Safety Moments for the Process and Energy Industries

Safety Moments for the energy and process industries

Safety Moments

Safety Moments are short stories or anecdotes that illustrate some aspect of personal or process safety. Generally they feature a near miss or even humorous event that had the potential to be much worse than it was. They can be used at the start of a meeting or at the beginning of the work day.

We publish a wide range of Safety Moments at this site. A list of the what is currently available is shown at the left side of this page. Please check it every so often to see what new materials have been added. Many of the Safety Moments include a video that is generally posted to YouTube. Browse through them and select one that has the most relevance to your audience.

Ask for Stories

Safety Moment meetingIf you are using a safety moment at a meeting ask the attendees to share a personal story that has similarities to the Safety Moment just presented. For example, if the incident in the Safety Moment is to do with someone getting mixed up between two valves that look alike and that are close to one another it is more than likely that someone else can share a similar story.

Dangers of Triviality

One of the dangers of Safety Moments is that people see them as being somewhat superficial or rather light-weight. For example, most people know that they should not go up or down a staircase without having one hand free to hold the railing. But just telling the story of someone who was not using the railing and then fell down is not enough. It is important to use the Safety Moment to try and identify root causes. In the case of the person not using the railing was it because,

  • He or she was in a rush at the end of a shift?
  • This was an activity that had been done before without incident and so the behavior had become normalized?
  • There is no mechanical hoist to move heavy objects inside the building?
  • . . . and so on.

Process Safety Management Analysis

In order to improve the value of Safety Moments, particularly when used within the energy or process industries, it is useful to analyze them in terms of the elements of Process Safety Management (PSM). There are many ways of organizing a PSM program, the following representative.

  1. Process Safety Culture
  2. Compliance
  3. Competence
  4. Workforce Involvement
  5. Stakeholder Outreach
  6. Knowledge Management
  7. Hazard Identification and Risk Management
  8. Operating Procedures
  9. Safe Work Practices
  10. Asset Integrity / Reliability
  11. Contractor Management
  12. Training / Performance
  13. Management of Change
  14. Operational Readiness
  15. Conduct of Operations
  16. Emergency Management
  17. Incident Investigation
  18. Measurement and Metrics
  19. Auditing
  20. Management Review

Therefore, in the case of someone not using a hand rail a discussion may lead to the following analysis. 

  • There is a need to carry out a hazard identification program for that location (Element #7).
  • Previous incidents were not properly investigated (Element #17).
  • The Safe Work Practices program is out of date (Element #9).

Published Safety Moments

Safety Moments that we have published to date are: