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Good or Great? the Seven Practices of Great Process Safety Leaders

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    Individuals

    AIChE Member Credits 0.5
    AIChE Members $19.00
    AIChE Graduate Student Members Free
    Safety and Health Division Members Free
    AIChE Undergraduate Student Members Free
    Non-Members $29.00
  • Type:
    Conference Presentation
  • Conference Type:
    AIChE Spring Meeting and Global Congress on Process Safety
  • Presentation Date:
    April 22, 2021
  • Duration:
    20 minutes
  • Skill Level:
    Intermediate
  • PDHs:
    0.50

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Nearly every company strives to have “Safety First” values where managers act in a way that promotes an injury-free workplace. However, when the organization is stressed by economic or internal pressures, the actions managers take have a profound impact on the workplace culture. History reveals that most process safety events, by their nature, are rare. These factors demand that robust leadership engagement and an effective governance system for appropriate process safety leading indicators be put in place. The task at hand is ensuring that all Leaders relentlessly demonstrate their commitment to process safety and are contributing to a learning culture.

As framed in CCPS’s Risk Based Process Safety Guidelines, authentic commitment to process safety is the cornerstone of process safety excellence. It is not enough for organizations to have a process safety program on paper; it must be implemented well.

Organizations are unlikely to improve process safety performance without strong leadership and solid commitment, from all layers of the organization. Great Leaders are not always Managers; and Managers are not always Leaders. It is important to recognize that a workforce that is convinced their organization fully supports safety as a core value will tend to do the right things, in the right ways, at the right times, even when no one is looking. This behavior should be consistently nurtured, and celebrated, throughout the organization. Once embedded in the company culture, this commitment to process safety can help sustain the focus on excellence despite the rarity of events and the more technical aspects of process safety.

This paper will overview the critical role that successful leaders play in establishing and maintaining a healthy Process Safety Culture. In addition, it will provide a pragmatic “coaching kit” containing the seven practices that DEKRA has seen used by great process safety leaders during our 30 years of work. These practices include:

Vision. Leaders must have the ability to “see” what process safety excellence looks like and a capability to articulate it throughout the organization.

Collaboration. Effective leaders work well with employees, promote cooperation and collaboration, actively seek input from people on issues that affect them, and encourage others to implement their decisions to improve operational and process safety.

Credibility. Leaders must generate a high level of trust with their employees, be willing to admit mistakes, and be advocates for the safety interest of everyone, from managers to frontline workers.

Communication. Process Safety Leaders need to talk about safety, including process safety, every time they speak. Everything they communicate must be within the context of doing things in the right way, which means safely..

Action Orientation. Process Safety Leaders must tackle safety proactively rather than simply react to incidents. Leaders need to show urgency even in the absence of incidents to show they’re serious about achieving results.

Feedback and Recognition. Leaders need honest and accurate feedback on the effect of their behaviors to help them ensure consistency between their passion for people and the message employees receive based on their actions.

Accountability. An effective leader gives workers a fair appraisal of their process safety efforts and results, clearly communicates individual roles in the safety effort, and fosters the sense that every person is responsible for safety throughout the organization.

These seven practices work together in a way that creates not only an exemplary Process Safety Culture and an environment where people want to work safely, but also a culture in which it’s sustainable.

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Checkout

Checkout

Do you already own this?

Pricing


Individuals

AIChE Member Credits 0.5
AIChE Members $19.00
AIChE Graduate Student Members Free
Safety and Health Division Members Free
AIChE Undergraduate Student Members Free
Non-Members $29.00
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