Securing Vital Operations with PSM


By Simon Jones, Head of Professional Services, Petrotechnics

Petrotechnics was privileged to chair and present at the Fleming Gulf Process Safety Kuwait event from 16th to 17th February. Attended by senior oil and gas industry professionals, the event explored the role of Process Safety Management in securing Kuwait’s vital operations.

While most of the audience believed they had – or were on the path to – strong PSM disciplines, the precipitous drop in oil prices has resulted in many challenges. In a nutshell: companies are under immense pressure to reduce costs, improve operational efficiency and increase productivity – but safety still needs to be a priority.

The impact of these challenges were discussed and debated by many industry players during the event. Many reported difficulty in getting an accurate picture of barrier health. These barriers are the warning signs, procedures and processes that are put in place to prevent a minor safety breach from becoming a major hazard.

Concerns were also voiced around having the right tools to communicate the problem to all levels of the company in a common way. Often it wasn’t until a compliance issue, unplanned shutdown or near-miss occurred that PSM became a focus.

The key to successful PSM is for all workers to have the same picture of barrier health and the associated risk regardless of whether they are on the frontline or in the boardroom. Once a common view of risk is in place, much of the complexity is removed, enabling more effective collaboration and coordination across the organisation.

By visualising this risk and connecting it to daily operations, operators can improve risk awareness and mitigation from planning through to execution and prioritise resource allocation accordingly. Risk can be placed at the heart of all of operational decision-making and barrier health awareness and maintenance can be properly integrated into daily operations. With this insight, operators can dynamically prioritise work and maintenance according to risk to get more of the right work done, at the right time – ensuring a safe and sustainable future for the industry.

About Simon Jones

Simon Jones has 24 years’ experience in chemical, oil, and gas industries. Simon is Head of Professional Services at Petrotechnics where he leads the consulting practice in the fields of operational management, safe systems of work and operational risk management in client oil and gas facilities around the world.

Simon’s background is in process safety – he holds an engineering Master’s degree in Process Safety and Loss Prevention from Sheffield University in the UK. Before joining Petrotechnics, Simon was Manager of Operations in an engineering centre undertaking benchmarking of process safety practices in downstream and chemical companies across Europe.

Simon is a member of the Institution of Chemical Engineers and the Royal Society of Chemistry and is actively involved in the Centre for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS) European Regional network.

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