Effective implementation of process safety management
Process Safety Management (PSM) is concerned with the safe handling of products, safe production of products and the safe operation of the process as confirmed by Thrower (2013). The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) (2012) promulgated the PSM standard in 1992, which incorporated fourteen elements, to decrease the occurrence of process safety incidents. Walt and Frank (2007) described the cracks in the implementation of PSM programs, emanating from major process safety incidents and compliance audits. This was confirmed by the decaying process safety performance observed in recent years. It was thus proposed that an analysis into the diverse process safety incident causes and its comparison against the implemented OSHA PSM program, would suggest its associated shortcomings. The aim of the study was to determine the most effective approach to implement and sustain PSM in an organisation to prevent and manage the occurrence of major industrial catastrophes. A semi-qualitative study was conducted through the employment of a survey questionnaire and published incident investigation reports. A total of fifty random process safety incidents were interpreted from published and accredited secondary literature. Most of the secondary literature was obtained from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Centre for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS) databases. From the study findings, Mechanical Integrity (MI) failures were found to significantly and consistently contribute to process safety incidents. Further analysis specifically concluded that equipment or control failure was the significant cause. Employee Participation (EP) was found to statistically correlate with the other elements. The researcher found that literature agreed with the aforementioned findings and this study verified that the EP element was instrumental in the implementation of the other elements. The researcher used literature to confirm that safety culture and leadership commitment was crucial to effective and sustainable PSM programs. The case study analysis validated this observation. Therefore the most effective approach to implement and sustain PSM was to adopt the DuPont, Centre for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS), Risk Based PSM framework or Energy Institute (EI) models. To conclude, this study was effective as all the objectives and the aim was achieved.
- Engineering