Process safety management in Shell aims to ensure that all our physical assets from drilling rigs, offshore platforms, manufacturing and processing facilities, to fuel retail stations are well designed, safely operated and properly maintained. Shell has been focusing on process safety for decades and seeks to continuously improve performance. Process safety management is central to achieving Shell's goal of zero harm to our employees, contractors, communities and the environment.
Our methodology consists of a combination of our asset integrity principles and our risk management approach. The asset integrity principles define the way we manage our facilities during their complete lifecycle, with the goal of preventing incidents caused by the unintentional release of hazardous material. This combines design standards with appropriate technical, operational and leadership standards. Our risk management approach identifies hazards and evaluates risks, followed by defining the barriers required to prevent process safety events.
The use of multiple barriers is essential in process safety management as a robust means to prevent the release of a hazardous material. Each barrier must operate independently, so that a common failure mode does not impact multiple barriers. Independent recovery measures are used to prevent a release having consequences. The bow tie model is used to represent this way of managing process safety hazards through prevention and response barriers, and is part of the hazard and effect management process.
In Shell we have clearly defined hardware and human barriers groups: hardware barriers are described by our design and engineering standards; human barriers are procedures and responses to operating conditions. These are supported by critical management processes such as permit to work and management of change.
This application of the risk management approach and the asset integrity principles are supported by a commitment to visible safety leadership to strengthen our safety culture to achieve goal zero, no harm, no leaks. A strong safety culture also depends on a competent workforce. We check that everyone responsible for tasks with a significant HSSE risk has the necessary training and skills to understand, identify and respond to process safety risks, as well as by maintaining the robustness and application of the hardware and human barriers and processes.