New Technologies Advancing Risk Management: A Chat with Enablon’s Alwin van Aggelen

18/19   in the series Industry Interviews

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

As predictive analytics and AI continue to advance, the technologies associated with these areas can be applied to create platforms that more accurately evaluate risks throughout an organization’s processes. These platforms will allow different individuals and teams within an organization to better understand the actions they can take to reduce risk. I had a chance to catch up with Enablon’s process safety and barrier management subject matter expert, Alwin van Aggelen, to discuss how new technologies will help to improve risk management processes.

Alwin will be presenting on dynamic barrier risk management and how to integrate process safety management into operational risk management at the AIChE Spring Meeting & Global Congress on Process Safety. The workshop will take place on Tuesday, April 12. You can learn more about the workshop here. There’s still time to register for the AIChE Spring Meeting & Global Congress on Process Safety, which will take place in San Antonio, from April 10–14.

What are the biggest challenges in creating a risk management process? 

The biggest challenge in creating a risk management process is that risk lives in various domains. Although on a high level the risk management process aligns, on a more detailed level there are many differences. These differences include the terminology that is used, the level of detail required, and the criteria applied for the various elements. When you don’t develop a proper data model and risk taxonomy, it is difficult to align the various domains or even the various tools within a domain. Very simple examples include a barrier in a bow tie, a safeguard in a PHA, an IPL in LOPA, and a control in your risk register. These risk management measures are not always aligned.

How does Enablon help mitigate these challenges?

Enablon provides an integrated platform to deliver a 360-degree risk vision, which supports different parts of the organization with relevant information on their risks. This platform provides views from various angles, such as an operational perspective, a process safety perspective, an HSE perspective, or an enterprise risk perspective. No matter what angle you look at you organization from, you can use the data and functionality within the platform to manage your risks. In practical terms, Enablon gives users the right tools and insights, so that each person can do what they do best, from skilled workers to the CEO. 

What are some new technologies being developed that will have an impact on process safety? How do you see this impact affecting companies’ approach to process safety in the next five years?

Developing platforms with a single, consistent model for risk programs across all departments will allow the industry to connect process safety management activities to barriers, centralize and share risk management information, display it and integrate it in day-to-day activities. This will limit traditional, disconnected processes such as process safety studies and operational risk management. Presenting risks and controls in dashboards and reports that are tailored for specific roles (C-suite, plant manager, workgroup supervisor, operator, etc.) will help to clarify how each risk relates to individual team members and the responsibilities that each person has to mitigate each hazard.

We know that there’s a gap between the paper world and real world. Through an integrated platform and single model, that gap can be closed, which means we can stop assessing risk based on assumptions (e.g., safety-critical equipment is being maintained, inspected, tested) and instead rely on up-to-date, accurate information that calculates risks based on the reality of the situation.

How is Enablon incorporating new technologies to help improve chemical plant safety?

Our focus is developing predictive analytics and AI technology to anticipate potential risks by learning from incidents, events, and available data. Real-time IOT data also provides workers real-time context from their plants.

Learn more about the 2022 AIChE Spring Meeting & Global Congress on Process Safety and register today.

Alwin van Aggelen

Alwin van Aggelen is a subject matter expert in process safety and barrier management at Enablon.

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