The discipline of process safety management is mature. And, as discussed in posts such as Safety Moment #31: The 26-Year Old HAZOP and Where Then Shall (Process Safety) Wisdom Be Found?, many process safety professionals are looking for new areas in which to apply their skills and knowledge.
We have just released the ebook A Brief History of Process Safety Management.
The first chapter shows how safety became a value within industry. No matter how poor a facility's safety performance may be, no one ever says, “Safety doesn’t matter”. But this attitude did not always hold true.
We have packaged the ideas discussed in these safety moments to do with defining "Change" into the PowerPoint Presentation: Managing Change — Defining Change. This is a set of slides that you can use for meetings and to structure discussions within your own organization.
In an earlier Safety Moment (Safety Moment #5: Management of Change — Defining Change) we discussed some of the difficulties to do with defining the word “Change” in the context of Management of Change. After all, change is a constant in any industrial operation. Process conditions, equipment items, personnel, contractors are changing all the time.
This month is the 30 year anniversary of the Piper Alpha disaster. And, as to be expected, many people have published articles, blogs and web pages to do with that event, and the lessons that it continues to teach us. But there is an earlier maritime event which probably had a greater impact in its day than did Piper Alpha in ours. And that event was the sinking of the Titanic. (The image at the head of this post is actually of the Great Eastern, for reasons we discuss below.)
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.
One of the challenges to do with process safety management (PSM) is circular reasoning or logic. Many of the PSM elements tend to become self-referential. Process hazards analyses can illustrate this conundrum with discussions on the following lines.
Safety Moment #22: Clear Your Mind of Cant quoted the Yale professor, Harold Bloom. His insights are used again in this article.
Information is endlessly available to us; where shall wisdom be found?
His insight can be paraphrased on the following lines,
Technical information is endlessly to us (mostly from the Internet); where shall process safety wisdom be found?