One of your industry peers has just suffered a major incident at one of their sites; should you be worried? Not necessarily, but you should be vigilant. Is the event that happened in their facility something that could happen to you? If you’re in the same business the answer is likely yes, but the crux is how the risks are managed at your sites versus theirs. You may be exposed but the silver lining to a very sad and unfortunate event is that you have the opportunity to learn from the unsafe days of others, before it happens on your site.
Events like this provide you a free Return On Experience (REX): you’ve not lost anything but you can learn a great deal. The first step in managing a risk is knowing it exists. With the incident that you have just observed it provides insight to what can go wrong at your site which may not have been known before. The next step is determining if your team has already thought of and mitigated that risk or not. One of the best places to start is in the Process Hazards Analysis (PHA) studies your company has conducted to see if the scenario is captured and how it was assessed.
Look at the existing safeguards that have been highlighted in your PHA, are they still valid? Are they still effective? A safeguard that is not effective or well maintained, tested and inspected is the same as not having a safeguard at all. Let’s find out…