In the process industries, poor safety performance has significant business implications. Plants need a comprehensive approach to the safety lifecycle addressing key requirements ranging from HAZOP studies, to operations and maintenance, and finally revalidation with the plant’s historian and maintenance data.
Today, safety professionals face a host of challenges. Generational turnover, regulatory changes, budget constraints, and other factors create distractions, interruptions, and frustration. On top of it all, these same professionals are under significant pressure from their organizations to achieve even more aggressive safety goals.
Manufacturing leaders know that people and processes are most productive when safety, compliance and operational objectives align. Some people used to fear that focusing too much on environment, health and safety would undermine productivity.
Traditionally, safety departments get opinions and guesses thrown at them, says Stinson. There may be a hazard. Equipment doesn’t seem to be working. “Now you have objective data all mapped out. It’s very important that this is objective data, so you know for a fact that a part of plant is leaking. It’s a fact, not a suspicion,” he says.
A recent survey of manufacturing executives indicates many respondents (67 percent) are pressing ahead with plans to invest in data analytics even as they pare back spending in other areas to combat tough business conditions.