Ian Sutton on Risk Management and Process Safety #plantsuccess #riskmanagement #processsafety

One of the speakers at this spring's PlantSuccess forum was Ian Sutton, who is all over Process Risk and Reliability Management for AMEC Paragon in Houston. It's rare to get to meet the person who "wrote the book" on risk management in the process industries. It's nice to get a chance to talk in depth with a subject matter expert like Ian.

So I asked him to have his publisher, Elsevier, send me a review copy of the latest incarnation of his book. It is called Process Risk and Reliability Management. "This book," Ian says in the Preface, "has its roots in one of my first books, Process Safety Management."  Sutton has been writing on the topic of safety and risk management in the process industries since 1997. All of his examples, he says, are rooted in actual practice, and have "been tested in the real world of actual process facilities."

I've been reading in Ian's book for two weeks now, and I've found much that I didn't know, or that I thought was correct and isn't. One of the things that Ian has done in this book is what I have been encouraging people to do for years now: recognize that process safety, environmental health and safety, physical security, cyber security, training, maintenance, reliability engineering, asset management and asset integrity are all the same thing. All we do when we look at only one of them is to look at the situation through the distorted lens of a single view.

"Obviously," Sutton says, "the best way of ensuring that a facility is safe and productive is to design it correctly in the first place, but, regardless of the quality of the design, it has to be operated by real people. This book," he goes on,"seeks to help both designers and operators."

And so it does. There's a wealth of very practical advice in this book, and if you implement the strategies Sutton suggests, you will have a safe, productive, and sustainable plant.

I can't stop without noting that Ian is British, and practically guaranteed thereby to be more erudite than the rest of us colonials...and so I close by quoting his closing to the Preface:

"Finally, in every publication that I have written so far, I have concluded the preface with the words Edmund Spenser used in the introduction to his poen Faerie Queene, 'Goe little book: thy selfe present."

Indeed. Go little book. Go, go, go.