By Sphera’s Editorial Team | November 1, 2023

Current Trends in Process Safety and Operational Risk Management

Risk and safety: Process safety management (PSM) and operational risk management (ORM) center around these two concepts. In dangerous industries, PSM and ORM enable companies to keep people safe and to minimize the risk of damage to company assets, communities and the environment.

To be truly effective, PSM and ORM require a multidimensional approach that blends digital technology with strategy, policy and frontline performance, as the findings from our Process Safety Report 2023 demonstrate.

of respondents agree that technology can enable effective process safety now or will have the potential to do so in the future.
agree that technology helps reduce vulnerability to hazard events. Yet 63% report that human factors negatively impact safety performance.
believe that access to digitized, real-time process safety risk indicators improves risk awareness and safety.  But 46% think that conflicts between policy and frontline working practices increase risk.

Now in its eighth year, the Sphera Process Safety Report annually provides a snapshot of the state of PSM and ORM. We gather insights and opinions from process safety professionals in some of the most dangerous industries, including petrochemical operations, metals, mining and power utilities. Our survey investigates the most pressing process safety challenges and promising trends across the globe.

This year’s report includes the finding that one-third of scheduled safety-critical maintenance is not achieved—a figure that has remained constant year after year. Additionally, roughly two-thirds of respondents say there are gaps between their organizations’ safety goals and process safety as they experience it. We investigate some of the reasons for the shortcomings.

We observe that technology is increasingly valued by companies to help them reduce vulnerability to high-potential near-misses and major hazard events. At the same time, professionals in process safety management are keenly aware of the pivotal role of people—from corporate leadership to frontline workers—in implementing safety policy and technology.

Download our report to learn more about important trends and developments in process safety and operational risk management.