Process Safety Management
In the implementation of Process Safety Management (PSM) to a highly hazardous process, those who implement or lead this effort need good feedback to ensure that development and continuous improvement of the managing systems do occur and that the desired results are achieved. This feedback can come in more than one form. One important feedback method is the use of metrics. A second valuable and often more detailed feedback system is the periodic and robust process of auditing.
What does the new audit process want to achieve?
Provide audit results which are based on facts and are comparable between different sites - Similar facts should result in similar findings (positive and negative)
Support a thorough know-how exchange between different sites
Improve process safety in a continuous and systematic way, in order to initiate and maintain a continuous improvement cycle for process safety
What are the prerequisites for the new audit process?
Open-minded site management and employees with an eagerness to learn and improve their own systems and processes
Experienced and open-minded auditors (looking at audit findings from different angles & considering various aspects) with a broad and profound operating and expert know-how and different backgrounds; they should be widely accepted and respected by the audited site
A cold-eye assessment of a site’s systems and processes, especially concerning process safety
One audit standard (one audit program and questionnaire) and audit process should be applied to different sites, which is fully accepted by the audited site
The audit team and process
Experienced and open-minded auditors
1 audit lead and up to 8 experienced auditors with operating, maintenance, process safety, environment and management background
The 8 auditors are split into 4 independent teams, with each team covering 3 to 5 audit elements
The audit teams evaluate all relevant systems and processes (management system verification) and verify their findings in the site and plants, looking for hard facts and interviewing people at different organizational levels (field verification)
The audit process takes about 1 week
The site gets preliminary feedback each day (orally) and a final presentation at the end of the audit
The process safety audit standard (OSHA PSM )
15 Elements of process safety build the basis of US 29 CFR §1910.119
1. Process Safety Management System
2. Employee Participation
3. Process Safety Information
4. Process Hazard Analysis
5. Operating Procedures
6. Training
7. Contractors
8. Pre-Startup Safety Review
9. Mechanical Integrity
10. Safe Work Permits
11. Management of Change
12. Incident Investigation
13. Emergency Planning & Response
14. Compliance Audits
15. Trade Secrets

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