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Offshore Uxo Best Practice Guidelines Released

CIRIA marine unexploded ordnance (UXO) assessment and management guidelines establish much-needed good practice rules for the marine construction industry

London, 10th February 2016 – The Construction Industry Research and Information Association (CIRIA) has today published essential guidelines for the management of unexploded ordnance (UXO) in the marine environment.
CIRIA’s report, entitled Assessment and management of unexploded ordnance (UXO) risk in the marine environment (C754) has been prepared by Royal HaskoningDHV, an international engineering and project management consultancy, and 6 Alpha Associates, a strategic advisor for managing offshore UXO risks.

As the offshore energy industry expands in UK and European waters, construction in the marine environment – ranging from installation of wind turbine foundations to cable laying – is taking place on an unprecedented scale. Throughout this process it is imperative that developers take account of and address site-specific risks, both to the safety of personnel and to the successful completion of a project.

One such risk is posed by the sizeable legacy of unexploded ordnance left behind on the seabed by two World Wars, years of munitions dumping and military training and testing. Several European offshore wind projects have experienced costly delays relating to mismanagement of UXO risks especially during construction, highlighting the need for a more robust and coordinated approach to the assessment and mitigation of this risk.

Furthermore, as projects move from the early construction phases into a prolonged period of operations and maintenance (O&M) activity, incoming management teams must be made aware of the on going threat posed by the prospective migration of UXO throughout the lifecycle of a project. The importance of responsible management is further underlined by a range of European and national legislation that makes project directors fully accountable should a UXO-related incident occur on site.

Faced with this substantial long-term health and safety, legal and economic hazard, the marine construction industry has increasingly called for guidance with regard to the ongoing management of UXO risk.

The guidance defines the marine environment and outlines the prospective sources of UXO contamination. It describes how it might pose a threat to intrusive engineering work and it provides, for the first time, a framework for the assessment and management of the risks posed by potential or actual UXO encounter. Additionally, the guide identifies the roles and responsibilities as well as the duties of different organisations and stakeholders under existing legislative and regulatory regimes and pinpoints where and when professional advice from an UXO specialist should be sought.

In doing so, the guide presents and describes those components that are required to deliver a professional risk mitigation strategy – based on effective hazard identification and efficient assessment, management and communication of risk – that is both comprehensive, cost-effective and critically, delivers project safety.
Simon Cooke, Managing Director, at 6 Alpha Associates, and a former Army bomb Disposal officer said: “The law requires that UXO risk must be reduced to a level that is As Low As Reasonably Practicable (ALARP). That means that a responsible, economic risk mitigation strategy is likely to involve avoiding known and suspected threats that may have been identified by specialist geophysical survey, and to keep to a minimum, as is commensurate with safety, those items that must be investigated, verified and, if they are in fact UXO, made safe”.

“However, until now, a lack of understanding – whether between developers and contractors or between the management teams responsible for each phase of a project’s operation – has led many industry players either to neglect the true scale of the UXO threat until it’s too late, or to adopt excessive and very expensive clearance strategies.”
Joanne Kwan, Project Manager, CIRIA said ‘This document is the first UK good practice guidance and will provide comprehensive UXO risk management guidelines for all organisations working throughout the lifecycle of marine energy, cabling and infrastructure projects.”

Nick Cooper, Technical Director, Royal HaskoningDHV, added: “This report aims to lay the foundations for a universal best practice, ensuring that information is readily accessible to professionals across the field, and to ensure that suitable procedures are established concerning the effective management of UXO risks”

“By bringing in centralised, formal guidance, we’re hoping to address a worrying knowledge gap once and for all and at the same time, to enhance standards across the board.”
To order a copy of CIRIA guide Assessment and Management of Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) Risk in the Marine Environment, please visit: http://www.ciria.org/ItemDetail?iProductcode=C754&Category=BOOK

The project was funded by 1st Line Defence Ltd, Dong Energy, Dynasafe BACTEC, EDF, EON, Findmaps, Fugro, Heinrich Hirdes EOD Services GmbH, MMO, MODUS Seabed Intervention Limited, Ordtek, Ramoura, RES Offshore , SSE, Woodgroup Kenny and Zetica

About CIRIA:
CIRIA is the construction industry research and information association. It is an independent, not-for-profit, member-based research organisation that exists to champion performance improvement in construction. Since 1960 CIRIA has delivered support and guidance to the construction, built environment and infrastructure sectors. CIRIA works with members from all parts of the supply chain to co-ordinate collaborative projects, industry networks and events. Its high quality guidance is delivered to industry through publications, training and other performance improvement activities. For more information on CIRIA’s products and services please visit www.ciria.org.

About Royal HaskoningDHV:
Royal HaskoningDHV is an independent, international engineering and project management consultancy since 1881 with knowledge and experience in aviation, buildings, energy, industry, infrastructure, maritime, mining, transport, rural and urban areas, and water. With nearly 7,000 colleagues across the world, we work for public and private clients in over 130 countries.

We focus on delivering added value for our clients while at the same time addressing the challenges that societies are facing. These include the growing world population and the consequences for towns and cities; the demand for clean drinking water, water security and water safety; pressures on traffic and transport; resource availability and demand for energy and waste issues facing industry.

By showing leadership in sustainable development and innovation, together with our clients, we are working to become part of the solution to a more sustainable society now and into the future.
For more information visit our website: www.royalhaskoningdhv.com.

About 6 Alpha Associates
Headquartered in the UK but delivering services globally, 6 Alpha Associates is a specialist risk consultancy practice, with particular expertise in the assessment and management of unexploded ordnance (UXO) risk.

Founded in 2004, 6 Alpha delivers risk consultancy and project management support to the renewable energy, oil and gas and civil engineering sectors. This specialist service enables its diverse portfolio of clients to better manage and safeguard new and existing infrastructure from high explosive events in general and those posed by unexploded ordnance in particular.

With an established and proven ten-year track record, the company has developed an unrivalled reputation for the management of high explosive hazards.

6 Alpha has managed the UXO risks for three quarters of all Round 3 UK offshore wind projects, as well as a number of high-profile offshore projects in the EU, Middle East and Northern Africa.

Closer to home, 6 Alpha were engaged to manage UXO risks for the Crossrail tunnelling project under central London – Europe’s largest railway and infrastructure construction project – for which the firm was ‘highly commended’ for its work by the developer.

To find out more about the business, please visit: www.6alpha.com.


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