The concept of barrier thinking in risk management is well understood. However, in practice, the term ‘barrier’ is used in different ways and at different levels of detail, which makes it difficult to consistently link event or incident causes with necessary improvements in controls.

This report standardizes the types and categories of process safety barriers. The target audience is all leaders and workers that contribute to process safety performance on an asset.


In 2008 International Association of Oil & Gas Producers (IOGP) published a report called “Asset integrity – the key to managing major incident risks“. In 2016 the IOGP has published a supplement to highlight the importance of barriers as a means to represent a grouping of risk controls, called “Standardization of barrier definitions“.



The supplement addresses the following topics:

  1. Background
    – Barriers represent a grouping of risk controls
    – Key Performance Indicators applied using the barrier concept
  2. Scope
  3. Defining barrier types
  4. Hardware barrier categories
  5. Human barrier categories
  6. Management System Elements
  7. Categorizing LOPC events and improving barrier effectiveness

Download the 2008 report: “Asset integrity – the key to managing major incident risks”

Download the 2016 Supplement to Report 415: “Standardization of barrier definitions”