Implementing capability maturity model for process safety performance indicators

Article by Hamdy Ahmed Faroun, Senior Process Engineer, East Zeit-Dana Petroleum



It was established that too many oil and gas companies have found that the efficient implementation of process safety KPIs is often less than what is possible. There are many reasons behind this. However, the important reason is there is no tool to evaluate the effectiveness of the safety KPIs implementation process.

This article stresses the need for a process safety capability maturity framework to prioritize improvement actions, describes the process safety performance indicators (KPIs) and the associated structural components, and describes a tool for assessing the effectiveness of the implementation’s steps of the process safety (KPIs). So we developed a study proposing a process safety capability maturity model (PSCMM) with a tool for a semi-quantitative assessment of the effectiveness of the process safety KPIs implementation process. The model gave clear indications of areas for improvement when applied.

The study collected data from an Oil Company based on one year of monitoring risk control systems by developing process safety performance indicators, setting targets, monitoring its deviation and raising an alarm to the senior management for corrective actions.

The results showed that the risk control program is incomplete and there is no follow up or flag to say that they are overdue, although the documented management system is certified as conforming to ISO 9001:2008, ISO 14001:2009 and OHSAS 18001:2007. The internal audit program is well developed and executed but there is evidence of consistent failure to act on the wealth of valuable information produced from the regular audits. Although there is a clear third party audit schedule, the auditors are failing to uncover significant operational and process issues and the audit appears to be a good news audit which adds no real value to the assurance process. The audit report failed to identify significant process integrity issues.

The failure of the company to manage the risk control systems is manifesting itself in a systematic decline of conditions and safe operation. Evidence of this was witnessed during applying process safety KPIs; the condition of the production facilities is in an extremely poor state and well below the standard that could be normally expected and were surprised at the level of neglect that was evident. There was clear threads of safety of personnel and assets with the likelihood that a serious incident will occur assessed as high if no action is taken. Significant intervention is required to restore the production operation facilities, both shore based and offshore, to confirm safe operation environment.

The proposed PSCMM framework succeeded to assess the effectiveness of the process safety performance indicators to find areas for improvement. The method was considered to yield reasonably good assessments for each individual step in the implementation process. For instance, the scores obtained from application of the performance assessment score (PAS) tool which was developed in the study could be used for calculating total score for each step for all the risk control systems. Sets of values could then be used for locating the organization in the maturity ladder.

The proposed process safety performance capability maturity framework (PSCMM) with its tool appears to be very useful in practice for assessing the effectiveness of the implementation process of process safety KPIs. The uniqueness of the framework is the systematic assessment of the effectiveness in all steps of process safety KPIs, yielding quantitative measures that can be used for improvement.

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Photo Courtesy of DANA Petroleum