by Richard Rowe and Peter Franke
ERM’s Risk Management and Information Solutions specialists have been reviewing prototype options for a new Process Safety Dashboard. This work is based on the Oil & Gas sector’s interest in a sophisticated, high level early warning system which can provide decision makers with easy access to information on key aspects of process safety. It could be applied to a single facility or used to track information across a portfolio of assets.
The Process Safety Dashboard approach is designed to identify what is critical and has the potential to cause an incident. The Dashboard will assist major hazard industries face the constant challenge to produce up-to-date, relevant information on a facility’s current risk profile and the risk contributors to that profile.
A key challenge to the development of a dashboard is the need to bring together data from different sources that have not traditionally been combined. These include information from a safety case (including from Bowties); the latest inspection/integrity results; non-compliances from management systems audits and independent findings and equipment test data from the maintenance system. Ultimately it may be possible to combine these data sets using advances in intelligence processing, enabling operational managers to take more informed, risk-based decisions.
Making the Dashboard process data relating to specific roles and functions at a facility, allows managers at different levels to gain confidence that issues are being managed and given the right level of scrutiny across their span of control.
The Dashboard could provide an update on anything from piping at risk from corrosion to the overall risk profile of a facility. It could make comparisons of performance across facilities and between regions and act as the trigger for additional integrity assessments when performance appears to be falling below the required safety level.
In addressing this issue, ERM has looked at concepts which combine the collation of information from different sources with different specialist software options. Much of the upfront effort is about identifying critical barriers that must function to keep a facility safe and operational, as well as the data sources that are available to give an insight into whether these are functioning optimally. We have then considered how this can be combined to provide an overview of critical issues as they develop.
A key challenge in developing an effective Dashboard which works for different types of operation is to make existing information systems communicate with each other, while being clear about the material risks which need to be included. The result, for example, could mean that a manager responsible for operations in Malaysia could compare the performance of the same equipment used in the UK North Sea. The Dashboard could also provide corporate management with an up-to-date view on process safety performance across their entire business, while also demonstrating a company’s commitment to staying in-touch with its current global safety performance.
As oil and gas companies become more adept at integrating their process safety and sustainability information management systems, there are very good reasons for considering this type of dashboard approach. This is a serious undertaking, but given suitable commitment it can be made to happen.
Richard Rowe is an ERM Risk Management Partner.
Peter Franke is a consultant for ERM’s Information Solutions. For further information on the Dashboard concept contact either Richard Rowe or Peter Franke.