Development of a Comprehensive Procedure Writers' Guide Framework

  • Type:
    Conference Presentation
  • Conference Type:
    AIChE Spring Meeting and Global Congress on Process Safety
  • Presentation Date:
    August 19, 2020
  • Duration:
    60 minutes
  • Skill Level:
    Intermediate
  • PDHs:
    1.00

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Procedures are considered to be an integral part of safe operations within the process industry, as they serve as safeguards to inform workers of proper operating methods and prevent workers from engaging in unsafe and/or undesired actions. A number of industrial incidents stemming from poorly written procedures have highlighted pitfalls within one of the most critical elements of procedure development, the writers’ guides. Previous studies have shown that there are many inconsistencies between writers' guides of different companies, with only a few elements, such as general procedure goals and proper writing styles, appearing in a majority of them. Many other critical elements, particularly those related to human factors and safety/environmental responsibilities, appear in few writers’ guides or are poorly addressed. This work seeks to provide a comprehensive framework for the development of writers’ guides across process industries, so as to have consistent content within procedures that addresses the issues that can lead to unsafe actions and incidents. As part of this framework, a procedure life-cycle has been developed and proposed based on a literature review of system development life-cycles from a number of industries, including software development and architecture. This life-cycle illustrates the stages of the procedure development process that are influenced by the writer's guide as well as the elements that are used to develop the writer's guide. Using the procedure development life-cycle as a guide, this framework has been developed based on regulatory elements and industry best practices as well as human factors guidelines.
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