Obvious-to-Obscure Process Safety Checklist for Plant Engineers


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Discover not-so-obvious process safety checks.

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Obvious-to-Obscure Process Safety Checklist for Plant Engineers

  1. 1. The Obvious-to-Obscure Process Safety Checklist for Plant Engineers John T. Perez, P.E. President – Cognascents Slide 1 of 21
  2. 2. John T. Perez, P.E. Now: 1. Great wife and four enjoyable children 2. President of Cognascents – leadership, strategy, delivery excellence, process safety consulting 3. Currently enrolled in Rice’s Executive MBA program 4. Member of Rice CHBE Alumni Advisory Board 5. Board member of neighborhood civic association 6. Active with Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo Past: 1. B.S. Chemical Engineering – Rice University 2. Rohm & Haas – process engineer 3. Berwanger – process engineer / business development manager 4. Celerity3 Engineering – owner / PHA facilitator 5. Lloyd’s Register – President of Celerity3/Capstone Slide 2 of 21
  3. 3. The Obvious-to-Obscure Process Safety Checklist for Plant Engineers John T. Perez, P.E. President – Cognascents Slide 3 of 21
  4. 4. Guideposts 1. Setting the stage 2. Preserving the integrity of process safety 3. Resurgence of the checklist 4. Effective use and construction of checklists 5. Obvious-to-obscure process safety checklist Slide 5 of 21
  5. 5. Have we improved? • From when and on what performance metric? • Process safety under fire at highest levels of the nation • Problem beyond PSM- covered facilities • Is safety a value? A goal? A behavior? • Do we manage risk or temper safety? Slide 6 of 21
  6. 6. What’s the point? • We value our own life and everyone else’s life; therefore, we think and act safely. • Culture is barrier or carrier to safe behavior. • To change culture, leadership must change. • Leadership must exemplify to and communicate/ educate behaviors to support values. Slide 7 of 21 • Source of values • Wisdom • Humanity • Temperance • Transcendence Leader (value) • Adopts values • Slow to change • Can outlast leader’s tenure Culture (operating envelope) • Think • Act • Learn Behavior (evidence of value strength)
  7. 7. Preserving process safety integrity 1. Constant application of 2. Broad and deep knowledge 3. By each entity responsible for the 4. Performance of a resource. Slide 8 of 21
  8. 8. The rub 1. Few doing a lot 2. Ever-changing roles and responsibilities 3. Few process safety experts 4. Few experts in everything 5. Tremendous body of knowledge 6. Shared responsibility = diluted accountability 7. Few formal competency assessment and technical authorization programs Slide 9 of 21
  9. 9. Resurgence of checklist 1. Atul Gawande 2. Re-discovered while examining medical industry to better understand clusters of excellence 3. Effective use by high- performers Slide 10 of 21
  10. 10. Effective use of effective checklists 1. Purpose 2. Development 3. Content and format 4. Structure 5. Testing and validation Slide 11 of 21
  11. 11. The Obvious-to-Obscure 1. Obvious – conveyed through schooling and company’s technical onboarding process 2. Potentially obvious – conveyed through training from entry-level to mid-level engineer 3. Potentially obscure – conveyed through training from mid-level to senior level engineer/manager 4. Obscure – conveyed through advanced/expert training, application, experience Slide 12 of 21
  12. 12. The obvious 1. Standards/guidelines 2. Processes/protocols 3. PSI/SOPs 4. Do I understand the process? 5. Do I understand how this piece of equipment works? 6. What real-time information can I check? Slide 13 of 21
  13. 13. The potentially obvious 1. Moral courage – who is responsible for blowing the whistle and slamming on the brakes? 2. Experience/History – what has happened in the past and where is the historical information for review? 3. Organizational wisdom – who are the experts and how do I reach them? Slide 14 of 21
  14. 14. The potentially obscure 1. Leadership and accountability consolidation 2. Experience level of responsible process safety personnel 3. Scope 4. Self-awareness prompt Slide 15 of 21
  15. 15. The obscure 1. Experience and expertise biases 2. Morale pulse 3. Big picture pause 4. Persuasion and influence monitoring 5. “In the moment” evaluation 6. Self-awareness test Slide 16 of 21
  16. 16. Pressure relief design and analysis 1. What are the industry’s best practices? Says who? 2. What has changed since the original calculation? 3. Who is the resident SME? What are their qualifications? 4. Who did the original calculations? How knowledgeable and experienced were they at time of analysis? Slide 17 of 21 5. Am I qualified to do this analysis? 6. Am I qualified to review/accept a third-party effort? 7. How credible are any assumptions made? 8. Does my organization truly understand what this study means … beyond the compliance driver?
  17. 17. Management of change 1. Am I the right/best person to lead this MOC? 2. Does everyone involved understand the scope/systems being reviewed? 3. Do I need any experts to attend in person? 4. If experts are in attendance, are they in expert mode? Slide 18 of 21 5. Is everyone in the moment? If not, what distractions do I need to address before proceeding? 6. Am I leading the jury with how I have presented the situation? 7. Am I trying to demonstrate my value with this change or is the change truly valuable?
  18. 18. Process hazards analysis 1. Are the right people present? Is the engineer knowledgeable and experienced in the system being analyzed? The technician/operator? 2. Is all of the necessary information available? Really, all of it? 3. Is the information up to date? Did I do a spot check? Slide 19 of 21 4. Does everyone in the room have the right attitude? 5. Is scope driving the time or is time driving the scope? 6. Is everyone participating? 7. Is the facilitator leading the jury? Being ineffective? Focused on billable hours?
  19. 19. Key takeaways 1. Leadership drives culture and culture drives behavior. 2. We must continue to strive to prevent all incidents. 3. Process safety excellence requires constant application of broad and deep knowledge by each entity responsible for the performance of a resource. 4. We must use effective checklists effectively. 5. Effective checklists must account for obvious to obscure process safety elements. 6. My abstract should not make the first page of results for Google’s “process safety checklist” search. Slide 20 of 21
  20. 20. Thank You! Any questions? Contact Info: John T. Perez, P.E. President – Cognascents M: (713) 882-0182 john.perez@cognascents.com Slide 21 of 21