Process safety incidents can induce an enormous loss of capital and business continuity, while negatively affecting the company’s reputation. As companies are responsible for all onsite workers, companies will need to know how to guarantee their safety while ensuring the facility is always operating at maximum safety. In addition, companies will need to know how to ensure acceptable risk level through a comprehensive management system and to ensure that it is fit for purpose and suits the Process Safety Management (PSM) system.
If an organisation’s PSM system is to be successful and sustainable, it requires the commitment of the entire workforce, starting at the top. Process safety leadership is the key to successful PSM implementation on a global scale. Without detailed policies and effective monitoring and management systems, the risk of a major accident and its consequences increases sharply. Whilst it is essential that competent personnel are charged with managing process safety, experience has shown that if not properly directed, this often leads to reactive compliance.
The findings of the study conducted by The US Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS) (2007) revealed while there are different global regulatory requirements, the same safety issues were raised. The 4 common issues were:
- Commitment to Process Safety
- Understanding Hazards and Risks
- Managing Risks
- Learning From Experience
The most concerning issue lies with the company’s commitment to process safety. It provides the foundation for the PSM system and needs to be considered in process safety culture, compliance with standards, competency, workforce involvement and stakeholder outreach, Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS) (2007).
Key findings covered:
Recognition that organisations need to ensure a policy is in place, which fits with existing policies, and promotes:
- Recognition that policies and procedures are necessary
- Common objectives and targets
- A shared sense of vulnerability
- Prioritisation of process safety over production
- Appropriate and proportionate use of risk assessment
- Open communications
- Continuous improvement in process safety
Key to effective PSM culture is leadership from the top, ensuring:
- A sponsor is determined at board / senior level and this is communicated throughout the workforce
- Visibility of the senior management team focussing on process safety
- Process safety is given at least equal importance of other business areas such as financial control and productivity. Engagement of the hearts and minds of an organisation are key to sustaining a positive process safety culture throughout the entire workforce.
This can be achieved through:
- Setting of standards, objectives and targets
- Structured training
- Follow-up through appraisal process
- Visual management of process safety
- Management, operations and engineering
- Programme monitoring, audit and review
To read more about the remaining factors and the full article: PROCESS SAFETY LEADERSHIP IS THE KEY TO SUCCESSFUL PSM IMPLEMENTATION BOTH IN THE UK AND ON A GLOBAL SCALE
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Interested to read other related articles? Check out: 3 Major Process Safety Incidents since 2010
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