Process Safety Assessments

Audits are a fundamental feature of all successful management programs. It is vital that line managers know how they are performing, and senior management needs a means of checking that all the rules and standards are being followed.

With regard to process safety the phrase, “There is always news about safety, and some of that news will be bad” is frequently heard. Audits are needed in order to identify that bad news.

The Risk Management Professional

The picture at the top of this page is of Admiral Rickover (1900-1986), often referred to as father of the nuclear navy. The ships he controlled were powered by nuclear reactors and were often armed with nuclear missiles. He knew that the first accident with a nuclear ship would also be the last accident - there would be no tolerance for mistakes or accidents of any kind. The stringent standards that he imposed regarding both nuclear safety and personnel selection have been a critical factor in the navy's continuing record of zero reactor accidents.

Process Safety and Railroads

One of the themes of these Safety Moments is that different industries have much in common. Therefore, a safety program that works for one industry is likely to be useful and relevant in another. Certainly, each industry has its own specific issues that are not shared with others (some of these are described in Safety Moment #8: “But We’re Different, You Know”). But, as a generalization, different industries have much in common.