UK Energy Institute publishes process safety guidelines (March 2014)

New publications describe ‘high level framework’ for process safety management.

The UK-based Energy Institute is publishing a series of process safety management (PSM) guidance documents that describe a high-level framework for PSM. According to the Institute, a better understanding of PSM is required to ensure the efficient running of operations in major accident hazard organisations. The first two volumes of the series are available for free download.

Process safety is a blend of engineering and management skills focused on preventing catastrophic accidents and near hits. According to the EI, many organisations are looking to adopt a more holistic and systematic approach to assuring the integrity of their operations. The high level framework is divided into four focus areas, leadership, risk assessment, risk management, and improvement. The first publication, ‘Leadership, commitment and responsibility’ is a 50 plus page document that proposes 15 ‘expectations’ for PSM and a (rather complicated) workflow plan for their realization. This is followed by a detailed drill down into the means of achieving the objectives and monitoring the results with a EI process safety survey benchmark EIPSS.

The second publication addresses compliance with industry standards, targeting different points in the overall workflow diagram with a similar approach and offering a similar EISS rating scale. An appendix provides a ‘non-exhaustive’ list of standards-setting bodies reflecting a complex regulatory landscape of international guidance publications, codes of practice, standards and tools.

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