People are involved in all aspects of work, which is why the role that human factors can play in helping to avoid accidents and ill-health at work should not be underestimated. Marex human factors consultants perform a range of human factors engineering (HFE) assignments in support of our clients’ operations.


Marex consultants have developed a methodology in order to assist clients with the integration of human factors into projects.

It is felt that Marex can offer the greatest value and HFE input in the early stages of projects, i.e. working closely with engineering contractors in performing initial HFE screening and HFE design analysis to provide the customer with the added value of having HFE considerations integrated into the engineering project design and development.

Benefits of HFE Integration

HFE applied to the design of work systems, workplaces and products will help to:

  • Reduce risk to health, personal and process safety and the environment.
  • Eliminate, reduce the likelihood or mitigate the consequences of human error.
  • Improve human efficiency and productivity, thereby enhancing operational performance.
  • Improve user acceptance of new facilities.

Benefits of a proper integration of HFE in projects include:

  • Contribution to more efficient design and avoiding the need for expensive changes and/or re-work late in design.
  • Reducing the need for re-work or change during or after construction.
  • Reduction in life cycle costs of operation and maintenance.

Stage One – HFE Screening

HFE screening encompasses a review of a new project for potential HFE risks, issues and opportunities. The HFE screening should be conducted early in the project life-cycle. Aspects which should be included within any HFE screening process are as follows:

  • Task complexity.
  • Unit criticality.
  • Task frequency.
  • Novelty.
  • Design scope.
  • Known problems.

The output of the HFE screening would be:

  • A minuted record that there is no value to be added by applying HFE to the project; or
  • An HFE strategy for the project to ensure that identified risks are adequately controlled.

Where a project HFE strategy is required, it is recommended to:

  • Summarise the key HFE risks, issues and opportunities identified in the screening.
  • Identify the key actions and activities required in each phase of the project.
  • Identify the standards or technical guidance to be applied in the project.
  • Define the organisational arrangements necessary to ensure management of the risks.
  • Identify competence requirements.

Marex can assist clients with the provision of HFE expertise and the facilitation of the HFE screening process, as well as the development of project HFE strategies to ensure that key philosophies are established and in place.

Stage Two – HFE Design Analysis

If it is identified, through the development of the HFE strategy, that there are certain design analysis activities which could add value to the front end engineering design (FEED) phase, Marex human factors specialists can assist clients in the facilitation/undertaking of such activities, including:

  • Working Environment Health Risk Assessment. (WEHRA).
  • Valve Criticality Analysis (VCA).
  • Vendor package screening.
  • Task Requirements Analysis (TRA).
  • Human Machine Interface (HMI) requirements analysis.
  • Control room requirements analysis.
  • Control system and alarm management analysis.
  • Safety critical task inventory.
  • Critical task analysis.
  • Human error ALARP demonstration.

The undertaking of any of the above listed activities can capture and specify additional requirements necessary to support safe and effective performance of critical tasks associated with the operation and maintenance of a facility. It will also aid the customer in a demonstration that the risk of human error has been reduced to as low as reasonably practicable (ALARP) by design.

Stage Three – HFE Validation

For complex projects, it may be required to continue HFE analysis into the detailed design stage. This is most likely to involve further analysis of critical operations or maintenance tasks not covered in sufficient detail in the FEED. Again, Marex can support clients through this process.


Offshore Installation Control Room HMI Assessments

Marex human factors specialists have experience in performing HMI assessment of existing critical control spaces on board operational offshore installations. Checklists utilised for the visit were developed based on current industry standards, guidance and good practice taken from source documents including the following:

  • ASM Consortium Guidelines, Effective Console Operator HMI Design.
  • Engineering Equipment and Materials Users’ Association (EEMUA), Process Plant control desks utilising Human-Computer Interfaces – a guide to design, operational and human-computer interface issues, EEMUA Publication 201.
  • Health and Safety Executive, Reducing Error and Influencing Behaviour, HSG48.
  • Health and Safety Executive, Inspectors toolkit – Human Factors in the Management of Major Accident Hazards.

The onboard aspects of the assessments principally took the form of the observation of operations, technical investigation of control systems, and interviews with the relevant control room operators.

The output included a documented assessment of how systems, including software, that require human interaction have been designed to consider the needs of the user and be reliable, with reference to relevant good practice and recognised HFE standards. This aids the demonstrations required within offshore installation safety cases.

Included within the output were lists of recommendations for improvements to the pre-existing HMI based upon specific guidance contained within the guidelines or the HFE principles outlined by the UK Health and Safety Executive.

Alarm Optimisation Assessments

In combination with the control room HMI assessments, Marex human factors specialists also have experience in performing alarm optimisation assessments of critical control spaces on board operational offshore installations. The assessments consider:

  • Alarm prioritisation.
  • Alarm response arrangements.
  • Alarm management training and competence.
  • Alarm performance monitoring.

Again, checklists utilised for the visit are developed based on current industry standards, guidance and good practice taken from source documents including the following:

  • ASM Consortium Guidelines, Effective Alarm Management Practices.
  • EEMUA, Alarm Systems – A guide to design, Management and procurement, EEMUA Publication 191.
  • EEMUA, Process plant control desks utilising human-computer interfaces – A guide to design, operational and human-computer interface issues, EEMUA Publication 201.

Similar to the control room HMI assessment, the onboard aspects of alarm optimisation assessments principally took the form of the observation of operations, technical investigation of alarm systems, and interviews with the relevant control room operators.

The output also included a documented assessment which would aid the demonstrations required within offshore installation safety cases.

Included within the output were lists of recommendations for improvements to the pre-existing alarm arrangements based upon specific guidance contained within the guidelines or the HFE principles outlined by the UK Health and Safety Executive.

Experience Transfer to HFE in Infrastructure Projects

It is felt that the Marex human factors specialists’ experience in the assessment of existing infrastructure provides a valuable insight when it comes to HFE considerations at the early stages of a project life-cycle.


The Marex team of human factors specialists includes a human factors consultant of over 20 years’ experience with the following professional credentials:

  • Chartered Ergonomist (CErgHF).
  • Fellow of the Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors (FIEHF).
  • Chartered Fellow of the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (CFIOSH).

In addition to a Technical Member of the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors (TechCIEHF).

On the 15th February 1996, the tanker, MT Sea Empress, ran aground in the approaches to Milford Haven. One of the main contributing factors to this incident was found to be the inexperience of the pilot onboard. This incident prompted a review of the Pilotage Act 1987 and one of the key recommendations from this review was the Port Marine Safety Code (PMSC)

The PMSC was first published in March 2000 and has been held under regular review. The Code’s main aim is to be a national standard for all aspects of port marine safety. The Code is primarily intended for the Duty Holder, who is the person, or persons, directly accountable for marine safety in harbour waters. 

The Guide to Good Practice on Port Marine Operations is intended to supplement the PMSC. It provides general examples of how a harbour authority could meet it’s commitments in terms of the Code, however, the generic nature of the Guide means that in some cases, using it’s examples might not be the best means of achieving compliance

Although compliance with PMSC is not yet a legal requirement, by complying the PMSC, it can be said that the port is in compliance with all the relevant legislation that is applicable to the port. 

The Marine Accident Investigation Board regularly take in account the levels of compliance with the PMSC whenever they are investigating an incident in a port and in 2014, Clydeport was fined £650,000 after the fatal capsizing of the tug Flying Phantom, for failing  “to provide a Safety Management System to reduce to a level as low as reasonably practicable the risks associated with marine operations in the Clyde Harbour Area, in terms of the Port Marine Safety Code, and fail to appoint a suitable individual or individuals to share the function of ‘Designated Person’ to provide (Clydeport) as the duty holder with independent assurance that (the) Safety Management System was working effectively and to audit compliance with the Port Marine Safety Code”.

Port operations around the UK are undergoing a rapid change. With more of an emphasis on clean fuels such as LNG or hydrogen, and the changing traffic patterns due to offshore renewables, it is more important than ever for ports to have a robust Safety Management System that can cope with the changes that may be required in the future. 

The devastating explosion of ammonium nitrate stored in a warehouse in Beirut harbour highlights the need to follow the procedures as they are laid down in the safety management system and the need for suitable risk assessments and permits to work. 

The Designated Person is independent from the harbour, and their role is to provide assurance to the Duty Holder that the SMS is functioning well and is in compliance with the Code. This is best achieved by a program of audits.  Marex have a developing track record of carrying out these audits in a variety of harbours, from large trust ports to smaller municipal harbours, all around the Scottish coast line.

Marex, in its role as Designated Person, will audit and assess the effectiveness of the SMS and associated documents and provide advice and guidance on recommended changes, updates or additions to policies and procedures. We will work with the Duty Holder to help then ensure that they fully understand the role and will liaise with the senior harbour staff including Harbourmaster and Pilots to ensure that the SMS is suitable for their needs. 

Marex can also prepare an SMS and associated documents and ensure they are as future proof as possible by including well laid out Management of Change procedures and monitoring developments around the coast such as Crown Estate Renewables Licencing events or the implementation of MPA’s in the vicinity of the harbour. 

Marex will also provide training in the use and application of the PMSC to Duty Holders and act as their first point of call for any queries or concerns that they may have with the high level operations within their port. 


The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic wreaked havoc with the plans that most organisations had for the year 2020. The oil & gas industry was one of those that were hit hard, due to the sharp decline in energy demand. Accordingly, plans had to be amended by companies, budgets reallocated, and projects deferred. However, as drilling rigs and production platforms continue to operate – arguably in conditions tougher than before due to the wide-ranging consequences of the ongoing pandemic – the dangers of human failures leading to major accidents are still very much real.


Companies in the oil & gas industry have had to adapt their ways as per the circumstances to ensure that the business can continue to operate with minimal disruptions. This process would have inevitably involved taking difficult decisions such as altering shift patterns or hitches of workers; and deferring maintenance or repair activities. While it is expected that such decisions would have been taken after a thorough risk assessment and utilised a robust management of change process, the level of risk that was deemed as ‘acceptable’ at the time might have been seen through the lens of the difficult circumstances prevalent at the time which were expected to be temporary in nature. It has now become apparent that it is going to take a lot longer for things to get back to ‘normal’ than initially anticipated. So how can we ensure that the role of human factors in major accident hazards are not ignored for a sustained period in the current challenging times?


While we have witnessed many companies claim zero incidents and LTI free days despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, such statistics that tend to focus heavily on personnel safety might not translate to much in terms of major accident hazard safety. Human performance influencing factors either induced by the pandemic-related changes or those that were pre-existing but have not received attention that was due, could be increasing the potential for human failure at this very moment. Like the design of the human machine interface in the control room that is not helping the operator easily identify and interpret the status of the plant in a timely manner, or the unmanageable number of alarms that go off when there is a major fault in a system. Like the written procedure for a safety critical task (work-as-imagined) that fails to capture all the practical aspects of actually carrying out the task (work-as-done).


It is therefore very critical that persons in influential positions take note of the invisible risks that could be growing in their organisations and allocate the necessary resources towards ensuring that such risks are identified and as well as the budgets to ensure that such risks are managed before it is too late. As we have stepped into 2021, perhaps it is time to revisit the forced changes that were approved at the beginning of the pandemic and review them with a different perspective. Perhaps it is time to ask the question whether your company’s management of change process adequately captures the impacts of a change on human performance. Perhaps it is time to restart the human performance assessment campaign that was shelved at the beginning of the pandemic due to perceived difficulties.


Marex have continued to work with our drilling contractor clients on Safety Critical Task Analysis projects despite the challenges posed by the pandemic. Safety critical task identification workshops were moved online and broken into multiple sessions. Offshore visits by human factors specialists have been replaced by walk-through talk-through templates that are filled by personnel offshore and supported with video footages and photographs of worksite and equipment, which are then reviewed by human factors specialists remotely. Further workshops to analyse the error potentials, performance influencing factors and make recommendations for improvement are also done through video conferencing with the necessary offshore and onshore representation. While it might not be ideal, these clients of ours are ensuring that the progress achieved, by the positive steps that they took towards identifying and addressing human factors issues before the pandemic hit us, is not lost. Improvements that can be afforded are being made, which ensures that the risk of human failures continues to be lowered despite the circumstances.


Oil and Gas Platform 3.jpg


The confidence to move forward out of lockdown.

  • Working together to get your business back to work
  • Pragmatic solutions based upon a robust risk assessment methodology

Using Marex’s 20 years’ extensive experience of performing risk assessments for clients in major hazard industries, Marex’s team of risk consultants have developed a robust methodology designed to get businesses back to work, whilst at the same time satisfying the legislative requirements in Great Britain. With due cognisance of HMGovernment guidance, a robust risk assessment will provide employees with that level of con dence and assurancethat your business has put the appropriate controls into place to ensure their health, safety and wellbeing.

Download the complete PDF article by clicking here.

Two months on from our first communication on the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, Marex Marine and Risk Consultancy would like to maintain the lines of communication and provide an update on how the company continues to adapt to these very interesting and uncertain times.

With all of the COVID-19 challenges impacting on personnel and business alike, Marex would also like to take this opportunity to again assure of all our clients that we are fully operational and remain able to support companies in the face of challenges which they may face as the industry moves forward. Marex continues to provide an uninterrupted service to our clients whilst looking after the welfare of our employees, contractors, their families and our clients.

Adapting to the current situation has allowed Marex to develop and provide solutions that allow our clients to carry on their operations. We continue to adopt technology and new ways of doing things, supporting you and your business during these unprecedented times.

Risk Consultancy

Over the last two months, Marex’s team of risk consultants and human factors specialists have continued to support our clients in the delivery of a range of risk consultancy services, including:

  • ALARP studies.
  • Gap analyses.
  • HSE Case revisions and regulatory submissions.
  • HSE Case thorough reviews.
  • Safety critical task analyses.
  • Verification scheme reviews.

Within this, Marex consultants have adapted to the current situation and successfully facilitated a number of risk assessment workshops via videoconferencing facilities.

Return to Work Risk Assessments

As governments begin to relax COVID-19 lockdown restrictions over the coming months, employers across all industries will be faced with the prospect of conducting business under very different conditions. All businesses will have to adapt to a number of new and unique challenges and, in many circumstances, conducting business in a very different way to before.

Furthermore, as employees return to the workplace in these unprecedented times, it is important that they should feel assured that appropriate controls have been put in place by their employer to ensure their health and safety. Indeed, in the very early stages of the relaxation of lockdown restrictions, media reports have highlighted the challenges which remain with respect to this important aspect.

In response to these challenges, Marex’s risk consultants have developed a methodology which, through a facilitated risk assessment process, will enable employers to demonstrate that the exposure of persons to the risks associated with the COVID-19 coronavirus hazard will have been reduced so far as is reasonably practicable, and in turn provide that required level of assurance to employees as they return to the workplace.

Marine Consultancy

Marex’s team of marine consultants have continued to travel to vessels to ensure DP trials, eCMID, OVID and all other essential inspections are still carried out.

Remote Assurance

In order to ensure that vessels can still be chartered, Marex have developed remote assurance procedures. The inspections take the form of a desktop study of information provided by the vessel including pictures, certification, procedures and checklists, followed up by a phone call or video conference. The information requested for the desktop study is tailored to the type of vessel and the client’s requirements.

By using this method, we have been able to complete DP assurance, on-hire inspections and a full client assurance package.

DP Trials Mobile Application

As part of the emergency measures put in place throughout the marine industry, regulatory and industry bodies have indicated that vessels may be exempt from full, annual DP trials. In order to be prepared for when normal vessel visits are resumed, Marex has developed a software solution to streamline the annual DP trials process.

By booking your annual DP trial now, all the vessel’s information and trials data will be entered into a database. As soon as the trials are able to carried out, the independent witness will travel to the vessel and conduct the trials using a paperless digital application and will be able to produce a draft trials report with all findings the next working day.


As ever, should you have requirements from our specialist marine or risk consultants or would like to engage with Marex to discuss business continuity and supply chain risk concerns, then do feel free to contact myself, Wayne Henderson – Business Development Manager, Neil Smeaton – Risk Manager, or Eilidh Smith – Marine Manager.

With kind regards,

Karen McDougall
Managing Director

As part of our ongoing expansion, Marex are currently recruiting for two exciting new positions of an Administration Assistant and a Senior Risk Consultant.

For full job profile details, visit our Careers page.

The recent bereavement of our Managing Director, who was also our Marine Manager, has resulted in promotion from within to the Marine Manager role, which now creates a new Marine Consultant vacancy. More information is available on the Careers page. We look forward to receiving candidates’ CVs.

Marex shall be attending the forthcoming events and is happy to set up meetings upon request:

5 February 2019

European Dynamic Positioning Conference 2019

Novotel London West Hotel, London.

6-7 February 2019

Annual Offshore Support Journal Conference, Awards & Exhibition 2019

Novotel London West Hotel, London.

20-21 February, 2019

IADC Drilling Caspian Conference and Exhibition

Hilton Baku, Azerbaijan

It is with great sadness that we have to announce that over the festive period, after a short illness, Ian McDougall, Managing Director and major stakeholder of Marex, passed away. It was Ian’s wish for Marex to continue, grow and prosper and, accordingly, it shall do so, led by its strong management team.

To tie in with the new office move, and in preparation for a fresh start in 2019, we have been working on the new website, also, and are happy to announce it has gone live this month. We have streamlined the information provided and invite our clients to give us user feedback, if they wish to do so.

In line with our growing business, our expanding team and our wish to expand it further, we seek good candidates to apply and accordingly invite them to check out our Careers Page, where more details are provided on the varying entry levels. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Marex is delighted to announce that it has now won its eleventh contract to provide independent Designated Person support to British ports (in compliance with the Port Marine Safety Code, PMSC). This is a reflection and a great endorsement on the reputation of our marine team and the services they are providing to our current client ports.

On 1st November, 2018 attended and had a marketing table at the All Members Meeting, held at the Beach Ballroom. A programme of speakers delivered presentations on a range of hot safety topics, with updates, lessons learned and new initiatives. It was well attended and a great opportunity to meet with colleagues and associates in the seafaring and Oil & Gas industry.

Marex moved premises to its new spacious offices at Centurion Court, North Esplanade West. The move went efficiently and smoothly, with no inconvenience to staff or clients, thanks mainly to our Administration Manager and our IT Support Manager, who did a great job. Whilst Marex has its own suite of offices and dedicated meeting room (as before), it also has access to others of varying sizes, so shall be able to hold simultaneous meetings, workshops etc. with various clients and consequently provide an even better service going forward. Clients are very welcome to drop by or visit by arrangement, as preferred.

Ian McDougall, Managing Director, invited the team and associates to attend the dinner at the Nautical Institute Annual Maritime Dance, at The Doubletree by Hilton Hotel. The ceilidh night was a great success and by sponsoring a table, Marex contributed to the fund raising on the evening, which was donated to the Aberdeen Seafarer Centre and the IMarEST Guild of Benevolence.

Ian McDougall, Managing Director, attended and Marex exhibited at the Scottish Renewables Marine Conference, Edinburgh, on 26th September, 2018. The event was well attended and had a programme of Plenary Sessions covering topics – ‘Where we are now?’, ‘Building Momentum: telling our Story’, Innovating our way down the cost curve and delivering a route to market’ and ‘Priorities for action’, delivered by a range of stakeholders, both private and governmental.

Marex has acquired over 25 new clients in the last couple of years, which is amazing in the current climate, but indicative of the positive signs in the industry and the strategy of purchasers to look keenly at their supplier options and the advantages on offer from a small company with a well established reputation for reliability – good quality work, delivered on time and in budget. These new clients have been gained by reputation, referral and by very successful tendering, against stiff competition.

Check out the page on our website and on that of the Decom North Sea (Trade association, DNS) Capability, where you can see what Marex can bring to this sector, be it risk or marine related. Visit our Decommissioning page for more info.   Marex, being part of the recent Joint Industry Partnership assisted in the development of this Safety Case Decommissioning guidance document.

For more information, please visit the Marex website careers page today.

We draw your attention to the following link about the HSE intention of conducting a Scottish Ports Inspection programme Early 2018.   We are at hand to support you in preparation for being potentially selected for an inspection. Read More

Marex are specialists in the field of providing Independent Designated Person support.   We are mindful that all harbours are required to submit confirmation of their compliance to the MCA by March 2018. In the past interpretation of what constitutes compliance has varied widely.   The guidance strongly recommends Independent audits, which would indicate harbours (the duty holder) should not be auditing themselves. The Maritime & Coastguard Agency made inspections during 2015 to assess levels of compliance with the Port Marine Safety Code (PMSC). One private port, three municipal ports and four trust ports, throughout UK, were checked. Of those, three were deemed non-compliant with the Code and shall get follow up visits this year. By employing an external company to be the Designated Person, there can be valuable unbiased assessment, allocation of accountability and follow up to ensure any required actions are carried out efficiently and timely.   The Code states:   ‘Each organisation must appoint an individual as the ‘designated person’ to provide independentassurance directly to the duty holder that the (marine safety management system) MSMS, for which the Duty Holder is responsible, is working effectively. Their main responsibility is to determine through assessment and audit, the effectiveness of the MSMS in ensuring compliance with the Code.   In order to fulfil this function the designated person must have a thorough knowledge and understanding of the requirements of this Code (and supporting Guide to Good Practice) and associated port and marine legislation. Their role does not obscure the accountability of the authority and its board members.’   To fulfil their obligation for existing clients, Marex has developed an Audit Toolkit, updated to the November 2016 edition of the Code, to enable an effective review of port Safety Management Systems and to ensure that operating practices are in line with the SMS. We can therefore assure you of a prompt review of your operations in relation to the Code. We also provide training on the PMSC to employees and board members.

Marex has inspected various types of vessels, but one of the more unusual and stunning is certainly the Ramform Titan, with its triangular shape (and full size basket ball court). The vessel is the youngest seismic vessel in the industry and it is owned by PGS. It is easily the most powerful and efficient in the world and with its multiple streamers deployed lays claim to being the largest man made moving object on the planet.

We welcome you to visit stand 18 on 1st November to discuss how Marex may support your projects and assets

Marex took part in a Joint Industry Partnership to create Safety Case guidance for decommissioning. Along with the guidance there are notes and pointers and lessons learned from Operators who have already carried out decommissioning.   Guidance for UK Safety Case Management during End of Life (EOL), Decommissioning and Dismantling

Marex Invites you to meet up in Amsterdam at the forthcoming Exhibition & Conference on 27th to 28th September, 2017. We shall be delighted to discuss our services further and explore where they may support your assets and projects. Meetings can be arranged in advance or just drop by the stand, as you prefer. (Stand No. 10)

It’s Offshore Europe again soon and we all know that this is a very good time to meet up with old and new business associates. Marex shall be attending the forthcoming SPE Offshore Europe Exhibition & Conference at the AECC, Aberdeen, on 5th to 8th September, 2017. We shall be attending the event daily. Should you like to meet up with us to discuss how we may support your assets and projects, then, please do not hesitate to contact us and we can arrange a meeting at your convenience. Looking forward to seeing your there.

Marex supports the industry decommissioning safety case initiative, being led by ABB, by being part of the small core workgroup developing guidance for managing the safety case during the different phases of EOL, dismantling and decommissioning. Part of this process has been learning from those decommissioning projects which have already been undertaken and selecting the good practice, lessons learned and best methodologies. Marex, having completed over 200 safety cases (new submissions and material changes) is well conversant with the current legislation compliance requirements and, therefore, can assist with the Safety Case decommissioning review and development process. Guidance to be launched soon.

Marex exhibited at the Oil & Gas Industry Conference on 6th June, 2017 to show support to the Industry and to highlight that Marex has over twenty years’ experience of delivering consistently good quality work, on time and in budget. Long term client relationships bear testimony to this and we met many of them on the day. The First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon attended and spoke at the event.

In 2017 Marex Marine and Risk Consultancy was re-audited and awarded its latest British Standards Institution, BSI ISO9001 accreditation. The Marex Quality Management System has been awarded its certification to the ISO 9001:2015 standard.

Marex are exhibiting now at the Houston IADC Health, Safety, Environment and Training Conference and Exhibition. Please visit us there for more information about how we can support your assets and projects.

Safety is a top priority in the oil and gas industry. Marex employs a team of highly qualified Risk and Safety Engineers, Master Mariners, Marine Engineers and Naval Architects to oversee the delivery of a professional, consultative and cost effective solution to the offshore industry’s marine and safety needs.

In 2015 the EU directive on Safety of Offshore Oil and Gas Operations introduced changes to UK Safety Case regulation, resulting in the implementation of the Offshore Installations (Offshore Safety Directive) (Safety Case etc.) Regulations 2015 (SCR15). These regulations apply to all installations engaged in oil and gas operations in territorial sea adjacent to Great Britain and any designated area within the United Kingdom Continental Shelf. The regulations aim to reduce, as far as possible, the occurrence of major accidents relating to offshore oil and gas operations and to limit their consequences. One of the major changes from the previous regulations was the requirement to consider the potential environmental impact of a major accident.

Since the implementation of SCR15, Marex has completed over 10 safety cases for major drilling contractors in the industry and conducted thorough reviews of safety cases for some of the biggest names in oil and gas. This puts Marex’s highly skilled team members in an excellent position to assist companies with the revision of safety cases for SCR15.

One of the key requirements of SCR15 is that each offshore installation should establish a verification scheme to ensure that the installation’s Safety and Environmental Critical Elements (SECEs) remain in good repair and condition.

SECEs are defined as those parts of an installation or of its plant, the failure of which could cause or contribute substantially to a major accident, or the purpose of which is to prevent or limit the effect of a major accident.

Verification Schemes

The verification scheme is a statement of the suitability of the record of safety and environmentally critical elements and the scheme of maintenance.

The verification scheme establishes a system which ensures efficient operation of the installation through the continual review of the SECEs. Each SECE has an associated performance standard, which demonstrates their suitability, state of repair and condition based on function, reliability and availability.

For non-production installations, a verification scheme must be in place before commencement of any oil and gas operations in UK offshore waters.

The verification scheme is a live document, which must be reviewed and updated as often as appropriate and the provisions for such should be outlined within the document. As a minimum the following should be considered during the review of the verification scheme:

  • Any development which could alter the SECEs
  • Anything which affects the verification arrangements appropriate to them
  • Matters which change the nature or frequency of verification activities

This review could potentially lead to a revision or replacement of the verification scheme.

Any changes to the operation of the installation that may change the requirements of the SECEs will result in a revision of the verification scheme and the associated performance standards, for example the conversion of an installation from non-production to production.

By ensuring the SECEs meet their required performance standards the duty holder provides some assurance that the SECEs are suitable and remain in good repair and so minimise the likelihood and potential consequences of a major accident.

A performance standard is developed for each SECE and included within the verification scheme. The performance standard states the required performance of the system described in terms of functionality, reliability, availability and survivability, against which the suitability and condition of the equipment can be assessed.

It is required by SCR15 that a description of the verification scheme is provided within the installation’s safety case, including the following details:

  • Examination and testing of SECEs by independent and competent verifiers
  • Verification of design, standard, certification or other system of conformity of SECEs
  • Examination of work in progress
  • Reporting of any instances of non-compliance

Identification of SECEs

The safety and environmentally critical elements for the installation must be identified before an effective verification scheme can be developed.

It is necessary to undertake a systematic approach to identify those systems which are SECEs. Within these systems many of the individual components may by SECEs, but others may not. SECEs include those systems for detection, control and mitigation of major accidents along with those systems which increase reliability through redundancy. This list of SECEs will vary depending on the installation’s design and operations. There may also be SECEs introduced for limited activities such as combined operations.

For example the BOP on an offshore drilling unit would be considered a SECE and a performance standard for it would be included in the verification scheme.

The starting point for the exercise to identify SECEs would be the identification and qualitative risk assessment of the major accident hazards associated with the installation operations. The risk assessment should identify the threats and potential consequences associated with each major accident hazard, as well are the measures which are in place to prevent occurrence of the major accident and to mitigate the potential consequences.

Bowtie Workshops

In order to help our clients demonstrate compliance with the safety case regulations and to show that the major accident hazards associated with the operation of the installation have been subject to appropriate risk assessment, Marex facilitates bowtie workshops which are designed to enable the identified major accident hazards to be qualitatively risk assessed by relevant stakeholders, including the rig crew. In order to do this BowtieXP software is used. When running workshops to align with the new requirements of SCR15 one of the main aims is to identify the equipment barriers associated with the control of major accident hazards, including those which could have a major environmental impact. It is therefore important to qualitatively assess the environmental risk associated with each major accident hazard, as well as ensuring that sufficient barriers are in place such that all risks associated with identified major accident hazards continue to be as low as reasonably practicable (ALARP).

Each scenario is represented by its own bowtie, such as the one below.

A bowtie diagram presents the hazards and their controls in a logical and structured manner. It can serve several purposes, e.g. as a methodology for identifying barrier functions and elements related to present hazards as well as communicating risks and control mechanisms efficiently.

Any structure, plant, equipment, system or component part whose failure could cause or contribute to a major accident is a safety and environmentally critical element, as is any which is intended to prevent or limit the effect of a major accident. The bowtie diagram is made up of the following components:

  • Hazard – an intrinsic property of anything with the potential to cause harm
  • Top-event – initial consequence that occurs immediately after the hazard is released
  • Threat – potential to cause the top event
  • Consequence – event or chain of events that results from the release of a hazard
  • Barrier – measure that reduces the probability of releasing a hazard
  • Escalation factor – condition that can cause a barrier to fail

The barriers can be classed as people, plant or process barriers. With regards to the verification scheme, the most important of these are the plant barriers as they will help us to identify SECEs. Details of the personnel responsible for the operation and/or maintenance of the barriers are also included. A typical plant barrier is shown below.

This barrier is for the BOP system and tagged on it are the two relevant SECEs (SECE 01 – BOP and SECE 02 – BOP Control System), as well as the person responsible (in this example the Subsea Engineer). Every barrier for each of the identified major accident hazard scenarios is tagged similarly to the barrier shown here with the appropriate associated SECE.


Oil and gas is a fast paced industry where low probability events with catastrophic consequences could easily be overlooked. It is important to ensure that every eventuality has been identified and assessed for all potential outcomes. The introduction of SECEs and the emphasis placed on the verification scheme and performance standards through SCR15 has helped to prevent and mitigate these major accident hazards.

Marex continues to provide a high standard of work for its clients, which in turn enables them to fully demonstrate compliance with SCR15 ensuring all aspects of workplace risk and safety have been accounted for through identifying, minimising and eliminating the risks to their employees, their assets and the environment.

This article was also published on Your Industry News.


Year on year Marex work on continual improvement on all aspects of the business. Scoring even higher on all the elements of Quality, Health & Safety, Environment and Training & Competency, the MD, Captain Ian McDougall thanks the team for their efforts.

The IADC World drilling Conference took place in the delightful Portuguese seaside resort of Estoril, only a 30 minutes train ride from Lisbon on 15th and 16th June. Naturally the main focus was on what the industry has to do to survive in these hard times, and those who attended might have been encouraged by the presentations about new and different approaches to a job which has looked pretty much the same since 1859. Marex was one of thirty-one exhibitors at the event, almost all of whom were suppliers to the industry in one way or another, some promoting new drilling systems, some exhibiting means of training people to carry out the drilling operation and one or two providing means of keeping people safe. Marex attended because the company has supported the offshore drilling industry for more than 20 years, writing safety documentation both to fulfil regulatory requirements and to provide guidance and also offering marine representatives, towmasters and vessel auditors. ‘When things get a bit difficult there’s no point in waiting for things to get better’, says Ian McDougall, Marex’s managing director. ‘We see it as important to get out there in order to maintain existing relationships with our clients, and to forge new ones, so the IADC can count on our support into 2017.’

Marex are Gold Sponsors at the forthcoming Nautical Institute AGM Event 2016 on 9 – 10 June 2016. In addition, Varun Sarpangal, Senior Risk Consultant, Marex Marine and Risk Consultancy, is one of the event speakers. He shall be presenting at the 11.20 Session 2 on Day One. Session 2: Offshore Marine Operations – competency and command Chairman: Roger Armstrong MNI, Marine Technical Authority, Premier Oil PLC Representatives from North England P&I Club, V Ships and Marex Marine give a perspective on command culture in the bridge environment, including situational awareness, competence and the Human Element. Download the programme here Here are some pictures from the event:

In the continued support of IADC and the Drilling Industry, Marex are exhibiting at the Conference below. We invite you to visit our stand and find out more about how we may support your projects.


The Maritime & Coastguard Agency made inspections during 2015 to assess levels of compliance with the Port Marine safety code (PMSC). One private port, three municipal ports and four trust ports, throughout UK, were checked. Of those, three were deemed non-compliant with the Code and shall get follow up visits this year. Problems uncovered by the inspectors included: lack of awareness of the roles and responsibilities of duty holders under the PMSC, shortcomings in risk assessments procedures, marine safety, management systems not in place or not being used and no review frequency, no marine/navigational guidance for users. Marex provide guidance and training on this matter and can either assist with the development of safety management systems or act as an Independent Designated person.

The 2016 Oil & Gas UK Annual Conference will take place at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre from 14 to 15 June 2015. Marex is exhibiting there and Sam on the team is available to discuss how we may support your operations.

Marex shall be exhibiting at the IADC World Drilling Conference & Exhibition at the Estoril Congress Centre in Lisbon, Portugal, in June. Vic Gibson, Director, and Pam Forgie, Business Development Manager, shall be on hand to discuss how we may support your assets and projects.

Marex sponsor a table at The Nautical Institute, North of Scotland Branch – Mariners Dinner Dance, 12th March, 2016

Marex Exhibited at the February IADC Drilling HSE &Training Exhibition & Conference in Kuala Lumpur This was a great opportunity to promote our services to the Global Drilling Community and, especially, an effective launch for our partnership with the MAREX newly appointed agents, HMS Well Experts who are well placed in KL to represent us and provide us with a proactive presence and contractual requirements to operate in the region. Pictured below is a view of the Petronas Towers and The Marex stand with Pamela Forgie, Business Development Manager, Marex and Alexander Liew, HMS Well Experts. You can read what HMS Well Experts said here

Ian McDougall, MD, Marex, shall be attending and exhibiting at the IADC conference on 2nd & 3rd February (stand 40) We invite you to visit the stand and find out more about how we can assist and support your company. Appointments can be made in advance, if preferred.

Marex has just completed a project to provide Expert Witness Provision on safety case matters. In fulfilling this, Marex worked closely with their client’s legal representatives, over a period. This is a service which can be provided in relation to Marex Core Specialisms to any stakeholders, be it Operators, Drilling Contractors, Shipyards, Legal Entities, etc. Marex has established a good track record of this type of independent subject matter expert provision over the years.

Click here find out more about our Expert Witness Services.

Incidents, in particular the Deepwater Horizon incident in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010, have raised public awareness of the risks involved in offshore oil and gas operations and have prompted a review of policies aimed at ensuring the safety of such operations. The Macondo incident highlighted the offshore oil and gas industry’s lack of universal mandatory safety procedures. In particular, it suggested a fragmented regulatory structure and lack of any overarching, cohesive legislative framework. The European Commission (EC) concluded that the existing divergent and fragmented regulatory framework applying to the safety of offshore oil and gas operations in Europe, along with current industry safety practices, did not provide adequate assurance that risks from offshore accidents were minimised throughout the Union. The EU, therefore, adopted the Offshore Safety Directive on 10 June 2013.

The implementation of the EU directive means that organisations will have to revise their safety cases over the next few years to allow them to comply with the updated regulations, which have more environmentally focussed considerations. As far as the UK is concerned, the majority of the Offshore Safety Directive’s requirements have been transposed into national law by the Offshore Installations (Offshore Safety Directive) (Safety Case etc) Regulations 2015. The new regulations came into force on the 19th of July, 2015 and are set up to reduce, as far as possible, the occurrence of major accidents relating to offshore oil and gas operations and to limit their consequences.

The new directive changes the way the regulators are set up to allow for a more unified level of response throughout the European Union. The directive also required the creation of an offshore competent authority. DECC and HSE, working in partnership, have now established the Offshore Safety Directive Regulator (OSDR). HSE and DECC’s legislation has been updated to fully implement the directive. This includes changes to existing legislation, as well as introducing new requirements.

The main changes between the new regulations and the existing UK offshore safety and environmental regime include:

  • The creation of an independent offshore competent authority
  • Integrating the management of safety and environmental risks, which impacts on the safety case, well notification, independent verification scheme and well examination requirements
  • Introduction of independent verification for environmental critical elements
  • Requirements for the production of a corporate major accident prevention policy
  • Specific requirements for oil pollution emergency plans
  • New requirements on liability for environmental damage
  • Duties on operators to report a range of new incidents and dangerous occurrences to the competent authority
  • Requirements on the competent authority to report a range of information, including the findings of their major accident investigations, to the EC
  • Duties on operators registered in the Member States to report major accidents that occur outside of Europe
  • Transitional arrangements covering existing installations and wells

In so far as the safety regime is concerned, a transitional period has been granted for existing installations, allowing parties involved with ongoing operations until 19 July 2018 to comply with the new regulations. Otherwise, the regulations will apply from 19 July 2016.

Preparation of safety cases to comply with the regulations requires great amounts of planning and preparation. Many of the major drilling contractors in the UKCS prefer to utilise the services of specialist risk consultancy companies, such as Marex Marine and Risk Consultancy, for the compilation of the safety cases and to facilitate the risk studies required. Risk studies can be categorised into qualitative and quantitative.

BowtieXP is one such program utilised in providing qualitative risk assessments. The software allows highly skilled employees to thoroughly analyse, with input from the client’s workforce, all potential hazards that could impact offshore assets. The software allows the tailoring of barriers to the possible threats that could initiate an event and the measures in place to prevent an event from escalating into a disaster. Through this, operators can ensure that concerns on safety aboard their offshore fleets are adequately addressed, while simultaneously providing a point of reference for the workforce. The software allows for several levels of information to be provided with each barrier, from those responsible for the actions described by a barrier, to lists of safety critical equipment associated with a prevention mechanism. Identification of Safety and Environmental Critical Elements (SECEs) can be one of the outcomes from this process, which is referred to as Major Accident Hazard Risk Assessment (MAHRA). The duty holder is responsible to create performance standards for the SECEs and develop a Written Scheme of Verification for the installation or the well. An independent verification body should be appointed by the duty holder to carry out the verification process to ensure that the SECEs are fit for purpose and continue to be so throughout the life of the installation.

Download a PDF of the Bowtie Snapshot

Some cases might require an in-depth quantitative analysis of the impacts of fires, gas releases or explosions using complex modelling software. These programs operate on the principles of fluid mechanics to compute the fluid dynamics of the spread of gases, explosion overpressures and radiant energy released by fires. The software used includes PHAST and Kameleon FireEx (KFX), depending on the level of detail required by the duty holder. The results of these analyses are used in safety cases, and can also be used in producing risk analyses, either as supporting material or as standalone documents.

In some instances, availability studies, Failure Mode and Effects Analyses (FMEAs) and its extension, Failure Mode and Criticality Effects Analyses (FMECAs) would also be required. These assessments statistically analyse vital equipment offshore, such as the fire detection systems, to ensure that no one risk factor will dominate the equation or disrupt critical systems during an emergency.

The professional expertise of risk specialist companies can be utilised beyond the confines of the office and conference rooms. Carrying out compartment studies, human factors assessments and PUWER assessments on board vessels and installations are all essential parts of compliance with the regulatory structure surrounding offshore operations in the North Sea.

Due to the pace that the industry moves, it can be easy to overlook potential events that have an extremely low level of probability but potentially high consequences. A company that has not had a major incident for an extended period of time is no more or less at risk of a major incident, hence preparation is the key. Since its inception nearly 20 years ago, Marex has completed over 200 safety cases (new submissions, thorough reviews and material changes) for major drilling contractors in the industry. Marex’s highly skilled team members are already assisting companies with the revision of safety case changes that have to be made, courtesy of the new EU directive. Ian McDougall, MD, said, ‘In doing this, Marex are providing a system of documentation to their client that will enable informed decisions to be made concerning all aspects of worker and workplace risk and safety and assist in identifying, minimizing and eliminating risk to their employees, their assets and the environment.’

Marex announces its Marine Team’s IMCA awarded 2015 Accreditation as CMID Inspectors. The Marex accreditation covers the range of General, Heavy Lift, Dynamic Positioning and MISW vessels.

Click here find out more about our CMID Inspections

Marex Congratulates its Senior Marine Consultant, Gary Bruce, on passing his recent (OCIMF – Oil Companies International Marine Forum – ) OVID inspector exams. Gary, who has been with Marex for over three years, is the newest addition to the OVID team.

A new document “IMCA Renewables Contracting Principles” has been added to the suite of IMCA contract materials. The document has been developed by the IMCA Contracts & Insurance Workgroup. All contracting guides are available from the IMCA website here

The Marex Business Development Manager met with Fameline, the Marex agents in Cyprus, in July, 2015 just as an extended contract was being signed between the two companies. Fameline represents Marex in the Mediterranean Region, Israel and Egypt. They attended meetings together with key International Operators in Nicosia to further raise awareness of the Marex portfolio and to establish a way of supporting those clients in future.

We invite you to visit the Marex stand (no. 3A80) on 8th to 11th September at the AECC Aberdeen, to discuss how we may support your projects.

We invite you to visit the Marex stand on 23rd and 24th September, at the IADC Drilling HSE&T conference in Amsterdam so that we can find out more about how we may support your assets and projects. The event takes place at the NH Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky in Amsterdam

Vic’s presentation takes place at 15.00 at the IMCA Europe & Africa Section: Italian briefing & evening social – Tuesday 9 June 2015. NH Grand Hotel Palazzo, Livorno, Italy

Marex shall have a presence on the Fameline Oil & Gas stand at the forthcoming event at the Grand Resort Hotel in Limassol. This exhibition is organised by MIE Services in Limassol, Cyprus (the sister company of Fameline). On the Fameline booth they shall be promoting the products/services of the companies they represent (including Marex). The East Med Marine and Oil & Gas Exhibition being held for the first time under this name and capacity, is the evolution of the East Med Marine Exhibition. Broadening the exhibition’s scope signifies the important additions made to the range of activities of the Group which have extended to cover services and solutions for the upstream and downstream sector of the oil and gas industry. The East Med Marine and Oil & Gas Exhibition remains the only specialized Technical Marine Exhibition held in the Eastern Mediterranean. It began as an idea from the MIE Group Ltd and became a tradition for the Shipping Industry, not only in Cyprus but also for the Eastern Mediterranean Countries. This year it will be the seventh time the Exhibition successfully takes place. Through the exhibition they are aiming to highlight the synergies between the marine and oil and gas industries. To provide a platform of collaboration between industry professionals, to enable more interaction between the private and the public sector and to showcase the Group’s capabilities through the array of world class companies they represent. Finally it their conviction that such efforts support and strengthen the Island’s Shipping and Offshore Industries, two of the most promising and vital economic sources. The East Med Marine and Oil & Gas Exhibition 2015, with over than 70 exhibitors, various workshops and support from the Cyprus Ministry of Communications and Works, The Department of Merchant Shipping, The Cyprus Shipping Chamber, The Cyprus Oil & Gas Association, Limassol Municipality and The Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology, is an event that should not be missed! Marex literature shall be there to pick up from the event , or visit Enquiries welcome. For more information on the event, visit

It was a Valentine’s Day treat and a great night was had by all on the Marex table at the Mariner’s Ball.

We invite you to visit the Marex stand(No.62), on 17th and 18th June, at the Rome Cavalieri Waldoria Astoria Hotel, Rome Italy, to discuss how we may support your projects.

We invite you to visit the Marex stand(No.8), on 11th & 12th March, at the Shangri-la Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to discuss how we may support your projects.