Effective Procedures and Process Safety | AIChE

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Effective Procedures and Process Safety

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Clearly written and intuitive procedures are a crucial component of safe operations. Avoid vague terms and systemic error drivers in procedures to improve field performance and process safety.

Many organizations that deal with process safety struggle to develop effective procedures. Effective procedures require time and effort to understand the error drivers that put personnel at risk. As an operator’s vulnerability to error increases, so does the likelihood of a process safety event. When procedure writers, reviewers, and approvers are unaware of critical process attributes, the person using procedures often gets blamed when problems occur.

I am a consultant who has deployed the concepts of human error reduction, human and organizational performance (HOP), procedure and written guidance excellence, and effective incident analysis and learning in over 400 organizations, 25 countries, and 14 languages. I want to convey what I’ve learned over 30 years of assisting companies that rely on process safety to reduce their risk and improve performance. This article discusses the role of effective procedures in process safety and shares best practices from industry deployments of the concepts and tools related to field error reduction. These include a discussion of the systemic drivers of procedural deviations, the top five most common error drivers in written guidance, and some key principles to enable process safety. This will allow organizations to understand the next logical steps in improving their procedures...

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