A New Paradigm for Process Safety Metrics for Major Loss PreventionThis is the third book of the Gospel on Alarm Management, presented by Ed Marszal of Kenexis Consulting. Ed admitted that his expertise is SIS rather than ASM or Alarm Management, but the three areas are intimately interlinked.
The New Process Safety KPI"Current best practice for managers in the process industries has relied on measurement of injury accident rates as a proxy for all safety prerformance, inclusive of major losses such as catastrophic explosions, fires, and toxic releases. These measures are not well correleated with actual performance against major hazards," Marszal revealed. "As a result, some proxies must be developed for use as key performance indicators for major losses that occur frequently enough to be measured which, if neglected, will ultimately result in a major loss." Process indistry safety preformance CAN be improved, but major hazards are still a problem. It isn't the most unsafe industry-- that would be farming, followed by mining. Upper management is disconnected from operations. They have no feel for day to day operation and important information isn't available or can be hidden. Actionable metrics would allow oversight. Typical safety metrics are not effective. "Slips, trips and falls" are just not well correlated to major losses. Better metrics are essential. Predictive information can be developed from process history, and collection and presentation are possible with existing tools. Here's "Management 101": Improved major loss prevention through improved management. The "Baker Report" (on the BP Texas City disaster) slammed the current "hard hat" safety metrics. Those metrics are just not going to tell you if your plant is ready to blow up. The only one that comes close is the "near miss report rate." But it requires people to make subjective reports. It is hard to tell whether a high near miss rate means that the plant is more dangerous, or just that at that plant people fill out reports better. The same thing is true with "unsafe activity reports." What metrics should we have? New metrics are essential to improvement. New metrics foreshadowed in recent standards, like ISA84 and hopefully ISA18.
- Must predict major loss issues. Those are issues that could lead to major losses but stops short.
- Must be clearly defined and consistently applied
- Must be relatively frequent events
- Automatic collection and reporting beneficial.