Building Process Safety Culture Tool Kit: Instructions for using the Presentation

Building Process Safety Culture Tool Kit

The presentation, along with the rest of the communication package, is intended to be used by a knowledgeable process safety professional to create an awareness among company upper management of the importance of a sound safety culture in stimulating enhanced safety performance (it is anticipated that the package could also be effectively used more widely in the organization; e.g., for orienting site management and other personnel).

The presentation is intended to take anywhere from about 30 to no more than about 60 minutes to deliver. The presenter has options for customizing the presentation to meet situation-specific needs, including the addition of a company-relevant case history. Assuming the addition of a short company case history, the presentation will consist of approximately 50 slides. However, considering the extensive use of illustration in the presentation, it is felt that most presenters could deliver the full presentation in approximately one hour. Options for shortening the presentation are outlined below.

Preparing for the presentation:

The presentation includes four case histories: the catastrophic failures of the Challenger and Columbia shuttles, the destruction of the Piper Alpha off-shore oil platform, and the vapor cloud explosion that destroyed the Flixborough chemical plant. These four case histories were selected because each has been investigated in detail by independent authorities, and because of the commonalities of their underlying organizational culture themes. The organizational culture learnings from the Columbia investigation serve as the focal point to which the other case histories are compared.

The presenter should be familiar with each event, with respect to their chronology, causation, and safety culture significance. Short summaries of each are included in the package. For the more interested, additional sources of information are listed in the Bibliography.

The presenter should read the Challenger case history, even if it is decided not to include the Challenger case history in the presentation. The Challenger case history provides valuable historical perspective required to more fully understand some of the organizational culture failures of the Columbia case history.

Customizing the presentation:

The presenter may wish to customize the content of the presentation to meet time constraints, or to address the needs/interests of a particular audience. Several options can be considered.
  1. If time is not a governing concern, the presenter can start with the basic presentation and add one or more company-specific case histories to emphasize the relevance of the message to his/her organization. Placeholder slides for a company case history have been included in the presentation (which should be removed if no company case histories are to be presented). It is suggested that the presenter attempt to parallel the construction of the earlier case histories. These begin with a short narrative of the event and its consequence (likely one or two slides at the most). Next come several slides that outline the “physical cause” of the event, followed by several slides describing the organizational causes of the event. The presenter, where feasible, should identify and stress parallels between the organizational causes and the organizational culture lessons from Challenger (the main theme of the presentation). A concluding slide, summarizing these parallels may be considered. The presenter may wish to include photographs or illustrations specific to the company case histories. The photographs currently in the presentation were inserted JPG images at a resolution of 300 dpi. This resolution appears to be satisfactory for projection, without greatly increasing the size of the presentation file.
  2. If the presenter needs to shorten the presentation, the Challenger case history (slides 5 through 8), the Piper Alpha case history (slides 25 through 32), and/or the Flixborough case history (slides 33 through 38) could be omitted. The balance of the presentation has been constructed to generally allow the removal of any of these case histories without loss of message. However, if the Challenger case history is omitted, the presenter will need to delete the references to Challenger on slides 13, 15, 16, 17, and 20. It is suggested that the references to Challenger on page 9, 10, and 21 be retained, and that the presenter present a very brief summary of the relevance. It is not suggested that any other slides be omitted from the presentation.
  3. The package includes some video clips related to the Challenger and Columbia incidents that can be used to supplement the presentation.

Use of the Notes pages:

Commentary on many of the slides has been provided on the Notes pages (to access uses the View Notes Page command on the PowerPoint tool bar. These notes are not intended to be a word-for-word script for the presenter but, rather, are intended to provide additional background on the intended message.

Inclusion of a workshop exercise:

The presenter may wish to conduct a workshop exercise in conjunction with the presentations. Suggestions for conducting such an exercise are also included in this package.