Journey towards PSM Excellence

Global Congress on Process Safety
2010 Global Congress on Process Safety
Global Congress on Process Safety
March 22, 2010 - 8:00pm
This paper describes the experience, learning and major challenges in implementing Process Safety Management at Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) India. The Reliance Group, founded by Dhirubhai H. Ambani (1932-2002), is India's largest private sector enterprise, with businesses in the energy and materials value chain. Over the last two years, RIL has taken several strategic steps to make a quantum jump in Health, Safety & Environment (HSE) management systems, practices, performance and culture. RIL had tied-up with the DuPont Safety Resources who are the world leaders in HSE management to help in the transformation process.

The major risk and focus area for RIL is Process Safety. Process Safety, however, needs a strong integration with the general safety principles which include behavior influencing. RIL adopted a comprehensive strategy to address all aspects of Process Safety Management and radically transform the way process safety was managed. Top down approach of coaching all leaders, building strong systems of governance, review and controls is adopted along with the bottom up approach of involving all employees, building employee's capabilities on safety through Training and Coaching.

Visible Management commitment is at the core of Process Safety management and RIL's top leadership has committed itself to implement the processes safety management in its true spirit by motivating, reviewing, supporting, guiding and providing resources on priority for PSM implementation. Detailed unit wise plans and PSM metrics are developed and reviewed by each level of leadership in the organization.

The first step in implementing effective PSM is setting clear accountability and ownership of line management for the Process Safety performance. Line managers performed their role in the management and implementation of process safety by participating in subcommittees, standards / procedures development, trainings and actual implementation activities. Subcommittees were formed to manage, govern and facilitate the whole process of implementing the elements of Process Safety. Networks were formed to benefit from each other's learning.

A strong behavior safety program is implemented to establish a culture that is sensitive to safety, specifically, process safety.

Building PSM competencies in the organization through training, coaching and handholding is an important aspect to implement PSM. It is critical for the line management that the employees are aware of, adequately trained and made to understand Process Safety. A critical mass of employees got trained on PSM competencies and became the torchbearers.

Management expectations on PSM were spelled out clearly through developing and rolling out PSM standards at corporate level demanding world class level of performance. The manufacturing sites clearly defined the ways to achieve those expectations through their site procedures. The process of training on the standards and procedures and communicating to the employees is the core of effective implementation of PSM.

A robust Auditing process has been established to identify and improve the gaps in PSM and the audit also checks the efforts being taken to improve the Operational discipline at the organization. A progressive motivation process has been established to drive the organization towards excellence.

RIL has established a strong Process Safety Management system and further strengthens it by learning from its experiences during this process. Implementation of Process safety management involves an integrated approach of addressing all the elements with strong management commitment and involvement of all employees.

RIL's learning and experience are of relevance to all process industries who want to implement Process Safety Management and this paper provides insight into: „X The Approach to implement Process Safety Management „X The Management role in implementation of PSM „X The Governance and Review process to implement PSM „X The Challenges in implementing a successful Process Safety Management.
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