Insights on Environmental Health & Safety (EHS), Operational Risk and Product Stewardship

With Incidents, History Can, Will Repeat Itself Without Right Information at Hand

June 4th, 2019
Scott Redford
Share on:

Tags: , ,

I previously published a post about aging assets. I used the scenario of riding a bike to highlight the different stages of risk appetite as our assets mature. (In this example, I was the “asset.”)

Last summer, I fell off my bike (maybe I tempted fate!) when I was coming down an off-road section of a path, went over the handle bars and landed on my head and left shoulder. Luckily, I was wearing my helmet so I was protected; however, I broke a bone in my shoulder.

This event made me think about the risks and potential hazards around me.

There were several potential hazards that I was aware of, such as:

But what about the hazards that I was not aware of? Was there information about that path that was not known to me? Had there been any previous incidents or near-misses on that path?

Wouldn’t it be great if you had a way of knowing exactly what had happened before on that path, and were able to learn from incidents that had previously occurred? That way you’d be able to see the complete risk picture and learn from others’ experiences. With that type of knowledge and information, I could have made better, more informed decisions to safely navigate the path.

If you translate that scenario to daily operations on a plant or asset within hazardous industries, a high percentage of incidents have previously occurred within an organization. As much as 70% of all incidents are reoccurring. Organizations know about the incident and the factors leading to it; however, they were unable to proactively share the information with workers at the frontline. This could have happened at another plant, on the same or a similar type of equipment, or even that exact spot.

Here’s another interesting bit of information: An incident often needs to happen at least four times within an organization before it is recognized and removed from the company.

That knowledge and insight is known and available within your organization today, but it is not connected to day-to-day operations. It is often held in a data silo within an Incident Management System that is very good for recording and managing incidents, but not great for spreading the news. Incidents become known to a few people, but not everybody who could use the information.

Here’s the good news …

It no longer needs to be this way. With the digital transformation agenda maturing through the industry, connected working is not a “nice to have:” feature; it is a key component of Operational Excellence.

Integrating frontline products, such as Sphera’s Operational Risk Management solution with SpheraCloud Incident Management is just one way that the right information can be shared with the right people at the right time and in the right form.

There are many more examples to provide the information to the team before they start performing the job by reducing the knowledge gap that can only be filled by previous experience. Also, companies can make the information available to the team on their mobile devices at the job site.

This is a reality that can be achieved today within a connected organization.

What do you think? Is your organization connected? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Contact me through our website.

Scott Redford

Scott Redford is Sphera's senior product manager for Operational Risk Management. He has two decades of experience in designing and delivering software solutions to address business challenges. At Sphera, Redford is looking to understand the problems facing organizations today and how information that currently exists within the enterprise can help drive potential solutions. Prior to working at Sphera, Redford specialized in providing data integration and consolidation solutions to large-scale organizations with complex business processes.

Back to