Developing the Process Safety Community: A Chat with Ecolab’s Manju Parkhe

17/25   in the series Industry Interviews

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Ecolab and reflects their views, opinions, and insights.

The Global Summit on Process Safety (GSPS) gathers leaders from the chemical processing industries not only to share their insights on process safety, but also to develop collaborative relationships that can help all companies operate in a safer manner. One of the companies committed to this community is Ecolab, who will deliver two talks at this year’s GSPS. I had a chance to sit down with Manju Parkhe, Group Vice President of Engineering and Global Supply Chain at Ecolab to discuss the role of GSPS in the community, process safety in the Asia-Pacific region and what to look forward to at the meeting.

The GSPS aims to provide a platform for sharing innovations and best practices in process safety in the Asia-Pacific region. How have you seen the approach to process safety shift in this part of the world over the past 3–5 years?

In the past, process safety standards and requirements were often seen as something that required significant capital investment and simply raised costs. Since they didn’t contribute directly to raising production volume, little thought was given to how failing to properly manage process safety could have significant negative business implications.

In the past few years, however, a number of developments and contributions from CCPS through summits, conferences, regional TSC meetings, and membership companies have raised awareness about process safety implications and the need for managing this portfolio.

Ecolab will be giving a couple talks at the meeting on process safety qualification programs and using data analytics to proactively predict and mitigate safety events. Can you give us a preview of those talks?

The Process Safety Qualification Process (PSQ) was developed in the past few years to address gaps in several key competency areas. This global process was intended for a broad audience and created a foundation of knowledge to build on. We used a blended learning approach which included formal training, testing, experience on the job, and skill validation by a global review panel.  The quality and performance of our teams has improved greatly with the deployment of PSQ.

The process continues to evolve and now includes PSQ Level II, which is intended for principal engineers and engineering managers. PSQII is at a higher competency level and addresses highly technical processes. These include HAZOP/PHA leadership and reliability program management.   

As for data analytics and predicting safety events, Ecolab has developed and refined a data collection mechanism to capture safety metrics, deploying digital tools with an objective to leverage data for analytics. This was part of a continuing effort to deploy our Process Safety Metrics Standard to outline requirements across global plant sites. As the program matured, new technologies such as mobile apps, open-source apps, and enhanced data analytics tools were introduced. These tools laid a strong foundation for data rigor, thereby enabling the development of strong predictive analytics capabilities. The analytics outcome is helping us to identify hazards and risks while they are in an incipient state, allowing us to take preventive actions.  

Ecolab has been a great partner to CCPS in organizing the GSPS since the meeting’s inception. What do you find most valuable about this conference series?

Ecolab has had the pleasure of both presenting and attending CCPS events in all global regions, as well as being a member of the planning/selection committees for events. 

The most valuable aspects are the interactions with other organizations and building stronger partnerships in the areas we work in. We’ve been able to collaborate with other CCPS members and develop creative solutions by working together. CCPS has been the platform for us to create these relationships.  

The CCPS Global Summits have helped us to create benchmarks for our own success and to stay current with industry trends. This is our opportunity to learn more about what others in the industry are doing, as well as share the successes of our own teams. We constantly strive for cutting edge, globally focused solutions to complex issues we see in our plant sites. CCPS events have supported our journey to being a global leader in process safety.  


Manju Parkhe

Manju Parkhe is Ecolab’s Global Engineering Leader, responsible for capital/functional engineering, process safety, planet health and cyber security.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Ecolab and reflects their views, opinions, and insights.