SIMOPS: What is Simultaneous Operations?

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Introduction

SIMOPS is an abbreviation for “SIMultaneous OPerations”, but why is it important to review risks due to SIMOPS related activities?

Simultaneous Operations (SIMOPS) is defined as conducting independent operations in which the events of any one operation may impact the safety of personnel or equipment and the environment of another operation.

Why is it important to review SIMOPS risks?

With such variability and additional factors, SIMOPS pose significant hazards.  It’s therefore crucial that risks associated with SIMOPS related activities are reviewed closely and mitigation measures implemented to reduce risks to an acceptable level.

Typical SIMOPS Risk Assessment Steps

A SIMOPS review process typically covers the following:

  • Definition of any operations required to be carried out simultaneously.
  • Identification of all activities associated with each operation for each SIMOPS combination.
  • Identification of hazards associated with the activities identified above.
  • Risk assessment of identified activities.
  • Determination of activities which are permitted to occur simultaneously, those which are prohibited from occurring simultaneously and restricted activities which require additional measures to be implemented for simultaneous occurrence.
  • Specification of the additional control measures that are required to restricted simultaneous activities to occur.

The Output from a SIMOPS Risk Review

Very much dependent on internal requirements, but typically what results from the SIMOPS risk review is a “Matrix of Permitted Operations“.

The Matrix of Permitted Operations will identify activities:

  • Which are allowed to be carried out simultaneously subject to normal permit restrictions;
  • Which cannot physically or are not permitted to be carried out simultaneously; and
  • Which are restricted and require additional resources to be implemented for simultaneous occurrence.

It will also specify any additional measures required for the restricted simultaneous activities.

 

In Conclusion:

  • It’s important to recognise that SIMOPS Operations pose significant risks due to the variability, increased level of activities and multiple interactions.
  • Carrying out SIMOPS risks reviews plays a key role in identifying, assessing and putting in place control measures that will mitigate risks to an acceptable level, specific to the Organisation’s criteria and risk management framework requirements.

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