Survey: Technology Will Drive Improvements In Process Safety And ORM

Nov. 5, 2018
Industry executives say a digital makeover will improve operational risk and process safety management.

Petrotechnics, developer of Proscient software platform for hazardous industries, releases part two of its 2018 Operational Risk and Process Safety Management (PSM) report suggesting technology is expected to drive improvements in process safety and operational risk management (ORM).

In part one, insights from more than 100 senior industry leaders reveal significant areas of concern including the impact the previous low oil price is still having on PSM and ORM, as well as disconnects between process safety intent and reality. Part two reveals the improved use of technology could make companies and their work teams safer.

When asked about the technology systems in use today, 84% of respondents report using enterprise asset management (EAM) or maintenance systems (CMMS), 66% EHS software, 65% asset performance management systems (APM) and 52% enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. However, only 40% believe companies have effective systems in place for managing impaired process safety barriers and only 36% believe companies monitor and manage deviations from management system requirements or expectations. This is alarming given the industry’s regulatory requirements and corporate safety policy expectations, says Petrotechnics.

Simon Jones, head of professional services at Petrotechnics, says, “Overwhelming positivity has shone through from part two of this year’s survey, with senior leaders really thinking about the digital future. To make it a reality, companies need to glue together disparate management systems and present a common view of risk – an accurate reflection of what’s happening in the field or on the asset – and make it available for the entire organization.”

Respondents predict the use of advanced digital technologies such as IIoT platforms, digital twins, predictive analytics and mobile workforce applications to increase significantly in the future – nearly fivefold for the use of digital twins, with advanced analytics expected to more than double.

The report highlights a bright future for PSM and ORM, according to the company, as enhanced technology strategy is expected to drive improvements in process safety effectiveness. Some 73% of respondents believe technology will make companies and their work teams safer by reducing vulnerability to high-potential near-misses and major hazard events; 80% said giving the workforce access to real-time process safety risk indicators on the plant would improve risk awareness and safety.

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