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Keywords:

  • mentoring;
  • competency;
  • work experience;
  • workforce development

Abstract

Many organizations have developed competency descriptions at various levels for personnel. These competencies generally start at awareness level and progress to more advanced levels. Process safety competency at high levels will not be achieved from training sessions alone. Work experience and productive time in the job are critical factors in achieving high-level competency. In the recent years, organizations have experienced a loss of competent personnel through workforce depletion and have struggled to fill those positions vacated.

Young professionals are entering the workforce and while they are bright and energetic, they may lack the experience required to identify and mitigate process hazards effectively. A formalized mentoring program can help a young professional gain confidence and accelerate value to the organization.

This article will describe the elements of a formalized mentoring program, the advantages of the program, and the challenges facing those who are mentoring or being mentored.

Examples of process safety management activities applicable to the elements of the mentoring program will be presented. The first pillar of risk-based process safety management is “commitment to process safety.” A formalized mentoring system can insure workforce involvement, compliance with company and regulatory requirements, increase the competency of personnel, and enhance the process safety culture of the entire organization. © 2012 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Process Saf Prog, 2012