It takes a well-engineered car to reach the 300,000-mile mark. But design alone won’t make a long-lasting vehicle. Maintenance, care, and attention to the irregular pings and ticks are necessary if a driver wants to get the most out of her transportation. Even engineering marvels need a vigilant caretaker.
The same thing is true in process safety. Engineers have created marvelous systems to safeguard against exposures and trigger fail-safes in the event of an accident. But without people to monitor those systems, without curious, active, and attentive eyes there to spot the slight changes in readings or subtle fluctuations in operations, those well-engineered systems can’t perform their jobs the way they were intended. They can never completely stop an incident from striking and causing untold disaster.
To support the technical systems that underpin process safety, we need to ensure that all elements of catastrophic event prevention (namely, risk management, operations, asset integrity, deviation management, and accountability) are fully complemented by the right organizational culture. This means engaging people’s hearts and minds in process safety and leveraging motivation to build behavioral reliability that reinforces the four process safety-specific characteristics of anticipation, inquiry, execution, and resilience. Without the human factor—and the backing of leadership and organizational systems—no machine can ever keep us safe.
This 26-27 October, professionals from the process industry will gather in Antwerp, Belgium, for the Safety in Action conference to discuss topics in catastrophic event prevention. They will explore practices, methodologies, and insights into what can be done to assure the safety of people, equipment, and the environment, even in the most demanding of operations and environments. Presenters will cover a broad scope of process safety subjects, including: “How Bad Process Safety Data Can Undermine Good PSM Performance,” “Implementation of a Management of Change (MOC) Procedure,” and “QRAs: Best Practices and Limitations.”
Other sessions offer firsthand accounts of success stories and lessons learned from experts in the field of process manufacturing. The Center for Chemical Process Safety’s Dennis Hendershot provides the keynote address on “Inherently Safer Thinking – Not Just Design or Technology,” and Hans Schwarz of BASF reports on what process safety competence looks like at his company. Other noteworthy presentations include “Incident Investigation with Tripod Beta,” “Energetic Substances (Intended and Unintended) – Identification, Classification, and Handling,” and “The Evolution of Safety: Unifying Theory and Practice.”
We encourage you to explore everything Safety in Action has to offer and hope to see you in Antwerp soon!