Operations managers today are faced with numerous challenges as they begin a new role and during their entire tenure in the role. Key job area include: EHS, operating cost, raw material budgets, logistics, reliable product supply, product quality, capital planning, and organizational stewardship. During the time the operations manager is coming up to speed, the organization is at higher risk as a key organization leader’s focus can be diluted and distracted. Also, senior managers can also be faced with similar “job overload” and lose focus on key priorities. It is absolutely critical that operations managers avoid these pitfalls and make process and personal safety a cornerstone of their day-to-day focus. This paper discusses why process safety must be a top priority for operations leaders and suggests key milestones over 30, 60, and 90 days to assess the site’s process safety culture and layers of protection. Practical tips are given on what and how to assess and what to do with gaps to prevent the next serious incident. These efforts might save a life, prevent harm to the community, or save the enterprise.
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