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Hazardex 2017 Conference - Why can't hazardous plants know how safe they are every day?

Author : Neil Crompton - AIM Lifecycle Services

04 November 2016

Safety culture is a phrase often used today, but does anyone truly understand what it actually means? Far too often it seems to me that it is a "fits all" phrase. "We have a safety culture, therefore we're OK", "We know what we're doing", "We're in control". Sadly that is very much not the case. Do we know how safe we are every day on our hazardous plant? The answer is no, but yes is an option!

We humans by our nature are wonderful at intuition, imagination, knowledge gathering and team work, but what we're not good at is anything sustained. Accuracy, modularity, repeatability are the realm of the machine and yet as far as safety goes we're still ticking sheets and entering data into a mixture of different systems. Systems designed for other uses and 'making do'.

In order to create an eco-system for that safety culture to exist and grow we need a certain environment.

We need the 'desire' from leadership. If we do not have that buy in we are doomed to fail. We need the people. People with the correct skill sets and experience.

We need a plan. It is important to create a safety plan which identifies the different phases of the safety lifecycle, the tasks to be carried out in each phase, define the level of reporting and approvals and a method to track non-compliances and resolved actions.........

Basic process control systems, alarm management, asset integrity and optimization are all afforded a level of automation for control, analysis ad  reporting with a goal of plant optimisation. Safety is no different and yet we still attempt a minimum effort based on manual intervention for the most important element of operations management.....

We have the technology, the guidelines, expertise and experience to afford the level of safety management that is really required. And like process control, alarm management etc the ability to know how safe we are every day but right now our leadership is not on board or maybe not aware that this is possible....

It is possible to connect a mixture of people plant and equipment to handle the 'big data' and provide visibility and connectivity to provide a measure of plant safety every day....

I will expand upon the areas described above and believe that bringing an holistic approach to what is usually a very disjointed industry will spark an interesting debate.

About the Speaker

Neil Crompton
is a Director of AIM Lifecycle Services Ltd, a strategic partner in the UK and Europe for Mangan Software Solutions, the developers of SLM, Safety Lifecycle Manager a computerised maintenance management system for safety.

He has been a consultant in Functional Safety for Rockwell and has worked on projects with various end users, including Chevron, BP and ExxonMobil. Crompton also set up a company which won the IET Global Software Innovation Award and Queens Enterprise Award: Innovation.

Earlier, he was lead engineer with Wormald/Tyco designing, installing and commissioning safety systems in the oil and gas industry, worked in the nuclear sector at Sellafield and Heysham II, and was a design engineer for control systems and PLC programming at Honeywell.

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