The 2017 edition of Petrotechnics’ process safety and risk management (PSM) survey of senior leaders in the fields of process safety, asset integrity and operational risk management in the hydrocarbon industry offers insights into the state of operational risk and safety management.
According to the survey, advancing safety performance and risk reduction is almost always a stated goal in company literature and annual reports. But companies do not have readily accessible and carefully structured plans in place to achieve that goal. In fact, 61 percent of respondents believe companies do not have well-defined safety performance measures.
Additionally, 65 percent of survey takers also felt that the C-suite has little to no understanding of the health of process safety barriers and their importance. That said, the majority (51 percent) also felt that the C-suite is responsible for understanding where there is risk, but not for measuring and evaluating its impact – or for managing and mitigating its impact.
Participants were asked why incidents and accidents still happen. The anonymous answers included:
“Production takes priority over safety, which often leads to shortcuts and safety incidents, despite corporate safety policies.”
“Corporate lip service to PSM policies that are not backed up with effective and efficient planned preventative maintenance.”
More than 200 individuals took part in the survey. Participants work in the oil and gas sector (44 percent), chemicals (41 percent) and other manufacturing or utility companies (15 percent).