The Process Safety Professional (Part 13). Systems Thinking
We are writing a book The Process Safety Professional. The current Table of Contents is available here. We are gradually releasing the contents of the book to paid subscribers. This is the thirteenth release. It is to do with systems thinking.
The elements of process safety have strong interaction with one another — it is not possible to meet the requirements of one of the elements without considering its effect on the others. The inter-connectedness of the elements can be illustrated by considering the development of an Emergency Response Plan, in which the following sequence of actions — involving seven of the elements in Table 1.1 — may occur (Sutton, Process Risk and Reliability Management, 2014),
The writing of the Emergency Response Plan (element 16) requires a knowledge of which hazards have to be addressed.
Consequently, a Hazards Analysis (element 7) is required to identify the hazards.
In order to be able to carry out the hazards analysis, information from sources such as P&IDs and MSDS is needed. Much of this information is included in the Knowledge Management program (element 6).
Once the Emergency Response Plan has been developed, it will be necessary to Train everyone in its use (element 12).
The Emergency Response Plan has to be Audited on a regular basis (element 19).
During the training process, those being trained will come up with ideas that will improve the quality of the emergency response plan. This is Workforce Involvement (element 4).
After going through the Management of Change step (element 13) these ideas can be used to upgrade the emergency manual.
When considered in isolation, many of the elements appear to be the “most important”. For example, Workforce Involvement could be considered to be the key element because, if the employees do not participate in the process safety program, then that program will not function properly. But Management of Change could be considered the “most important” because the root cause of all incidents is uncontrolled change.
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial