Management at all levels from Executives to Supervisors must understand the technical programs for which they are responsible at their facilities. Primatech has designed a series of briefings on various topics in process safety and security to meet this need. A presentation that addresses key issues on the topic of interest is delivered and questions and answers are addressed as the presentation proceeds. The presentations contain a distillation of Primatech's 25 years of experience and the collective knowledge of its consultants.
Primatech is experienced in providing management briefings on many aspects of process safety, security and risk management for all levels of management. Briefings are delivered at your facility or offices and can be tailored to the individual needs of your company.
Typically, briefings are of 2 - 4 hours duration. Shorter or longer briefings can also be provided.
Fees are determined on a case-by-case basis.
Currently, Primatech offers these briefings:
Competency Management for Process Safety
The competency of personnel is the ability of personnel to perform tasks according to expectations. Competency plays a crucial role in every organization because it directly influences whether tasks are carried out satisfactorily and safely. It is particularly important for the safety-critical tasks that are part of process safety. Competency should be managed; otherwise poor performance and incidents may result.
Competency management is particularly important when an organization relies heavily on the skills, knowledge and capabilities of its personnel, such as in the process industries. Its importance is compounded in the face of re-engineering, an aging workforce, and multi-tasking that occurs. Personnel are often expected to take on a wider range of tasks with less supervision thus increasing the need to manage competency effectively. Often assumptions of competency are made based on the adequacy of experience or training, possession of qualifications, or the availability of a procedure. Not only may such assumptions be incorrect, but they do not capture all the key aspects of competency. Competency must be managed proactively and systematically as a part of every organization’s overall management system.
Cyber attacks on computer control systems can result in events producing catastrophic human, environmental and financial impacts. Companies must take steps to protect themselves against such attacks. The International Society of Automation (ISA) is developing a set of standards on manufacturing and control systems security (ISA-99) which represent good engineering practice for the manufacturing and process industries.
Functional Safety and Safety Instrumented Systems (SISs)
The international standard IEC 61511 / ISA 84, Functional Safety: Safety Instrumented Systems for the Process Industry Sector, is being adopted by companies around the world as good engineering practice. In the US, OSHA has endorsed ISA 84 / IEC 61511 as a "national consensus standard" and compliance with it is effectively required for facilities that use SISs, whether or not they are covered under OSHA's Process Safety Management (PSM) standard. The requirements of the functional safety standard are extensive and complex. Companies must carefully plan and manage the implementation of the standard.
People are key components of industrial processes. They are involved in process design, operation, maintenance, etc. and the potential impacts of human failures are of concern. Unfortunately, processes are generally not well-protected from human failures since many safeguards are focused on equipment failure. Consequently, human error is an important contributor to risk for most processes. Human factors studies focus on the interface of people with the process and its impact on human failures. This topic has not received the attention it merits and many facilities are poorly designed from a human factors perspective. Improving the human factors design of a process can produce not only improvements in safety and health but also gains in quality, productivity and employee job satisfaction.
Layers of Protection Analysis (LOPA)
LOPA is the technique of choice for many companies to determine Safety Integrity Levels (SILs) to comply with the IEC 61511 / ISA S84 standard. It is also used to make decisions on recommendations for corrective action from Process Hazard Analysis (PHA) studies. Pitfalls in implementing LOPA await the unwary and care must be taken to ensure meaningful use of LOPA to avoid incorrectly estimating process risks and wasting precious resources.
Mechanical Integrity (MI)
The MI element of a process safety management (PSM) program is intended to ensure equipment does not fail and cause a release of hazardous materials. MI covers the proper design, fabrication, construction / installation, and operation of equipment throughout the entire process life cycle. Many companies find MI to be the most difficult of the fourteen PSM elements to address, due undoubtedly to its complexity, yet MI is one of the most important elements of PSM. OSHA typically issues the most PSM citations for the MI element. Consequently, it is essential that it receives careful attention.
OSHA Chemical National Emphasis Program (NEP)
On November 30, 2011, OSHA issued a National Emphasis Program (NEP) for chemical facilities that replaces the 2009 pilot program that covered several regions around the country. The nationwide NEP establishes policies and procedures for inspecting workplaces that are covered by OSHA's PSM standard. The inspection process includes detailed questions designed to gather facts related to PSM compliance. The intent of the NEP is to conduct focused inspections at facilities randomly selected from a list of covered facilities. Companies should prepare for inspections to avoid citations.
Process Hazard Analysis (PHA)
PHA studies are the foundation for process safety and risk management programs. They help companies identify potential accidents that could adversely affect people, property, or the environment, as well as the process and the company. PHA is required by regulations in the US and many places around the world. The financial costs of catastrophic accidents is exceptionally high and PHA is an inexpensive form of insurance. Management can affect PHAs positively or negatively, often without being aware of their role and effect. Consequently, it is critically important that managers understand key issues in the performance of PHA.
Process Safety Management (PSM)
PSM is a regulatory requirement in many parts of the world. It is also good engineering practice for the process industries. PSM programs protect people and the environment. They also help to reduce process downtime, ensure process operability, maintain product quality, and avoid adverse publicity from accidents. PSM regulations are performance-based and compliance with them is quite different from specification-based regulations that spell out requirements. Many decisions must be made by companies on how to meet process safety regulatory requirements and what levels of performance are appropriate. Also, as technical improvements are made, regulators' expectations increase and companies must stay abreast of these developments in order to adjust their programs accordingly.