Data: Managing process safety

Petrotechnics’ survey reveals how operational risk and process safety management (PSM) are perceived by senior energy industry leaders

NEWS, Industry Trends

Petrotechnics’ 2017 Process Safety and Risk Management Survey of more than 200 senior leaders in the fields of process safety, asset integrity, and operational risk management in the hydrocarbon industry produced insights into the state of operational risk and safety management. Safety culture, the real-world experience of risk, the various factors that affect safety performance, and the role of systems and tools in enabling appropriate levels of safety and risk management were all discussed.

Achieving operational excellence was cited as a main driver for improving safety performance by 61% of survey participants. However, 59% believe that process safety is not always fully incorporated within an organisation’s operational excellence strategy. The top driver for improving safety performance was reducing operational and major accident hazard (MAH) risk, identified by 71% of survey participants.

However, despite the importance placed on reducing MAH risk, 57% of the survey’s respondents said companies do not always have a defined roadmap in place for advancing safety performance. Although advancing safety performance and risk reduction is almost always a stated goal in company literature and annual reports, evidence from the 2017 survey indicates that companies do not have readily accessible, structured plans in place to achieve that goal. In fact, 61% believe companies do not have well-defined safety performance measures, including leading and lagging safety indicators.

What’s more, although reducing MAH risk is considered a major driver for improving safety performance, 77% believe that companies do not always maintain a sense of vulnerability about exposure to MAH risk. 


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