EGRESS is a methodology with computer support for modelling the behaviour of people in emergency situations offshore. We believe that this is the first time that account has been taken of people's decision-making behaviour in this area. Our work is therefore an important first step in the introduction of improved approaches to the evaluation of platform layout, facilities and emergency procedures.
Studies have shown that people do not panic in emergency situations, and that decision making under these conditions is, in fact, rational and amenable to modelling. To date, however, most evacuation models have concentrated on modelling how people move through various floor layouts. Although the effects of initial wait time and of negotiating obstacles have been dealt with, the subsequent decisions that have to be made have been largely ignored. Modelling these decisions, particularly those made immediately after the occurrence of an incident, is critical to the validity of any simulation exercise. This is particularly true in the offshore environment where the population is well trained and where many individuals have unique duties to carry out in the event of an emergency.
EGRESS will benefit safety analysts, safety managers and safety officers who will be able to design floor plans and set up scenarios with different facilities, populations and hazards, to determine their various effects.