The importance of Process Safety Management (PSM) and Operational Risk Management (ORM) cannot be underestimated.

In the explosion that took place in Beirut in August, where hundreds of people were killed after a fire broke out in a warehouse next to a silo that reportedly stored ammonium nitrate, it appears that safety measures were suboptimal. Besides the priceless loss of life, there were billions of dollars in property damage as well.

Sadly, far too many catastrophic incidents continue to take place around the world each year. We can do better to build a safer, more sustainable and productive world for everyone. And that starts with a strong safety culture, approach and process throughout the supply chain.

The majority of respondents in the fifth-annual Process Safety Management/Operational Risk Management report still see a siloed approach to risk management in their organizations where data, lessons learned and insights are not integrated into a comprehensive risk mitigation strategy.

What stood out to me is just under two-thirds (62%) of respondents said they had well-defined leading safety indicators and just over two-thirds (69%) said that Operations typically understands the aspects of their jobs that are critical in managing process safety risk. Those are two key components of a best-in-class safety culture that are missing from the equation in many organizations.

Additionally, almost a third (32%) of scheduled safety-critical maintenance and asset integrity inspection are not achieved each month, and only about half of respondents (51%) say they believe it is possible and/or practical to achieve 100% scheduled maintenance and inspections. The majority of respondents (65%) are also still seeing a siloed approach to risk management in their organizations where data, lessons learned and insights are not integrated into a comprehensive risk mitigation strategy.

What is encouraging is that most respondents (91%) say technology has made their companies and workers safer, up 11 percentage points from the previous survey, and the same percentage believes risk awareness and safety would be improved if their workforces and management had real-time access to process safety risk indicators.

Substandard PSM and ORM initiatives put your people, assets and reputation at risk. By integrating software and technology, companies can help predict where their risk vulnerabilities are and work to prevent incidents even before they can take place. Companies can learn from each other, too. I invite you to download the new PSM/ORM report to learn more.

2020 Survey on the State of Process Safety and Operational Risk Management

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2020 Survey on the State of Process Safety and Operational Risk Management

The Shift to Dynamic and Simulated Risk

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Paul Marushka

Paul Marushka

As Sphera’s founding President and CEO, Paul Marushka is responsible for providing overall strategic leadership for the company in developing, directing and implementing go-to-market, service, product and operational plans. Marushka has grown businesses by bringing innovative solutions to market in leveraging software, analytics and technology services. Prior to joining Sphera, Paul served as President of Marsh ClearSight, a business unit of Marsh & McLennan and a leading provider of software, services and analytics for enterprise risk management, safety and compliance management and claims administration. Marushka also has held executive positions at software and data companies such as Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO) and CCC Information Services.

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