Bringing It All Together: The Emergence of Operational Risk Management Systems - Two Case Studies

  • Type:
    Conference Presentation
  • Conference Type:
    AIChE Spring Meeting and Global Congress on Process Safety
  • Presentation Date:
    April 3, 2019
  • Duration:
    30 minutes
  • Skill Level:
  • PDHs:

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Modern hazardous industries face the challenge of routinely connecting risk to the operational reality. While process safety methods and techniques developed over the years have improved the design of our facilities, many industry operators do not provide systems and solutions for maintenance and operations - where decisions continuously take place that impact well-designed process safety barriers and increase exposure to Major Accident Hazard (MAH) risk.

According to Petrotechnics’ 2018 industry survey, 86% of industry leaders report a gap between how process safety is intended and the reality of operations. Only 38% believe industry operators proactively manage process safety risk. Sixty-nine percent say challenges to delivering effective process safety are due to safety culture and overall risk awareness.

The survey indicates gaps in organizations’ abilities to develop and make accessible a single, shared view of the operational reality for everyone across an organization. Although companies have a wealth of data, it’s often trapped in organizational silos making it difficult to utilize in supporting real-time decision-making.

The dynamic nature of risk at the frontline demands new ways to make MAH risk exposure visible and prominent, so every operational decision is informed by real-time events and managed with care.

There is a perceptible shift in the hazardous industries with connected systems changing how risk and process safety are measured and managed. Industry leaders report the adoption of advanced technologies – such as IIoT platforms, digital twins, predictive analytics, and mobile workforce applications - for managing process safety and operational risk will increase significantly in the future.

An emerging category of Operational Risk Management (ORM) business systems offer the potential to make companies and their work teams safer through their ability to deliver an enterprise-wide understanding of how planned work activities impact process safety barrier and equipment health. This early warning system makes all risk exposure visible, prominent and available to all in real-time, reducing vulnerability to high-potential near-misses and major hazard events.

This paper will set out the principles of this new approach and include case studies sharing how two major operators are using digitalization to connect a real-time view of process safety barrier health to the frontline to support more effective hazard management.

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