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Safety is an executive level priority for their organizations, but execs admit to not doing enough to proactively manage process safety consistently, a new report found.

The report uncovers challenging circumstances that keep organizations locked in the status quo and unable to realize the C-level safety vision and commitment:
• 49 percent said loss of experienced personnel due to downsizing, turnover and retirement inhibit the ability to make meaningful changes to mitigate risk.
• 41 percent cite aging facilities.
• 39 percent said they’ve seen a deterioration in the effectiveness of process safety barriers.

These factors could be contributing to a 21 percent increase in respondents who are seeing risks increase between periodic safety reviews as compared to 2018 survey results, according to the report conducted by Sphera entitled “2019 Survey on the State of Pocess Safety & Operational Risk Management.”

In addition, nearly one-third of respondents indicate scheduled asset integrity inspections aren’t taking place as planned. This is particularly troubling given the safety gaps posed by worker turnover, aging facilities and process safety barriers, according to the report. This report is the first in a two-part series.

Cyber Security

Another issue, respondents said data are often siloed within companies where one unit isn’t sharing information with another — at least not effectively. Three-quarters (75 percent) of respondents said their data were siloed, while 10 percent said their organization has deployed integrated digital solutions to record risk-relevant data.

“While many companies commit to a safety culture at the highest levels,” said Mike Zamis, Sphera’s chief product officer. “We are concerned by the gaps in operational risk and process safety management processes and people. The good news is we are seeing organizations turning to digital technology to fill those gaps and augment the plant-level experience that may no longer be available.”
• Part 1 of the report offers analyses of what the findings mean in terms of Major Accident Hazard (MAH) risk awareness on the ground–and proactive risk mitigation.
• Part 2 of the ORM/PSM report, due out in October, will show how industry operators are addressing planning and prioritization concerns as they move to digital strategies.

Click here to register to download Part One of the report and watch a short video introduction from Zamis.

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