Oct 2016
Gas Distribution
Development of a Risk Based Approach for Safe Control of Operations
Oct 2016
Jul 2018
Wales and West Utilities, SGN and Cadent
Thomas James – WWU (Lead network), Dominic Cummings (Technical Lead) & Oliver Machan (Innovation Lead) – SGN, Iain Foster – NGN, Colin Steer - CAD
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Network Innovation Allowance
Gas Distribution Networks

The scope of this work includes:

  • Development of an innovative risk based approach to the selection of suitable methods of control such as Permits to Work, Non-Routine Operations, Routine Operations and Method Statements based upon a consistent application of the HS&E risk criteria;
  • Distinguishing between elements of IGEM/GL/6 which are best managed on an industry wide basis (i.e.: safety fundamental requirements for all GDNs) versus those which can be achieved using a company specific approach;
  • Providing a consistent and practical framework which provides:
    • focus that is proportionate to the risks present, and the complexity of the tasks being done;
    • clear identification of links between other SCO standards and regulatory requirements such as working at height, deep excavations and hot work when multiple hazards are present;
    • uniform and defined training leading to clear identification of competency requirements to execute SCO;
    • an effective system of feedback to truly enable lessons identified during root cause analysis following incidents to be quickly and sustainably incorporated into the safe control of operations process and associated competency management processes;
  • Provide guidance on applicable UK legislation relevant to industry.
  • Engaging with all GDNs through the process to establish key milestones and incorporate UK industry best practice in conjunction with other best practices implemented world-wide.

The objective is to develop a new risk based methodology to improve how complex tasks are planned, executed, and managed to enhance operational control whilst potentially streamlining the administrative process. 

The output will be the delivery of a revised industry standard that supports specific GDN and SCO requirements. The criteria for success of this project include:
  • Creation of a risk based approach for management of the safe control of operations applicable;
  • Defined training and competency requirements for roles required in an SCO process;
  • Clarity on processes required when multiple hazards are present; and
  • New guidance for dealing with audit & inspection requirements of SCO.
  • Supplementary guide for GDNs to SCO GL/6