Process safety management system auditing is evolving into a more business critical function and is receiving far more attention than previously as PSM evolves. The expectation for success in PSM is high and auditing is a key opportunity to validate the process and improve performance. Most auditing processes address the PSM system from an incomplete approach without consideration of the actual design of the system or goals of the organization. Auditing can be more effective if synchronized to organizational design and goals.
PSM management systems and the audit process that reviews them need to be defined from the fundamentals, including the following considerations:
- What management model will be used?
- Which elements will the process comprise?
- Is the program regulatory driven or performance driven?;
- Are there multiple performance objectives to be met?;
- What key performance indicators will be used to measure performance?
With that foundation, the auditing process can be defined to assure compliance to the required system. Many companies are only now facing the rationalization of global PSM performance vs. regulatory compliance in the US only. This paper will outline an approach for defining corporate objectives, understanding options available, defining a PSM program, defining performance objectives and KPIs, designing an audit program, and then executing the audit process. This is a necessity to ensure that the enterprise-wide process is defined and managed for responsible management of process hazards.
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