An Update On the Use of Process Safety Leading Indicators

Safety and Health Division
AIChE Spring Meeting and Global Congress on Process Safety
April 29, 2013 - 1:30pm-2:00pm
The CCPS Process Safety Leading and Lagging Metrics publication states that the essential element of any improvement program is the measure of existing and future performance. Therefore, to continuously improve upon process safety performance, it is essential that companies in the chemical and petroleum industries implement effective leading and lagging process safety metrics.

Chemical Process Safety Indicators are generally broken down into the following categories:

“Lagging” Metrics – a retrospective set of metrics that are based on incidents that meet the threshold of severity that should be reported as part of the industry-wide process safety metric.

“Challenges to Safety Systems, Near Miss” and other internal Lagging Metrics – the description of less severe incidents (i.e., below the threshold for inclusion in the industry lagging metric), or unsafe conditions which activated one or more layers of protection. Although these events are actual events (i.e., a “lagging” metric), they are generally considered to be a good indicator of conditions which could ultimately lead to a more severe incident.

“Leading” Metrics – a forward looking set of metrics which indicate the performance of the key work processes, operating discipline, or layers of protection that prevent incidents

This paper provides an update on the Chemical Industries use, direction and effectiveness of leading indicators and provides recommended leading indicators to help drive performance in a common direction. As the use of leading indicators is in its nascent stages, it is anticipated that additional surveys and updates will be published on a biannual basis.

Respondents’ survey inputs are summarized as follows:

A. Which leading indicators companies are currently utilizing and are finding most effective in driving performance objectives

B. Strategies used to overcome barriers in the implementation

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