Once upon a time... as a fair maiden lay weeping upon a cold tombstone, her heartfelt desire was suddenly made real before her: tall, broad of shoulder, attired in gleaming silver and gold, her knight in shining armour had come to rescue his damsel in distress...

If you are a fan of romantic fiction like me, you will recognise ‘Knight rescuing Damsel’ is one the basic plot line for a ‘Mills and Boon’ ebook. Conventionally, love stories have been portrayed as being between a man and a woman. In 21st century Britain however, the catchment area has widened considerably to cover a variety of permutations, which, I am delighted to announce, includes one between and manufacturing company and a process safety methodology.

Once upon a time, there was a UK based, world beating company. Their products were universally recognised as being among the best in their category. They were lauded internationally; celebrated at home.

And they were secure. Secure and comfortable in their relationship with a Process Safety Methodology – FMECA. They felt that this helped them combat the hazard in their midst – a manufactured, explosive product with a fatality threshold of just 7 grams. They’d been together for a long time.

One day, unexpectedly, a wiseman visited the company. He quizzed them about the hazard and the relationship. He told them that he feared it had become a toxic relationship and should be abandoned. The company was bereft: it broke up with FMECA, but it still needed support to defeat the hazard.

The wiseman, who, it turned out, was a bit of a matchmaker on the side, introduced them to a more suitable partner – HAZOP. After a whirlwind courtship, they became partners, a relationship which endures to this day.

The End.

Wasn’t that fun – now let’s get back to reality. Except, that was the reality.

At the start of 2016, Eley, the world’s premier manufacturer of sports bullets, received a visit from an HSE inspector, who quizzed them on the manufacturing process for their explosive tetrazene. Among his enquiries, he asked about credible deviations and was unsatisfied with the responses. He advised them to undertake a HAZOP of their process before he returned later in the year.

Accordingly, they looked for a HAZOP course and subsequently enrolled on one I was presenting on behalf of the IChemE in March 2016. At the end of the course, we agreed that I would set up and facilitate an initial HAZOP for them, which they would use as a template for the rest of their facility.

Fast forward to 2018. Eley have completed all the HAZOPs for their chemical manufacturing process. They have developed a program to cyclically revisit the program. They are smitten. They are fully committed to their new relationship.

Now that’s a Love Story.