Operators need to manage a complex environment of operating activities, plant conditions, and working practices. All interact with each other as well as with process safety barriers, deliberately and inadvertently changing the potential for a major hazard event. With this complex range of interactions in mind, every operational decision has an element of risk. By taking a step back to look at how these interactions and process safety are managed across the planning-to-execution business processes, there is big opportunity to not only reduce risk but improve the productivity of operations.

Ultimately, Operators need to make risk mitigation arising from Process Safety Management (PSM) systems an integral part of efficient and effective daily operations.

Methods, Procedures, Process

Process safety deviations and non-conformances are often assessed and managed in different ways, by different functions. Furthermore, operational risk data is often stored and managed in multiple places. As a result, many key decisions can be made unaware of the major accident hazards arising from deviations as well as the interaction between deviations and daily operations. The absence of a consistent way to understand and mitigate the combined impact of risks to frontline operations adversely affects operational performance as well the overall risk profile. Operators need to employ a common means of balancing risk against productivity, so everyone across the business can make better operating decisions.

Arguably, Process Safety Management (PSM) has the greatest potential to affect major accident risk. As such, it is essential to capture the residual risk arising from each deviation in a transparent and common to understand the overall cumulative risk arising from deviations.

By placing PSM risk in the context of daily operations, PSM can become a powerful driver of operational performance.

Results, Observations, Conclusions

By capturing all activities, performance deviations, and non-conformances in terms of the risk they carry to the business, operators can build a holistic picture of operational risk. This approach makes the impact of PSM deviations on safety and operational performance clear for all to see, and it enables plant operators to improve their planning, maintenance, and work execution.

Rather than implement a new process safety model or an additional safety model, organizations are enabling a common language of risk to ensure that operational risk mitigation becomes an integral way of achieving efficient and effective operations. Through this, organizations are able to understand their levels of major accident hazard risk in a dynamic real-time view. This new approach allows organizations to better understand the cumulative risk they are carrying at any given time which can be used to improve long-term operational decision making, and achieving overall operational excellence.

Novel/Additive Information


You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.