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A Platform Approach for Aligning the 14 Elements of Process Safety Management

While it’s critical to apply interrelated approaches to managing hazards to prevent the release of highly hazardous chemicals, translating Process Safety Management intent into operational practice is no easy feat. It requires Industry 4.0 digitalization to support management and
frontline operations.

Learn how an Integrated Risk Management (IRM 4.0) platform approach can support organizations as they manage interrelated risks through organizational and operational procedures, design, audit programs and more.

A Platform Approach for Aligning the 14 Elements of Process Safety Management

Process Safety Information

Working together in a dynamic environment can be a challenge, yet safely preparing the plant for maintenance, large-scale plant turnarounds, inspections or engineering intervention is critical. Ensuring operations teams always access the right process safety engineering information and learn from previous work can be tedious. To ensure project performance success, teams must be able to view the real-time operational status of the asset and identify sources of process safety risk. They must also be able to control and shut down operations and comply with regulatory requirements.

Information related to potential hazards of chemicals, processes, technology and equipment must be easily available. This serves as a baseline for the hazard analysis/risk assessment process. This information is provided in the original design, and documentation must be sufficient for upgrade work, ongoing operations and maintenance. It must be held in locations that are available for audit purposes and kept current to ensure people have access to the most up-to-date version relevant to them.

Sphera’s Advanced Risk Assessment solution provides centralized access to process, quality, security and occupational knowledge libraries and lessons learned enables teams to collaborate and determine traceability, ensure compliance and control reliability.

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Process Hazard Analysis (PHA)

In a high-hazard organization, you live with risk every day. Risks, and exposure to them, change daily. Staying on top of everything can be challenging. Misunderstood risks affect every Process Safety Management element and can lead to resources being allocated to the wrong areas, which can cause new vulnerabilities. And if your risk assessment and control process focuses solely on compliance, you may not identify your small unexpected failures until they grow into big issues. You must stay on top of risk realities.

Organizations must implement and manage a structured, repeatable methodology for systematic examination of planned and existing processes and operations to identify and evaluate hazards that may represent risks to people and assets.

The Process Hazard Analysis (PHA) methodology selected must be appropriate in relation to the complexity of the process and must identify, evaluate and control process, quality, occupational and security hazards.

Before commissioning the asset, organizations must perform a PHA on all processes to ensure controls are in place. And those processes must be revalidated according to regional regulatory standards or after every major change.

Sphera’s robust, centralized Process Safety Risk Assessment framework, configurable methodologies, and risk assessment workflows will help your organization standardize and record risk assessment data and ensure proper controls are in place.

Ensure the safety of your processes with the support of our Process Hazard Analysis (PHA) software, which supports Hazard and Operability (HAZOP) studies and “What If” methodologies. A deeper understanding to help manage risk is supported through our Layer of Protection Analysis (LOPA) and Bowtie tools.

Process Safety Management

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Operating Procedures

Consistent working practices and conditions are key for improving safety performance and preventing incidents. It provides a common method that all personnel who are qualified to perform a task can easily reference, and it identifies responsibilities and administrative controls.

The implementation and management of operating procedures must provide clear instructions for safely conducting work activities. Procedures must include steps for each operating phase, from startup to shut down, as well as safe work practices to control hazards during activities such as lockout/tagout, confined space entry, process equipment maintenance, control over entrance into a facility by personnel, and more.

Sphera’s Control of Work solution helps operators improve safety performance and prevent incidents by establishing and maintaining consistent work practices and conditions aligned with corporate policies and industry regulations. It makes clear when maintenance work, such as inspections, repairs and preventive maintenance, can be executed.

After all safety measures are in place, and it provides the ability to link to updated Safety Data Sheets to ensure safety policy is carried out through operational practice.

Control of Work

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Hot Work Permit

Today’s operating environment is tough. There’s pressure to simultaenously improve productivity and safety while assuming responsibility over highly hazardous work environments, including those with heat and ignition sources.

The implementation and management of systems, procedures and risk assessments that establish Control of Work processes in operational environments can help maximize worker safety and operational uptime.

“Sphera’s Control of Work solution combines information from all procedures, including permits, isolations, hazards, maintenance shifts and simultaneous operations (SIMOPS) to provide a real-time view of operating conditions across an entire facility.

This helps work teams manage interdependent risks through the work permissions process. Information about asset health, mechanical integrity and equipment- related risk are accounted for in the context of potentially hazardous work activity. And work is executed only after all safety measures are in place, whether it be a hot work or fire protection measure, lockout/tagout (LOTO) process, confined space entry or more.

Control of Work

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Emergency Preparedness and Response

Being prepared and ready to respond can make all the difference when it matters most. When an unplanned outage or emergency occurs, organizations need to keep people and assets safe. It’s critical to know what to do, how it should be done and ensure everyone is on the same page. But context is key. What activity is going on in the plant? What is the risk status of the asset? What could impact your emergency response? You must be prepared to respond when it matters most.

Organizations must implement and manage emergency response plans associated with work activities. This means knowing what to do to mitigate the situation if something does go wrong. It requires an understanding of equipment design and limitations, consequences and impacts, and the reliability of mitigating measures.

Sphera’s Emergency Preparedness and Response application supports response plan creation, drills, and in the case of a true emergency, can help teams move seamlessly from day-to-day operations to response mode. With quick access to response plan information as events unfold, teams can rapidly assess the situation and respond appropriately.

Emergency Preparedness and Response

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Critical Mechanical Integrity

Since the day an asset becomes operational, its process safety risk exposure begins to change. Mechanical integrity is one of those elements, and is of critical importance to Process Safety Management health. Indeed, critical equipment must be understood on a real-time basis and in relation to process safety barriers to reduce and mitigate incidents.

You must work to understand your risk levels today, tomorrow and beyond and let you know when to intervene and how to reduce exposure.

The implementation of a management system is focused on ensuring that process equipment and systems are designed, installed and maintained to perform the desired function and remain mechanically suitable. It involves inspection, testing, upgrading and repairs of equipment as well as written procedures to maintain ongoing integrity of equipment.

Sphera’s Process Safety Barrier Management is the first offering to connect operational and mechanical integrity risks and display them in a dynamic process safety barrier model that everyone can act upon. Connect the health status of process safety critical equipment (SCE) sensor data with overdue and planned maintenance and inspection data, emergency-critical and environmental control system statuses and more for cumulative risk impact.

Information about asset health, mechanical integrity and equipment-related risk are accounted for in the context of potentially hazardous work activity. Calculate the potential Major Accident Hazard (MAH) risk exposure, such as fires and explosions, at the plant and area of the plant level.

Learn how to keep people and asset safe and productive.

Process Safety Barrier Management

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Pre-Startup Safety Review

Before commissioning a new or modified processing facility, organizations must ensure installations meet the original design and operating intent to prevent incidents, especially those could potentially involve the catastrophic loss of life and property.

The implementation and management of Pre-Startup Safety Review (PSSR) is a systematic and thorough assessment supported by a detailed checklist of a process. These are critically important before introducing highly hazardous chemicals/hydrocarbons, shutdowns for modifications, major T&I maintenance activities, new processing unit or equipment, prolonged shutdowns, or idle operations.

Sphera’s Management of Change solution supports the Pre-Startup Safety Review process. It helps teams confirm that construction and equipment are in accordance with design specifications; safety, operating, maintenance, and emergency procedures are in place and are adequate; a Process Hazard Analysis has been performed for new facilities; recommendations have been resolved or implemented before startup; modified facilities meet the management of change requirements; and training has been completed.

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Training Management

Jobs are constantly changing, and employees need to be able to advance their skillsets quickly. Companies need to ensure that the right people have the right skills and have access to the proper training to help them monitor and manage the risk-related needs across the organization: Automation of tasks, such as course scheduling, alerts and reminders, relieves daily tasks so that leaders can concentrate on business planning and strategy.

The implementation and management of practical instruction in job and task requirements and methods is critical. Training may be provided in a classroom or at the workplace, and the objective must be to enable workers to meet some initial performance standards, maintain proficiency or train them for a position with added responsibilities. Making sure the organization’s Process Safety Management objectives are recognized throughout the company is essential.

Sphera’s Training Management supports companies to create a companywide training strategy that meets local and global needs including the development of a searchable inventory of sessions and courses and management of individual training attendance and reminders.

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Management of Change

In today’s economy, organizations are faced with constant change, whether it’s from technological innovation, regulatory updates, internal process changes or compelling events, such as incidents. Incident rates are indicative of the efficacy of an organization’s Process Safety Management and Management of Change process.

The degree to which organizations enact lasting change directly impacts their ability to keep their people safe, products sustainable, and operations productive. It’s important to control the impact of change on your people and operations.

The implementation of a management system is important to help identify, review and approve all modifications to equipment, procedures, raw materials and processing conditions. This helps ensure that changes to processes are properly analyzed (e.g., for potential adverse impacts), documented and communicated to the appropriate employees.

Sphera’s Management of Change (MOC) module enables companies to consistently and effectively mitigate risks and hazards associated with change. It provides a single system that supports regional and divisional influences and workflow requirements, and enables centralized action management and the sharing of best practices.

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Incident Investigation

Effective incident management plays a key role in risk management and a company’s continuous and effective operations. It is critical to have a strategic and thoughtful incident response and reporting process. Technology plays a key role in effectively recording, tracking, investigating, reporting and analyzing incidents and near-misses.

The implementation and management of a process must define the roles, responsibilities, protocols and specific activities that need to be carried out by personnel performing an incident investigation.

A group of qualified people who examine an incident in a manner that is timely, objective, systematic and technically sound can ensure that factual information pertaining to the event is documented. They also can assess if probable cause(s) are obtained. The result? Complete technical understanding of an event.

Sphera’s Incident Management solution enables organizatons to report incidents, near-misses and hazards from any device in real time, which saves time by automating repeatable tasks using smart alerts, reminders and risk aggregation.

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How Mature Is Your Process Safety Management?

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Contractor Safety Management

Contractor security management is an issue that many companies face in today’s business world. As companies around the world hire more and more contract workers, maintaining safety has become much more complex. The issue of contractor safety is characterized by regulatory pressure and tighter safety standards, a massive number of contractors globally and a high risk of incidents as well as insurance claims.

The implementation and management of a system of controls to ensure that contracted services support (1) safe facility operations and (2) the company’s process safety and personal safety performance goals. It includes the selection, acquisition, use, and monitoring of contracted services. Subcontracted company or individual performing work at a PSM-covered facility whose business relationship is with a third party (i.e., a general or specialty contractor) and not with the host facility directly. Subcontractors are subject to the Contractor Management element of PSM programs.

Sphera’s Contractor Safety Management solution helps companies capture data accurately and consistently across the organization for third-party vendors. It maintains up-to-date documentation like statements of work, schedules, permits to work and contracts. It also records and reports on all third parties in a centralized, configurable solution.

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Compliance Audits

In today’s jungle of regulations and compliance, you are increasingly confronted with internal audits and evaluations. They bring extra work and stress. Organizations must view these important tasks as an opportunity to take a different approach to their compliance programs and identify gaps before a regulator does. Gaps can be addressed, which lower’s the organization’s risk exposure.

A small investment in an audit or assessment also lowers overall costs because the insights gained can be transferred to other sites, which saves the organization time and money.

Determining the status and quality of a Process Safety Management program must take into account the inspection of a plant or process unit, drawing, procedure, emergency plan and/or management system, etc., which are performed by an impartial group of workers, managers and executives. Their goal must be to examine whether programs and strategies are meeting the company’s goals. If not, it could negatively affect workers, operations and even the physical assets. Objectives relate to risk reduction.

Sphera’s Audit and Inspection Management eases the administrative burden of the audit and inspection process by automating standard tasks across your organization and centralizing data collection to improve your ability to identify and mitigate risks.

With a centralized, auditable system, documentation and inaccuracies can be reduced and audit planning, scheduling and alerts can be automated so that teams can plan and respond more effectively.

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Employee Involvement

The number of documents an organization produces and needs to track is massive. It is a challenge for the whole enterprise. Employees need to access, acknowledge and sign off on the most up-to-date and relevant versions of important policy documents; they also need to be stored and audited so organizations can remain in regulatory compliance.

The implementation and management of a documented employee participation plan of action gives employees and consultants access, consultation, participation and development of all elements of process safety, including Process Hazard Analysis. Employees include work site and contractor employees.

Sphera’s Policy Management Solution can help your company store all relevant documents in a safe, secure and reliable location that enables users to quickly upload, publish and distribute documents in a customizable workflow. As a central depsitory, it also allows users to access versions and variants of documents.

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Trade Secrets

You need to provide essential information to employees so that impacts of materials, equipment and processes on their health and safety is understood while at the same time protecting your organization’s intellectual property.

The unique combination of processes and materials that are used to create your products may be trade secrets, but regulations still require that you provide all of the information about those processes and materials to comply with Process Safety Management, regardless of trade secret status.

Sphera’s solutions will support your ability to comply with industry’s Process Safety Management best practice, no matter the process your organization or business units chooses to follow. Our centralized tools provide the ability to communicate and share information across the enterprise so everyone can access information when and where the need it most.

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How Mature is Your Process Safety Management?

Let us help by providing an assessment and maturity enhancement design.

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