January 5, 2018

Leadership and Process Safety Management

Every now and then we read about incidents of loss of containment even in reputed companies. Why do these incidents happen?
The incidents that I have investigated brings out two categories of leadership - one who think that once a PSM system is implemented, their role is over and the system should prevent incidents. The other is "We did not know this was happening or this risk was being taken at the plant".
Both are leadership issues that form the crux of why incidents continue to occur.
A PSM system is not like a light bulb....switch it on and no incidents occur! It requires top leadership on a daily basis to send the right signals to ensure the PSM system works as intended.
The leadership should also be competent in understanding the process safety risks and should spend quality time to seek and ensure that these risks are controlled on a day to day basis. PSM dashboards are good but can be more useful if leadership does a deep dive into the indicators. The dashboards can also lull you into a sense of complacency if the right indicators are not chosen.
Last, but not the least....Leaders should not review the PSM  system AFTER an incident occurs but must proactively understand whether process safety risks are controlled on a day to day basis.

No comments:

Post a Comment