(67b) Operational Discipline assessment during PSM audits – Experience of RIL | AIChE

(67b) Operational Discipline assessment during PSM audits – Experience of RIL


Venkateswaran, T. V. - Presenter, Reliance Industries Limited

Reliance Industries Limited (RIL)'s Process Safety Management (PSM) audit programme is a critical component of its HSE governance process, which has been specifically designed to provide assurance to Management and other stakeholders that PSM Standards are being effectively implemented and practiced. In order to achieve operational excellence and also as a self-check process, RIL has adopted the Operational Discipline (OD) assessment as a part of its PSM audit program.

This paper describes the experience of RIL in assessing the level of Operational Discipline (OD) in its manufacturing sites through the Process Safety Management System (PSM) Audits.

According to DuPont, operational Discipline focuses on “the deeply rooted dedica­tion and commitment by every member of an organization to carry out each task the right way every time.” At RIL, OD is a framework of 11 characteristics demonstrated by a manufacturing unit having a high level of PSM performance. RIL follows an eight step process to implement OD, viz.: 1) Conviction to implement OD 2) Assessment of current status 3) Developing a Roll-Out Plan 4) Focus on robust and well implemented procedures 5) Establish priorities 6) Establish progressive discipline process 7) Implement OD 8) Audit.

In order to achieve and sustain a very high level of process safety performance, the eighth step – Audit, assumes prime importance. RIL has achieved this objective by integrating ‘OD assessment’ along with ‘PSM audit’ by including it as one of the aspects to be audited.

A three pronged approach is adopted at RIL for OD assessment; 1) Self-assessment of OD implementation by individual manufacturing sites 2) Audit of OD as an element during 1st party PSM audits and 3) A comprehensive OD audit during 2nd party PSM audit by auditors from different sites.

The audit techniques adopted include 1) Self-assessment questionnaire/checklist based on 11 OD characteristics 2) PSM audit checklist / questionnaire to identify OD related shortcomings 3) One-to-one discussion with Site/Plant leadership team 4) Field tours and interview of operating staff & contractors 5) Review and verification of PSM documentation 6) Analysis and scoring of the results.

The PSM audit checklist for each element contains many questions which are directly related to OD. These are verified during the audit of each element and listed separately. As a part of PSM implementation scoring methodology, the finding on OD element is also scored, through which the level of OD implementation of any particular site is measured.

Some examples of techniques that have been employed at RIL to assess OD performance are detailed in the paper.

The effectiveness of PSM systems is governed by how well they are implemented and how everyone in an organization adheres to documented procedures. Hence at RIL, the greatest opportunity for sustaining and improving its PSM programme was to implement, evaluate and improve OD performance through continuous assessment, identify gaps for improvement and move to a higher level of OD performance. Consequently, it has started to bring about a radical change in the culture and mindset of the people. The continual assessment of OD along with PSM program will help RIL to reach and sustain a higher level of PSM performance protecting its employees, community and the environment.


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