Monthly Archives: June 2015


Working safety whilst we are commissioning must our number one concern, it should be inherent in everything we do from the way we draft and prepare our procedures, how we assess risk and evaluate task safety analysis and my topic today manage isolations.

All companies will have a robust plan for safety management including permit to work, confined entry and management of hot work, we as a commissioning group need to extend those safe practices as best we can starting for me with energy isolation. Upon Handover or turnover of a system, we may inherit from the construction team isolation already in place, this may include locks on motor starters, isolation within a control cabinet, installation of slip blinds and perhaps spools removed. All these when transferred to us as commissioning than must be accounted for, so the commissioning team must instigate an isolation register.

At any one time the system owner must know where all the isolations are within their system, account for them and if at all possible visualise them for all to see with marked up P&ID’s, key boards, lock boxes, whatever it takes. As systems become live and we run into simultaneous construction and commissioning operations and as inter system commissioning commences, we must know where all our isolations are, so we keep each other safe, obviously robust communication of energy and commissioning status is required.

So let’s make sure creation of isolation lists for mechanical, electrical, instrumentation, radioactive sources, trace heating etc. is well managed, clear to understand and highly visible.

Safe and successful commissioning always…

Looking after your commissioning “stuff”

As we make our plans for commissioning execution, we will develop lists of what support materials we will need to complete our work, this can be as basic as files to house our documentation, gaskets, hoses, couplings perhaps even up to exchangers or other process items we need to deliver our commissioning service.

It can be an aspect of our work that can be forgotten about, so consider a plan to capture what you need and more importantly how you obtain these materials. Many commissioning paperwork systems have a reference tracking sheet which documents what a system will need, when it was ordered, when it was delivered and how it is stored and perhaps preserved, so these are the types of things that should be considered. Please also do not forget to account for this inventory in your commissioning budget compilation and have a plan to procure the materials via a purchase requisition system.

Temporary commissioning equipment and consumables are important parts of our work so due care for their management must be considered.

Safe and successful commissioning always…

Commissioning Philosophy

As I try and get back into normal working life, I thought my subject today would get back to description of one of our early documents to produce, the Philosophy.

One of the first planning documents to be written by the commissioning team, the philosophy document in essence describes the approach to the commissioning effort and the methodology driving the team along to completion. It is not uncommon for very little of the actual detail of the asset being commissioned to be known, perhaps the project is in front end engineering design (FEED), so some finer points of the commissioning of the actual plant will not be available. It would be the responsibility of the commissioning manager to produce this document and once drafted and checked the commissioning philosophy document should be sent out to all project, maintenance and production teams and a series of meetings or discussions held with all relevant parties to ensure understanding.

Remember lack of understanding equals criticism.

Discussions with project personnel and Operations colleagues may help to establish what the various teams want to understand about the commissioning effort, but as a minimum the following topics would be useful if considered and addressed…

  1. The purpose of the document
  2. An overview of the commissioning Stages
  3. The Project Scope of Work
  4. Key Project objectives, aims and goals
  5. The commissioning team roles
  6. Commissioning Methodology Prepare Implement Close Out
  7. Initial thoughts on systemization
  8. The commissioning system file
  9. Commissioning challenges

A solid philosophy document helps tremendously getting your methodology out to the project and Operations and maintenance teams and time should be invested to give as much outline and information as possible.

Safe and successful commissioning always…

Dear Reader…

Well for those of you who you to visit my site for snippets on commissioning, I very much apologise for my silence.

It has been a very busy period for me, I have changed job and have relocated our home, so I am slowly getting back on my feet.

I plan to get back to my writing very soon, watch this space!

FYI, I still plan to speak in the UK at the Leeds University Commissioning and Start-up Event between 1st and 3rd of July, I hope to see some of you there.

Safe and successful commissioning always…