Training and Competence

Process safety training and education


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Process safety training

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Many process safety incidents occur at the people-equipment interface. In many cases the person operating the equipment (or the instrumentation) was not properly trained. Everyone at a facility — including managers and contract workers — needs to be properly trained.

Training is expensive and time-consuming, but, in the words of Zig Ziglar, “The only thing worse than training your employees and losing them is NOT training your employees and keeping them.” (But getting the right person for the job also remains critical. In the words of the proverb, “You can train a turkey to climb trees, but it’s better to hire a squirrel.”)

Training is an integral part of all process safety management standards. The regulators recognize that the effectiveness of all other elements of a management system depend on the manner in which they are implemented.

Training and Education

There is an important distinction to be made between training and education. Training refers to the ability to carry out a routine and pre-defined task in a safe and efficient manner. For example, an operator may be trained in how to start Pump, P-100 (described in the first standard example). The training will list a set of precise instructions that will, when followed, lead to the pump being started in a safe and orderly manner.

Education, on the other hand, provides an understanding of basic principles. If the operator who is starting P-100 has been educated as to the basic theory of pump operation he or she may be able to determine what to do if the pump behaves in an unusual manner ­— say if the discharge pressure is less than what it should be, or if the bearings make a strange noise.

Training and Procedures

Training and procedures are opposite sides of the same coin. If a facility does not have good procedures, then its people cannot be trained. On the other hand, there is no point in having good procedures if people are not trained in their use. Therefore, in the context of this ebook, training can be defined as follows:

Operators and maintenance technicians are trained to carry out the tasks and instructions described in the operating and maintenance procedures.

Table of Contents

Levels of Competence
   Level 1 — Basic Skills
   Level 2 — Certification
   Level 3 — Master Technician
Elements of a Training Program
   Initial / Basic Training
   Site Training
   Abnormal Situation Management
   Refresher Training
Procedures and Training
Management of a Training Program
   Training Matrix 
   Budget Allocation 
   Measuring Progress 
Economics of Training
Process Simulators and Emulators
   Simulator Design 
Testing and Certification 
Safe Gulf 
Pipeline Operator Training 

Process safety management training