Imagine no Process Safety Incidents I wonder if you can No need for unnecessary loss of life A brotherhood of man Imagine all the people living incident free

You may say I'm a dreamer But I'm not the only one I hope some day you'll join us And the world will be as one

OK, perhaps not as lyrical as the original version, but certainly a vision worth striving for. Indeed, thanks to the efforts of the brother and sisterhood, Process Safety Incidents have been in long term decline. Unfortunately, they’ve also plateaued. So, what can we do to re-establish the downward trend?

In my view, one of the remaining ‘low hanging fruit’ is the rigorous application of appropriate checklists. In his book, ‘The Checklist Manifesto’ Atul Gawande argues that the preparation and adherence to Hazardous activity checklists is a low cost, low effort route to reducing incidents. Working in the Health sector, he discovered numerous examples of checklist success, including the prevention of 8 deaths and 42 infections over 27 months by the adoption of a 5 point checklist in the Intensive Care Unit of a prestigious American Hospital.

Closer to home, there are powerful examples of the use of checklists in aviation and high rise construction. I believe that we can apply this principle to High Hazard Process Plants. Accordingly, Process Safety Matters, Ammonia Knowhow and Urea Knowhow have combined their knowledge of the key metrics of site process safety elements to create a Site Process Safety Self Assessment Tool.

12 Elements with a total of 132 questions are presented, triaged into Essential, Enhanced and Comprehensive. A Site Operations Manager should be able to complete the checklist in less then an hour. Once completed, the tool will provide a holistic assessment of the state of Process Safety readiness for the site. With this knowledge, you can decide what your next steps may be.

And maybe, for once, we can turn imagination into reality.