Embedded Incident Learning Helps Prevent Repeated Process-Safety Incidents
This paper provides an overview of the company’s journey toward preventing significant process-safety incidents. Each step involved in this journey plays a key part. By focusing the improvement of the process on individual steps, the overall learning process has improved significantly.
Oil and gas companies, now more than ever, need to prioritize the prevention of process-safety incidents. Finding root causes and learnings is not only cost-effective means of preventing repeat events but also good business. Avoiding a costly incident that would affect lives, money, and the environment is the most effective and controllable cost-saving measure in the current volatile business climate.
Experience at Petroleum Development Oman demonstrates that merely learnings from incidents (LFIs) are not enough to prevent repeat events. Only when these learnings are applied and embedded by staff on projects and in operations can they ensure that improvement occurs.
The assurance that an LFI has been embedded (and truly learned) in the corporate systems is achieved through
- Clear reporting requirements for asset-integrity process-safety (AI-PS) events
- Multidisciplinary team investigations lead by senior managers
- Validation of learnings and root causes by directors
- Cascading of key learnings by use of an online AI-PS Databook
- Corporate-level assurance of actions embedded in new projects and work practices
A cornerstone in this learning journey has been the retention of knowledge from AI-PS investigations and senior management discussions and decisions. A comprehensive online AI-PS Databook was developed that contains all significant AI-PS incidents and their LFIs from internal investigations, as well as regional and international incidents. Using the SharePoint technology platform, the databook helps provide in-depth access and search functionality to more than 175 significant process-safety incident investigations spanning back to 2000. It also contains more than 3,000 LFIs from Shell for further reference. Engineers, operators, and others connected to the company can access a fully assured learnings database to improve process-safety delivery of projects and activities.
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