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HSE HSL/2006/64

Review of explosion mitigation measures for platforms legs

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SUMMARY

There have been a number of instances on offshore installations where an accidental release of
hydrocarbons has resulted in the accumulation of a flammable atmosphere within one of the
legs of the platform. Concerns have arisen that if there was an ignition and explosion within a
platform leg, which is essentially a confined volume, there is the potential for an explosion that
is powerful enough to cause serious structural damage to the leg and in the worst case scenario
the collapse of the platform. In response to these concerns the Offshore Safety Division of HSE have asked HSL for assistance with looking into the problem. As a first step a review has been commissioned with
the following objectives:


• To review the specific explosion hazards associated with a flammable vapour or liquid
release into the leg of an offshore platform
• To review existing methods of explosion prevention and protection and new methods
currently under development, and assess their suitability for employment in platform legs.
• To make recommendations on suitable explosion prevention and protection measures for
platform legs and for further work that may be required to validate their effectiveness.

This report and the work it describes were funded by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Its contents, including any opinions and/or conclusions expressed, are those of the author(s) alone and do not necessarily reflect HSE policy

Publisher: HSE
Published in: 2006

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