Abstract "There are a million ways to lose a work day, but not even a single way to get one back.?? ~Tom DeMarco and Timothy Lister The old saying "What gets measured gets done?? has been put into use to reduce the hazards of the workplace. Virtually every company involved in the exploration and refinement of hydrocarbons has installed procedures and systems to measure workplace hazards and incidents. Monitoring incidents and hazards and performing timely analysis leads to effective remediation efforts. Many of these hazard identification systems and procedures are ineffective because they may be paper based, may be cumbersome for part-time computer users, and are often unavailable at the job site. In addition, event and hazard detail records are often difficult to comprehend, fail to fit into neat categories, and rely heavily on the personal skills of individuals assigned to review these records. All of these conditions impede the value and quality of information entered into the system, resulting in additional challenges to maintaining a safe workplace. Every impediment to the full use of the systems increases the risk that events and hazards will go unidentified and un-remediated.
This paper identifies new technologies that have been implemented in other industries that could improve the performance and outcomes of safety systems used in the energy industry. The principle benefit is the ability to overcome the many obstacles that prevent identification and reduction of risk. By enabling easier data collection from virtually anywhere, with assurances that automated processes will consistently and correctly interpret the data collected, the outcome will be a process of prompt and accurate risk mitigation.
Current challenges Good corporate citizenship requires effective programs to maintain the highest standards of employee health, safety and environmental (HSE) protection. This effort is very intense for oil and gas companies due to the risks inherent to the exploration, refinement and distribution of petrochemical products. Many policies, practices and systems are implemented to protect employees and the environment from harm. The HSE performance of the enterprise is monitored by the incident management systems and hazard observation programs (IM/HO). These programs generally capture workers' input as it applies to incidents; incidents without consequence; and observations of behaviors and hazardous conditions. Recognition of a risk results in remediation efforts which help reduce future exposures and occurrences.
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