In 2008, the Center for Chemical Process Safety published recommended lagging and leading indicators of Process Safety performance. These indicators enable companies to track progress of their process safety efforts and monitor trends in performance. While these metrics can help companies compare their performance in regard to incident frequency and severity, comparison at the leading indicator level is more difficult without first establishing a deeper comparison of company activities which lead to the resulting indicators. At the time, there was no way for companies to formally compare how their respective activities drive performance.

Formal benchmarking provides an opportunity for a company/site/unit to compare how it is performing and to compare its tools/techniques to those of other companies. By recognizing how other companies’ practices may lead to improved performance, the benchmarking participant can identify leveraged improvement opportunities.

Six critical aspects of the twenty CCPS Risk-Based Process Safety elements are described. The elements are Process Safety Culture, Compliance with Standards, Hazard Identification and Risk Analysis, Asset Integrity and Reliability, Management of Change, and Measures and Metrics. Future programs will cover the other elements. The paper describes how the program was developed. Later, it discusses some key lessons learned and their significance as they pertain to the upstream E&P industry.

The E&P industry continues to encounter new frontiers and environmental pressures that are changing and challenging how we do business. Increasingly, environmental and safety performance is becoming a source of corporate value, especially as the oil and gas industry plays a key role in addressing some of most important HSE issues of our time. The E&P industry therefore needs better tools to capture and share its HSSE performance. The CCPS process safety benchmarking initiative will provide many key lessons for the future.

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