To meet corporate Process Safety objectives, we first need the right ‘tools’ or techniques to identify hazards and risks. Risk reduction will start to be achieved when these tools are rigorously applied. Frequently used ‘tools’ in the Process Safety toolbox include Hazard Identification (HAZID); Hazard and Operability study (HAZOP) and Layer of Protection Analysis (LOPA). Whilst these hazard studies have been in common used for some time there is evidence that deficiencies in the planning, execution or follow up have been a contributing factor in undesired Process Safety events. The objectives of this paper are to i) detail evidence demonstrating a link between deficiencies in these studies and Process Safety incidents ii) introduce the concept of defect elimination and Continuous Improvement and iii) provide examples of how such an improvement process has been systematically applied by one operator in the UAE / ME region to Process Safety studies.
The paper begins by providing evidence available within the public domain that indicates possible links between deficiencies in key Process Safety studies and major incidents. Sources include US OSHA and the US Chemical Safety Board (CSB). Through an analysis of this information it possible to not only understand this link but start to identify specific areas of weakness. Following this an introduction to the philosophy of defect elimination and Continuous Improvement (CI) is given. A common method for implementing CI is described. More importantly a demonstration of how such a methodology, developed in a manufacturing environment, can be successfully applied to deliver improvements in Process Safety is given. Finally, the approach taken by one operator in applying CI in this manner is given. This provides insight into some of the focus areas identified; the previous practices and detail changes that have been implemented.
In summary the paper concludes that we should not become complacent with our current performance but must look to continuously improve. With leadership support and commitment organisations can readily make systematic, sustainable improvements to the application of key hazard studies. These improvements will support the goals of accident elimination and, as a result, safeguard corporate reputation and licence to operate.
Number of Pages
Looking for more?
Some of the OnePetro partner societies have developed subject- specific wikis that may help.