Process safety management—What is your goal?



In this article, the basic elements of process safety management (PSM) and how they are supposed to work together to support the underlying principles of PSM and achieve the goal of zero process-related incidents are discussed. In doing this, the reader will see how easy it can be to lose sight of this overall objective by focusing only on compliance with the regulations. It is possible to be in 100% compliance with the rules and regulations yet still have a poor quality program, as demonstrated by a failure to achieve the overall objective of PSM.

In demonstrating this, the author discusses the basic elements of PSM and how they are intended to work together to support the underlying principles of PSM. This article shows the inter-relationships and importance of PSM program elements. In doing this, the author will show how it can be easy to lose sight of the overall objective (i.e., zero process-related incidents) by focusing on compliance with the regulations.

The use of leading and lagging metrics to measure and improve the PSM program is introduced and discussed. The importance of creating and using leading metrics that measure both the quantity and quality of each PSM program element is explained. The creation and use of the leading metrics that evaluate performance in a nonsubjective manner can provide uniformity across the organization or an industry. Use of the right leading metrics can drive performance towards the overall objective of zero process-related incidents. © 2010 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Process Saf Prog, 2010