10 PROCESS SAFETY RULES
What we do and how we do it can have significant impact on our own and other lives. When dealing with hazardous substances or processes, we must think first. Process safety management is focused on preventing releases of any substance defined as a “highly hazardous chemical” by the EPA or OSHA. Process Safety Management (PSM) refers to a set of interrelated approaches to managing hazards associated with the process industries and is intended to reduce the frequency and severity of incidents resulting from releases of chemicals and other energy sources (US OSHA 1993). These standards are composed of organizational and operational procedures, design guidance, audit programs, and a host of other methods. Better understanding is possible buy seeing the 14 areas currently recognized elements:
- Process Safety Information
- Process Hazard Analysis
- Operating Procedures
- Mechanical Integrity
- Hot Work
- Management of Change
- Incident Investigation
- Compliance Audits
- Trade Secrets
- Employee Participation
- Pre-startup Safety Review
- Emergency Planning and Response
These 14 elements, process safety and lots of rules beg to be simplified. It’s not easy and almost impossible. However, there are common elements or “rules”.
Below is a “top 10” rules from process safety. These rules apply to any industry, from Field-to-Fork®.
“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way” -John Maxwell. Leaders are highly visionary and highly practical buoyed by passion, knowledge and teamwork.
Align and communicate the company, location, process and employee measurable results will align the entire organization.
The best people in the proper position is good hiring procedures. Replace job descriptions with job metrics.
People with passion improve overall safety awareness resulting in better product, environment and finances.
Proper Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance! Examine basic process and ANY possible impacts to life and property. Include security, safety and health personnel in the process. Leadership should define reasonable risk limits.
Even routine incidents can reveal great fruit by not repeating the error, educating employees and financial savings. Use a well-trained team to fine the root cause – 5 Why’s!
Have set meeting locations, times and communications methods. Weekly for management and a daily huddle for front line employees. Be focused, concise and clear. Follow verbal communications with written. Be open to anyone and ask Power Questions.
Testing process safety steps using knowledgeable passionate people, defined metrics, proper tools, 5P’s and good communications will result in improved safety culture, leadership and teamwork.
Our hope is these 10 items will start you thinking and encourage you to act in a more effective and risk reducing manner.