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Key safety roles in organizational changes

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Abstract

As, business moves to lean manufacture to minimize costs, it inherently leads to reduced staff and a flatter management structure. During these organizational changes, it is important that safety is not compromised by the removal of key people. A number of layers of controls and defenses are put in place, to both prevent an event and to mitigate the consequences if an event occurs. There are many competing techniques for assessing the impact of organizational change, each of which has its pros and cons.

This article discusses a technique based on the use of the Bow Tie methodology to analyze major accident scenarios for a high-hazard site, and presents an example from a real life case study. Controls identified in the analysis have a responsible person assigned to them and a summary of these roles is used to define the impact of removing a role. Key roles for safety controls are maintained and any eliminated roles have their responsibilities reassigned. After the change, final role descriptions would specifically include descriptions of key safety control responsibilities.

Within this article, we have discussed the application of the Bow Tie technique to Organizational Change on a site during a 15% staff reduction. This application and technique is easily followed, leading to identification and correction of gaps in the management systems. © 2009 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Process Saf Prog, 2010

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