Report Shows Widening Gap Between Process Safety Goals and Reality – Society of Petroleum Engineers | Mobiz World

While corporate environmental, social and governance (ESG) efforts have steadily expanded and most companies have embraced safety as part of their corporate culture, there are still gaps in improving process safety performance, as revealed by Sphera’s new 2022 Safety Report.

Sphera, a global provider of ESG performance and risk management software, data and consulting services, surveyed 280 process safety management (PSM) and operational risk management (ORM) professionals from around the world on the current state of PSM and ORM. Respondents to the survey came from multiple global industries, including manufacturing, oil and gas, chemical/petrochemical, energy, construction and engineering.

The results show that 69% of respondents indicate that there is a gap between their organization’s process safety goals and the process safety they experience. This is a significant increase from the 2021 survey, in which 21% of respondents reported a gap between security intent and the reality of what happened. The finding that only 67% of safety-critical maintenance is performed in a typical month highlights the gap between intent and reality.

“The 2022 Safety Report reveals an ongoing gap between process safety goals and reality, and the gap between awareness and adoption of technology solutions is an additional hurdle for organizations to overcome,” said Scott Lehmann, vice president of product management for operational Risk by Sphera Management. “Technology that provides real-time data and actionable risk assessments can help connect the dots across the enterprise to close the gap and drive security improvement efforts. Relying on a suite of tools for compliance and improved, proactive decision making can help organizations keep their people safe and operations productive.”

Persistent challenges such as limited resources and limited budgets may be at least partly responsible for the widening gap. Trends such as the large layoffs could also contribute to this, because process security can be jeopardized when employees leave and their know-how is lost.

The top three challenges identified by respondents as impeding effective PSM are management challenges (46%), training and competence (45%) and insufficient frontline commitment to improving awareness (34%). Respondents indicated that the top three factors driving safety performance are reducing exposure to occupational and major accidents (66%), operational excellence (57%) and regulatory compliance (49%).

The adoption rate of technology solutions is identified in the security report as a particular area for improvement. Almost all respondents (96%) indicated that technology enables effective PSM and ORM. Adoption rates do not yet reflect perceived value, however, with only 11% of respondents saying their organization uses the full range of available technology solutions. A number of factors such as B. Lower maturity levels and the challenges associated with connecting disparate systems and data could be attributed to this slow rate of adoption.

PSM and ORM play a crucial role in a company’s ESG performance. In the context of the ESG framework, PSM is about protecting people – and the communities in which companies operate. For the first time, the security survey asked PSM and ORM professionals where PSM fits into their company’s ESG program. While an overwhelming majority (87%) said that PSM aligns with their company’s ESG efforts, there is slight disagreement as to which aspect of ESG – environmental, social or governance – most clearly applies to their PSM program. However, when asked which impact scenarios are of most concern to their organization, 71% of respondents identified environmental impact scenarios.

“It’s becoming increasingly clear that ESG is no longer a nice-to-have, it’s a must,” said Paul Marushka, CEO and President of Sphera. “An organization’s risk mitigation efforts are intrinsically linked to ESG performance, and operationalizing ESG across the organization will drive informed decision-making and help PSM and ORM professionals manage and reduce ESG risks.”

Sphera’s 2022 Safety Report can be found here.

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