Improving Process Safety Culture

May 30, 2018

Process Safety Culture has been defined as "the combination of group values and behaviors that determine the manner in which process safety is managed" (ref: Guidelines for Risk Based Process Safety (RBPS) by Centers for Chemicals Process Safety – CCPS). There have been a number of catastrophic incidents around the world that have identified weaknesses in process safety culture as a significant causal factor. Developing, sustaining, and enhancing the organization's process safety culture is one of the five elements in the RBPS pillar of commitment to Process Safety

So how do you go about developing, sustaining and enhancing your organizations Process Safety Culture? Many companies, including O.S., believe that a successful Process Safety Culture requires the foundation of a sound Conventional Safety Culture. In fact, the O.S. Cultural Safety Program provides not only the foundation, but at the same time, addresses each of the Key Elements necessary for a successful Process Safety Culture.

20 Key Elements of the OS Cultural Safety Approach graphic
OS Cultural Safety Elements graphic

Achieving excellence in each of these Cultural Safety Elements will result in excellence in Process Safety Culture. 

So where do you start? 

You start by have a clear understanding of where your organization is in relation to excellence in each of these elements. Improving your safety culture, and in turn your process safety culture, requires the following 5 steps:

  1. Survey your employees to understand how well or how poorly you are doing on each element
  2. Follow up with an on-site assessment to identify
    1. Why employees believe the way they do about each element
    2. Recommended programs or actions to close the gaps in each element
  3. Conduct a Leadership Workshop to present an overview of the elements and the results of the survey, the assessment, and the recommendations
  4. Implement the recommendations
  5. Ongoing support with a focus on continuous improvement