Traditionally frontline supervisors in hazardous industries have been provided with limited resources, tools and often paper based systems to get day to day operational risk right. While most organisations have clear standards for simultaneous operations in terms of what work can be done at the same time, frontline supervisors are often left to independently juggle risk. They work to get the balance right between the type of work, the volume of work and the perceived cumulative risk of the work according to their interpretation of corporate or regional standards. For all practical purposes the single greatest area of operational risk, the Interaction of People with the Plant is tackled by individual competency.
Frontline supervisors work in a dynamic, high pressure, often ad hoc and production driven environment. Paper based systems or basic digitised processes provide little embedded process rigour and even less structure and guidance to improve decision making. The dynamic nature of the frontline operational environment often necessitates additional and emergent work, permits, isolations, risk assessments and other factors than what is included in the original plan from the maintenance management or planning system. This safe work plan accounts for the rich detail associated with “all of the job” and “all of the jobs”.
It is not unusual for 20 or more independent jobs to be in progress simultaneously within a defined area. While these individual tasks may have been independently risk assessed and authorised, there are dependencies and interactions between the jobs that need to be taken into consideration in order to reduce the potential overall risk of the combined jobs. Although organisations may have issued guidelines in rulebooks and best practices and provide ongoing training, frontline supervisors have few tools to ensure they get the balance between risk and performance right.
Petrotechnics’ systems provide enterprise capabilities to deploy a set of dynamic visualisation tools to optimise work in time, in space and the risk across your operations. The visualisation of the “actual” plan reflecting the frontline realities provides our people who issue, review and approve work further assistance to both structure and improve their decision making. It provides visible conflict detection capabilities to ensure that certain combinations of work are flagged to supervisors as well as hard rules to prevent specific combinations of work from occurring at the same time (e.g. Hot Work and Breaking Containment). These conflict detection rules can be based on corporate, regional or local intent to ensure policies are consistently applied across operations.
The systems in use provide the Frontline supervisors the ability to see the level of risk they are carrying on any given day for the work they have planned. By moving jobs on the safe work plan in time, they can see the impact of the change positively or negatively in terms of the overall cumulative risk for the shift or day. This capability empowers the organisation as a whole and provides senior management with the peace of mind that their employees have the tools to proactively manage down risk while optimising performance.