Atlantic CEO Dr. Philip Mshelbila and Rob DiValerio, BP’s Vice President – Group Process Safety Central have highlighted the central role of employees in the systems that protect natural gas plants from leaks and other failures.
The two headlined the recently concluded 7th annual Process Safety Week, hosted by LNG production company Atlantic for its employees and service providers at its Point Fortin liquefaction facility.
Process Safety is a framework used by LNG facilities and process plant operations to manage the systems that prevent leaks, spills, equipment malfunction, extreme temperatures, corrosion and metal fatigue, which all have the potential to cause hazardous incidents. In the industry, incidents related to these systems are described as Process Safety incidents.
At the Process Safety Week launch event, employees were rapt with attention as Dr. Mshelbila and DiValerio shared some of their personal experiences in managing the tragic outcomes of Process Safety incidents in Nigeria and USA respectively.
“One of the biggest dangers to Process Safety is complacency due to familiarity,” Dr. Mshelbila said. “We cannot rely on luck to be our barrier. We have to live Process Safety if we are going to manage it as the way in which we operate. It cannot be something we switch on and off. Our key objective is that we perform at our best and recognize the accountability and responsibility for Process Safety that comes with each of our roles. Every person has to participate – teamwork is the only way to succeed.”
Echoing the Atlantic CEO, keynote speaker Rob DiValerio additionally highlighted the importance of barrier management – the practice of continuously evaluating and enhancing the systems that protect natural gas plants from leaks.
“Incidents should not be seen as an interruption but as an opportunity to learn,” DiValerio said. “The key factor in ensuring Process Safety performance is simply identifying the barriers used to mitigate the routes of Loss of Containment (of hazardous materials) and understanding how robust they are.”
Established in 2012, Atlantic’s Process Safety Week features lectures, presentations and booth displays, all aimed at deepening employee and service provider knowledge of Process Safety at Atlantic and in the wider industry. This year’s theme was “Enhancing Process Safety Performance”. Over three days, 27 sessions were held, featuring presenters representing Atlantic, Shell, BP, NGC, Worley Parsons, Massy Wood Group and Lloyd’s Register. Sessions were also held for night shift personnel, as part of Atlantic’s commitment to expose all employees to industry best practices in Process Safety.