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Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries
When a major hazard occurs on an installation, evacuation, escape, and rescue (EER) operations play a vital role in safeguarding the lives of personnel. There have been several major offshore accidents where most of the crew has been killed during EER operations. The major hazards and EER operations can be divided into three categories; depending on the hazard, time pressure and the risk influencing factors (RIFs). The RIFs are categorized into human elements, the installation and hazards. A step by step evacuation sequence is illustrated. The escape and evacuation sequence from the Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling platform is reviewed based on testimonies from the survivors. Although no casualties were reported as a result of the EER operations from the Deepwater Horizon, the number of survivors offers a limited insight into the level of success of the EER operations. Several technical and non-technical improvements are suggested to improve EER operations. There is need for a comprehensive analysis of the systems used for the rescue of personnel at sea, life rafts and lifeboats in the Gulf of Mexico.