean
responsibilities in relation to safety-related issues.
The importance of process-design safety management during
the design procedure, involving several parties and
dissemination of safety related information between the
engineers and other parties, cannot be overemphasised.
Good safety management already at the start of the design
process lays the foundations for the safety in the later
stages of a process plant's life cycle.
Poor design is rarely deliberate, but, as has been seen,
mistakes do sometimes happen. In the case of accidents or
other technical failures, questions of responsibility
often arise. In those cases, involvement of external
services also means that responsibilities are divided
among all companies and actors taking part in the design,
construction, operation, and maintenance of the process
The need to emphasise and discuss the safety-related
obligations and the various roles of 'external designers'
taking part in designing Finnish process plants was a
driving factor for a project called 'USVA - roles and
liabilities of external designers for the safety of
process plants', carried out in 2010-2012. The project
was funded by the Finnish Work Environment Fund and led
by VTT. Other project partners were Elomatic Oy, EURENCO
Vihtavuori Oy, Fortum Power and Heat Oy, Pöyry Finland
Oy, Sachtleben Pigments Oy, and SWECO Industry Oy.
The USVA project's results have been compiled in a
guidebook , which can be downloaded from the Internet
(http://usva.vtt.fi). The guidebook begins by explaining
in general terms the designers' role related to safety at
a process plant. The role of the companies hiring
external designers is also covered. The work gives
insight into process safety principles - i.e., inherently
safer design principles, passive and active safety
measures, and operational safety options. Also, key
points in Finnish legislation are covered and explained
from an external engineering company's and the individual
designer's viewpoint. The relevance of some non-technical
standards is discussed too.
|Title of host publication||Highlights in service research|
|Place of Publication||Espoo|
|Publisher||VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland|
|Publication status||Published - 2013|
|MoE publication type||Not Eligible|
|Series||VTT Research Highlights|