Prevention of fire and explosion, and emergency response on offshore installations

Offshore Installations (Prevention of Fire and Explosion, and Emergency Response) Regulations 1995. Approved Code of Practice and guidance

Date of publication:
April 2016
978 0 7176 6326 2
Series code:
L65 (Third edition)

This Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) and associated guidance provides practical advice on how you can comply with the requirements of the Offshore Installations (Prevention of Fire and Explosion, and Emergency Response) Regulations (PFEER) 1995 as amended in 2005 and 2015. The amendments to the regulatory text are shown in square brackets.

It provides guidance to those who own, operate or work on offshore installations and looks at how to prevent fires and explosions as well as how to protect people working on offshore installations should they occur. It also provides advice on how to respond to emergencies, considering issues such as escape, evacuation, rescue and recovery.

The Offshore Installations (Offshore Safety Directive) (Safety Case etc) Regulations 2015 (SCR 2015) that came into force on 19 July 2015 amended the PFEER Regulations. You will find details of the changes and associated guidance in this ACOP.

SCR 2015 applies to oil and gas operations in external waters (the territorial sea adjacent to Great Britain and designated areas within the continental shelf (UKCS). It replaces the Offshore Installations (Safety Case) Regulations 2005 (SCR 2005) in these waters, subject to certain transitional arrangements.  

Oil and gas activities in internal waters (eg estuaries) will continue to be covered by SCR 2005 (see A guide to the Offshore Installations (Safety Case) Regulations 2005, L30).

In this third edition, the ACOP text and associated guidance have been updated and simplified, where appropriate. The main changes have been widely consulted on and include:

  • emphasising when developing an approach to fire and explosion hazard management, consideration is given to 'timely detection' of occurred events and the 'appropriate reporting and recording of them';
  • when undertaking a regulation 5 assessment, clarification is given that releases of toxic or asphyxiating gases with the potential to require evacuation, escape and rescue are included. Also, guidance is given on considerations associated with the provision of totally enclosed motor-propelled survival craft;
  • guidance covering when a repeat assessment could be required when changes including improvements are introduced following the initial assessment; and a clearer definition of a 'performance standard';
  • adding suitable detection systems for asphyxiating atmospheres to the list of illustrative detection arrangements and providing a further explanation of detection systems, alarm settings and their capabilities;
  • the temporary refuge survival time should be adequately defined in the emergency response plan and events likely to compromise temporary refuge integrity need to be identified and addressed.

In addition, SCR 2015 has introduced new regulations to PFEER, they are:

  • Regulation 22A – Inventory of equipment etc;
  • Regulation 22B – Initiation and direction of emergency response, and liaison with external response authority;
  • Regulation 22C – Arrangements for early warning of major accidents.

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Updated: 2021-03-03