BIC Magazine April 2016 : Page 65

INSIDE INDUSTRY By: RON FACIANE, Director GP Strategies ® Environmental excellence: Managing risk in advance E nvironmental compliance is often viewed as a set of controls and response plans. While these are essen-tial elements to a sound environmental program, educating the workforce on environmental hazards and training them on the controls for and response to envi-ronmental releases are key components of a successful environmental program that helps manage risk through employee awareness and action. Commonly, work-force education is relegated to manda-tory topics addressed on an annual basis simply to comply with regulations and doesn’t address competencies needed to make sound decisions to prevent risk. Going beyond compliance to excellence requires a more robust approach to work-force education and preparedness. Investigations into the causes of serious environmental releases have demonstrated a better prepared workforce could help manage risk through better awareness, recognition and response. As an example, for several process safety incidents that led to environmental releases, workforce preparedness was found to be a contribut-ing cause. In his article “Lessons Learned from Recent Process Safety Incidents,” Albert Ness identifies human error and management decisions as two of the top contributors to these types of incidents. In one case, Ness references workforce issues including “a lack of understanding” resulting in “a series of poor decisions.” In another incident, the article reveals “per-sonnel did not know about the conditions” that could lead to the incident. Issues such as these justify the effort and resources required to implement stronger workforce preparedness pro-grams as a means of achieving environ-mental excellence. This can be accom-plished by educating the workforce beyond annual regulatory training in order to realize greater awareness, recognition and response. It requires a structured effort to raise the bar and change behaviors through attainment of new competencies. One of the most significant competencies that impacts environmental excellence is the troubleshooting or problem-solv-ing competency. While this capability is often desirable, training programs com-monly ignore it and rely on cookbook methodology to guide problem-solving processes. Unfortunately, this leads more often to responding to a risk rather than managing the risk in advance. Achieving a troubleshooting compe-tency requires a program that enables workforce members to: 1. Be aware of and recognize abnormal-ities — Operators and management must understand the consequences of process deviations. This goes beyond accessing a chart or table. It involves knowing moni-toring methods and understanding the set points and impacts parameter changes have on the overall process. This enables opera-tors and management to identify a condition as “abnormal” before it becomes an inci-dent. In many cases, the information needed to gain this competency is not documented or, at best, is not easily accessible. Having a structured learning process that enables transfer of this information helps achieve greater awareness and recognition. 2. Manage abnormal situations — Beyond awareness is a need to manage an abnormal situation or condition once it is identified in order to make the appropri-ate response decisions. This requires the ability to: • Recognize symptoms early. • Evaluate contributing factors. • Isolate the root cause. • Take corrective action. • Stabilize the situation. 3. Reach application proficiency and improved competency through repetition in diverse conditions — Attaining the trou-bleshooting competency requires practice. This is accomplished through a defined methodology reinforced with a continuous education program consisting of what-if exercises and troubleshooting scenarios. When implemented strategically, this approach has resulted in a reduction in environmental incidents by as much as 50 percent in the first year after implementa-tion — a huge step in the move from com-pliance to environmental excellence. For more information on implement-ing a structured training process to achieve environmental excellence, call Ron Faciane at (225) 663-5826 or email him at rfaciane@gpstrategies.com. • UPDATE 28th Annual Pipeline Pigging & Integrity Management Conference For more information, visit www.clarion.org or call (713) 527-5929. Joe Coffey of Formosa, left, networks with Greg Duke of Total Safety. Troy Goolsby of Team Industrial Services, right, welcomes John Ashworth to the Team booth. Tom Derrah of BIC Alliance, center, visits with Rich Smith, left, and Adrian Chavez of A.Hak Industrial Services. Thomas Sanders, left, of Clean Harbors enjoys the conference with Robert Morgan of Chevron Pipe Line Co. Read BIC Magazine online at BICMagazine.com April 2016 65

Environmental Excellence: Managing Risk In Advance

Ron Faciane

Environmental compliance is often viewed as a set of controls and response plans. While these are essential elements to a sound environmental program, educating the workforce on environmental hazards and training them on the controls for and response to environmental releases are key components of a successful environmental program that helps manage risk through employee awareness and action. Commonly, workforce education is relegated to mandatory topics addressed on an annual basis simply to comply with regulations and doesn’t address competencies needed to make sound decisions to prevent risk. Going beyond compliance to excellence requires a more robust approach to workforce education and preparedness.

Investigations into the causes of serious environmental releases have demonstrated a better prepared workforce could help manage risk through better awareness, recognition and response. As an example, for several process safety incidents that led to environmental releases, workforce preparedness was found to be a contributing cause. In his article “Lessons Learned from Recent Process Safety Incidents,” Albert Ness identifies human error and management decisions as two of the top contributors to these types of incidents. In one case, Ness references workforce issues including “a lack of understanding” resulting in “a series of poor decisions.” In another incident, the article reveals “personnel did not know about the conditions” that could lead to the incident.

Issues such as these justify the effort and resources required to implement stronger workforce preparedness programs as a means of achieving environmental excellence. This can be accomplished by educating the workforce beyond annual regulatory training in order to realize greater awareness, recognition and response. It requires a structured effort to raise the bar and change behaviors through attainment of new competencies. One of the most significant competencies that impacts environmental excellence is the troubleshooting or problem-solving competency. While this capability is often desirable, training programs commonly ignore it and rely on cookbook methodology to guide problem-solving processes. Unfortunately, this leads more often to responding to a risk rather than managing the risk in advance.

Achieving a troubleshooting competency requires a program that enables workforce members to:

1. Be aware of and recognize abnormalities — Operators and management must understand the consequences of process deviations. This goes beyond accessing a chart or table. It involves knowing monitoring methods and understanding the set points and impacts parameter changes have on the overall process. This enables operators and management to identify a condition as “abnormal” before it becomes an incident. In many cases, the information needed to gain this competency is not documented or, at best, is not easily accessible. Having a structured learning process that enables transfer of this information helps achieve greater awareness and recognition.

2. Manage abnormal situations — Beyond awareness is a need to manage an abnormal situation or condition once it is identified in order to make the appropriate response decisions. This requires the ability to:

• Recognize symptoms early.

• Evaluate contributing factors.

• Isolate the root cause.

• Take corrective action.

• Stabilize the situation.

3. Reach application proficiency and improved competency through repetition in diverse conditions — Attaining the troubleshooting competency requires practice. This is accomplished through a defined methodology reinforced with a continuous education program consisting of what-if exercises and troubleshooting scenarios.

When implemented strategically, this approach has resulted in a reduction in environmental incidents by as much as 50 percent in the first year after implementation — a huge step in the move from compliance to environmental excellence.

For more information on implementing a structured training process to achieve environmental excellence, call Ron Faciane at (225) 663-5826 or email him at rfaciane@gpstrategies.com.

Read the full article at http://trendmag.trendoffset.com/article/Environmental+Excellence%3A+Managing+Risk+In+Advance/2434839/295145/article.html.

GP Strategies Corp.

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