Process Safety Capability Model: An Assessment Tool for Process Safety Performance

Process Safety Capability Model: An Assessment Tool for Process Safety Performance

The level of maturity differs among organizations. Based on that, mature organizations do things orderly, while immature ones strive to accomplish things in that manner, but do not always succeed. That is why the maturity level of organizations contributes greatly in setting their goals, especially for process safety improvement. Thus, to measure an organization’s ability to achieve its goals, the company relies on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). KPIs, in essence, assess vital monitoring based on risk control systems, which further affirm a company’s continued effectiveness.

Hence, when an organization faces a series of deficiencies within critical risk control systems, significant accidents take place. The occurrence of major accidents indicates that there is a gap in the risk control system; whereas such a system is supposed to be a safeguard within the process safety management system.

Therefore, many models were implemented to improve process safety management, one of them is the Process Safety Capability Maturity Model (PSCMM). The PSCMM aims to assess process safety KPIs implementation processes.

The PSCMM is explained in a paper entitled ‘A Quantitative Assessment Tool for Process Safety Performance by Implementing A Proposed Capability Maturity Framework.’ The paper was published in the International Journal of Safety Science, Volume 03, Number 01 in 2019, by Walaa Shehata, Fatma Gad and Ahmed Bhran from the Department of Petroleum Refining and Petrochemical Engineering, Faculty of Petroleum and Mining Engineering, Suez University, and Hamdy Faroun from Zeit Company.


a) Process Safety Capability Model

The proposed PSCMM is a framework that provides oil and gas organizations with improvements recommended to increase their process safety capability.

The model mainly targets highlighting the strengths and weaknesses in the process safety performance implementation process. In addition, the model focuses on activities needed to launch a continuous improvement program within an organization. The model can also be used as a guide to improve process safety performance in an organization.

The PSCMM consists of two stages; the first one is Performance Assessment Score (PAS), and the second is Continuous Improvement.

PAS is a tool used to assess process safety performance, which depends mainly on analyzing the effectiveness of each stage in the implementation procedures of process safety. PAS uses numerical terms to express the results of the assessment. There are three components forming PAS, which include dimensions in the present work, aspects of each dimension, and template with scale for determining numerical values for different aspects as a measure of the effectiveness in each dimension.

The assessment method is based on four dimensions which are scope, quality, time, and implementation team. In order to measure the effectiveness of the implementation process in the system, each dimension is characterized quantitively on a discrete scale from zero to 10. It is worth noting that in the implementation process, some dimensions matter more than others, especially those which include different aspects like scope and quality. For instance, in this study, seven oil and gas experts (health, safety, and environment (HSE), maintenance, production, marine, facilities, operation, and asset integrity managers) weighed the dimension’s effectiveness. The experts voted with 35% for scope, 35% for quality, 15% for time, and 15 % for implementation team. The PAS users can select other percentages based on the organizational circumstances.

The continual improvement process, the second stage of the PSCMM, plays an important role in helping organizations to develop and putting them on a maturity ladder. The higher the organization’s maturity, the lower the variances between actual and targeted results. High maturity levels help organizations take the advantage in raising process safety efficiency, decrease cost and reduce development time.

b) Develop Process Safety KPIs

The PSCMM used in this study is used to assess the effectiveness of process safety KPIs. KPIs are used to analyze the functioning of risk control systems to assess the safety performance of oil and gas organizations. Each risk control system contains too many elements to be measured, yet main items need to be considered, such as the performance indicator of each risk control system.

Under the PSCMM, PAS values are compared with the calculated KPI values of the risk control system for each program to determine whether these values match. If the values match, the KPI of the risk control system is effective. If not, the safety performance needs to improve.

Case Study

An industrial case study is used to assess the applicability of the PSCMM. The data was collected from the database of Global Maintenance System (GMS) owned by an oil and gas joint venture (JV) company that operates numbers of offshore and onshore oil fields. The company is certified as conforming to ISO 9001:2008, ISO 14001:2009 and OHSAS 18001:2007. The data mainly describes the total issued work orders, pending work orders and under execution work orders for each risk control system. The scope of the study is to, first, locate the organization in the maturity ladder and uncover the weaknesses of each risk control system using PAS tool. Second, to apply KPIs for risk control systems, calculate the systems’ performance indicators, and carry out the gap analysis. Finally, to evaluate the effectiveness of the process safety KPIs implementation method.

After carrying out the analysis throughout the above-mentioned steps, the analysis indicated that the risk control program is incomplete although the management system is certified as conforming to ISO 9001:2008, ISO 14001:2009 and OHSAS 18001:2007.

The study proposed the PSCMM to monitor risk control systems by developing process safety performance indicators, setting targets, noticing its deviation and raising an alarm to the senior management for corrective actions. The failure of the organization to manage the risk control systems indicates that the organization is in a systematic decline of conditions and safe operations.
Concluding Remarks

Many oil and gas companies found out that there are many reasons behind inefficient implementation of process safety KPIs. The most important one is that there are no effective tools to assess the functioning of the process safety KPIs implementation.

Therefore, the main objective of this study is using the PSCMM as a framework for evaluating the process safety KPIs implementation. What distinguishes this model is the systematic assessment of the effectiveness in all steps of process safety KPIs, as well as having numerical measures that can help in improvement.


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