The Truth hurts

I believe most of you guys working for operating companies (regardless of fact how mature is safety culture in your organization) will not argue with me if I say that safety is like a “stud in the ass” for most of managers who are responsible for delivery of production. Omission or reluctance is a common mentality of operation managers when it comes to make a priority on Production vs Safe Production. Management error in the form of omission or ignorance is almost a repeated feature in major accidents as evidenced by failed system causes identified and highlighted in many historical accident reports. In some cases managers do not know what is required of them. In other cases, they doubt the value of many safety-oriented standards / procedures and implement them only reluctantly. In still further cases person in charge for operations simply do not wish to deal with safety since for them this is a barrier affecting their personal KPIs for production targets.

The following is a list of common omissions or negligence which are characteristic of old school plant management styles:

• Lack of operating procedures, out-of-date operating procedures and lack of periodic review of procedures
• Lack of cautions and warnings in procedures
• Lack of a matrix or manual of permitted operations
• Lack of defined operating limits for the plant; even when there is such a table, there is often a lack of defined heating and cooling rates for the plant
• Lack of HAZOP studies; or out-of-date HAZOP studies; or HAZOP studies archived without being read
• Lack of a management of change (MOC) procedure; or lack of implementation of MOC procedure; or even if implemented lack of any safety assessments as part of this procedure implementation
• Lack of a PTW procedure or PTW is implemented in the form of tick box exercise (PTW is signed and authorized without visiting the site where the work will be carried out followed by formal risk assessment)
• No requirement for job safety analysis or task risk analysis as part of PTW
• Lack of a lockout–tag-out procedure or lack of management enforcement to implement this procedure
• Lack of scenario specific on-site and off-site emergency procedures
• Lack of preventive maintenance and inspection program (plant is operated under reactive maintenance philosophy)
• Long backlogs in carrying out inspections and preventive maintenance
• Omissions in testing program
• Lack of training and competency development program
• Lack of follow-up of agreed actions from HAZOP, IPF/SIL, QRA and safety audits

This article was written by Farid Jafarov who gave his permission to share it with you

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