Mona Mcmahon, P.E 2017-04-26 19:45:34
W hen elements of a performance-based Process Safety Management (PSM) program are properly implemented, process reliability and overall plant efficiency can be improved. An effective PSM program employs a systematic approach to handling risk through integrated management systems that form the fundamental methods for managing business. In order to effectively compete in an increasingly demanding market with tight margins, organizations should realize how the potential and effectiveness of these management systems can improve operational reliability. This is the foundation of the financial argument for using PSM as a tool for improving efficiency and reliability as well as managing risk. American Institute of Chemical Engineers Center for Chemical Process Safety1 summarizes the following business benefits from implementing a robust process safety program: • Productivity increased • Production costs saved • Maintenance costs saved • Capital budget saved • Reduced insurance costs Furthermore, focusing on the following three areas to increase productivity can realize significant value: • Reliability and mechanical integrity of equipment • Operating procedures • Employee training program First, a mechanical integrity (MI) program that meets PSM requirements can serve as the foundation for an asset management program that encompasses MI as well as equipment reliability. Establishing a riskbased MI program rooted in an understanding of process risks includes not only safety but also equipment and process reliability, and results in fewer unplanned operational outages and costly equipment failures. Using a systematic methodology to focus resources on priorities for inspections, tests, and preventive and predictive maintenance (ITPM) tasks in the form of a plan leads to an organized, comprehensive approach. This approach ensures that high-risk items are properly monitored and maintained to prevent failures and unplanned downtime. To improve process reliability, analysis and interpretation of the results of ITPM, tasks should be performed as an input for continuous improvement to the MI program. It’s important to periodically validate the approach and plan, as well as adjust based on findings to maintain a balance between limited resources and operational risk. Written standard operating procedures (SOPs) can also be used not only to document a safe way to operate, as required by PSM, but also to improve process reliability through an accurate and repeatable process to achieve consistency. The collective process of developing written procedures provides key opportunities to incorporate quality and lean manufacturing management principles. SOPs can be used as an effective tool to drive results while maintaining process and quality controls in order to achieve a multitude of business goals going well beyond the minimum safety standards, such as employee participation, ownership and acceptance. Finally, the area of employee training offers significant opportunities to improve process reliability. Human factors have shown to be a critical element in preventing accidents and can be capitalized on to achieve operational excellence through disciplined performance. An operator training program structured around written SOPs provides a solid foundation to establish qualification and can also include troubleshooting capabilities and team exercises to improve team effectiveness. A rigorously designed employee training program based on management systems leads to performance excellence where every member carries out required tasks the right way every time, thus ensuring process reliability. A well-trained staff leads to effective performance, which reduces costs, mitigates safety risks, and minimizes the impact of operational and reliability issues. Focusing on process reliability as an area for continuous improvement and going beyond minimum compliance to implement best practices and operational excellence will result in increased overall plant efficiency. For more information, contact Mona McMahon at (443) 831-7673 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. 1https://www.aiche.org/ccps/documents/busi ness-case-process-safety
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