Sustainable Productivity and Zero Harm in Practice

  • Type:
    Conference Presentation
  • Conference Type:
    AIChE Spring Meeting and Global Congress on Process Safety
  • Presentation Date:
    April 11, 2016
  • Duration:
    30 minutes
  • Skill Level:
  • PDHs:

Share This Post:

With each passing generation, the world seems to become a better place to live in.  What seemed to be an unimaginable goal/impossible task yesterday, appears to have become more feasible today, with a very real possibility to turn into a reality by tomorrow!  How? Why?

For example, back in 1930s when the Golden Gate Bridge at San Francisco California was just a project, there was an industry perception that for each million dollars spent in a project of that nature, it would be reasonable/ pragmatic to expect one fatality at work.  At the end of that project, there were 11 fatalities (10 in one fall, one in a scaffold collapse) after having spent 37 million dollars.  Also, 19 lives were saved by some unique safety innovations instigated and implemented by the very passionate project manager (Joseph B. Strauss).  He decided to achieve unheard of safety performance, distinguish himself from his contemporaries, find a new “point of view” and care for his workers. He made everyone in the project wear a hard hat (!), and installed safety nets to catch falling workers since the highest safety exposure area was possible injury due to fall from heights.  If he had done nothing, 30 would have died, and the project would still have been considered successful by the standards/expectations of the day.  The 19 grateful survivors formed a “Halfway to Hell Club”. 

Another example – Video phones were unimaginable 50 years ago.  They are commonplace today!

Today, we have companies aspiring for, and even accomplishing injury free operations, and execution of projects and operations! Unfortunately zero harm outcomes along with sustainable productivities are not commonplace, today.

There still is a wide-spread belief/informed concern in the oil and gas industry that no one can actually prevent all injuries, and aspire for an outcome like “zero injuries” in a sustainable manner, considering the nature and risks of the industry and the complexities of the projects/operations undertaken across the planet.  Some experts of today even firmly (and privately) think or feel concerned that the world of (oil & gas and energy) operations/projects have the realities of productivity targets, profit and loss objectives, which may limit (or even contradict) the efforts to prevent injuries. 

So the natural question to ask ourselves is “Is it possible to accomplish Sustainable Productivity and Zero Harm outcomes in Practice” in our operations/projects?

I think the answer is yes! What follows is philosophical perspective, based on an actual accomplishment, experience driven narration of facts & logic, and a passionate/optimistic vision of the future, and some “out-of-the-box” thinking, where these outcomes could become realities and commonplace.  Let us get started, and systematically think through, to our future vision!! The Agenda for the Presentation is given below:

·         Introduction

·         Safety Management in the Past

·         Conventional Safety (usually under Health, Safety, and Environmental or HSE) Management Today (in the Hydrocarbons Processing Industry)

·         Physical Energy Sources/Hazards & Mitigations

·         Some Controls Beyond Physical (Behavioral, etc.)

·         Common Safety/HSE Exposure Areas & Work Practices – An Example

·         Explanations For Impediments and Solutions for Sustainable Outcomes

·         Conventional Safety Management Tomorrow (Supplemental to Today's, and the Emerging Practices)

·         Familiar Methods Beyond Physical/Behavioral

·         New (Proposed) Solutions Beyond Physical/Behavioral for Sustainable Outcomes

·         Philosophy of Peace and Happiness

·         Group Culture

·         Tips for Sustainable Productivity & Zero Harm

·         An Epidemic of Peace – The Symptoms

·         Questions & Answers

Once the content has been viewed and you have attested to it, you will be able to download and print a certificate for PDH credits. If you have already viewed this content, please click here to login.



Do you already own this?



AIChE Member Credits 0.5
AIChE Members $19.00
AIChE Graduate Student Members Free
AIChE Undergraduate Student Members Free
Non-Members $29.00