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Petroleum industry in our country is involved in activities ranging from crude oil exploration, production & refining upto distribution of petroleum products to the end consumer. At present, all these activities are mostly being carried out by various oil companies under overall administrative control of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Govt. of India. As various petroleum installations were designed on the basis of different technologies / technical collaborations with various foreign companies, there is non-uniformity with regard to design & operating philosophies of these facilities. With a view of standardisation of designing and operating philosophies of various plants in the country, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Govt. of India in 1986, constituted Safety Council assisted by Oil Industry Safety Directorate (OISD). Chief Executives of all the public sector oil companies, Director General of Factories Advise Service and Labour Institutes (FASLI), Fire Advisor, Govt. of India, Chairman-Central Electricity Authority , Executive Director-Oil Coordination Committee,Executive Director-Centre for High Technology , Joint Secretaries and Advisors in the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas (MOP&NG) are the members of the Safety Council and it is headed by the Secretary, MOP&NG.

Oil Industry Safety Directorate (OISD) is a self-regulatory body staffed with personnel drawn from various oil companies.

Major functions of OISD are as follows :

  • Oversee the implementation of all the decisions of the Safety Council
  • Keep abreast of the latest design and operating practices in the area of safety and fire fighting in the hydrocarbon industry
  • Carryout periodic safety audits, review, suggest procedures for improvements and report on the implementation of the suggestuins to Safety Council
  • Collect relevant information and exchange it wuth the members of the Oil Industry including information regarding near miss accidents, accidents and disasters occurring in the Oil Industry
  • Ensure implementation of all approved codes of practices for industrial hygiene
  • Review disaster control procedures and company preparedness
  • Review inplant training programmes with regard to safety

Steering Committee of OISD, comprising of Principal Panelists from the oil industry, meets twice a year under the chairmanship of Executive Director, OISD,to review various activities of OISD. It also suggests development in various activities of OISD so as to improve safety culture in the oil industry.

OISD have so far prepared fifty eight standards on various aspects of designing and operations which are being extensively used by the oil industry. Preparation of these standards involve pooling of knowledge and experience of the industry within the country coupled with latest advancements taking place world over.

Periodic Safety Audits of all the petroleum handling facilities are undertaken by OISD to see if any improvement in the facilities, training to the operating personnel, operating systems / procedures etc. is required.

OISD also helps oil industry in investigating major incidents of fire or accident taking place in the industry and circulate advisory notes to all the industry members so as to take precautionary measures to avoid it's re-ocurrence at other installation.

OISD collects information any major accident/ fire occurring in the oil industry and appraise MOP&NG of the same immediately. In case of a major accident/ fire, OISD issue Advisory Note, highlighting key issues involved, to all the oil industry members so that necessary steps are taken in all other industries to prevent re-occurrance of similar mishaps. It also collects information on all the accidents/ fires taking place in the oil industry on quarterly basis and maintain a data base. Data on accidents / fires are subsequently analysed to find out trends, time of incidents, various causes, damages / loss to the plant & facilities, injuries / loss of human lives etc. The purpose of collecting the information is to enable industry members to review their safety performance so that they could determine the efficacy of their management system and highlight any deficiency so that corrective action could be taken to operate the industry on almost zero accident risk despite the hazards intrinsic to its operations. OISD have recently brought out a booklet incorporating major accident / fire taken place in the Oil Industry during the period 1991-96. In this booklet, all the incidents have been analysed in depth on the above criteria in addition to other angles like non-compliance of safety procedures, inadequate training, non-usage of safety gadgets, source of ignition & source of fuel to the fire. This effort of OISD was appriciated by the Oil Industry and shall help industry to visualise various sceanario in the plant and take corrective measures as required.

This is a fact that any amount of one time in-built measures for a device will not guarantee safety unless it is used in the desired fashion. Thus, in potentially hazardous petroleum industry it is essential to effectively manage the 'total system' including the hardware, the personnel and procedures & practices. Safety Awareness of the personnel need to be strengthened to achieve the objective. OISD is giving due emphasis to this aspect and periodically arranges Safety Workshops all over the country for the benefit of the personnel engaged in crude oil exploration & production, refining, transportation and distribution

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