Why Community is Important for Risk Management
We are all members of many communities. It’s a matter of perspective, but we are members of our local communities in which we live. The communities of the industries we work in or where we play. Our communities can be our political affiliations, religious or non-religious groups, or any group we’re a part of. For everyone working in high-hazard industries, we are all part of the risk management community.
Whether you’re a control room operator, an engineer in head office, or an executive, you have the ability to make choices that influence a safe or an unsafe day. Recognizing your role in that community of ensuring safe operations means taking ownership and championing the call to make the right decisions, sharing your knowledge and connecting with others. Whether it’s your first day or your last before retirement, joining arms (perhaps virtually) with your peers in your company and around the industry can make all the difference to be safer than yesterday.
“Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much” – Helen Keller
What does community mean to you? In your favorite social forum, if someone asks for help picking a great movie or looking for advice finding a great restaurant, you help them, don’t you? There is nothing that would make the PSM experts in your company happier than if you asked them for help understanding how to be safer. People in safety are often some of the most passionate and enthusiastic people. They go to work every day to make sure everyone gets home okay, and that is a meaningful job.
What if someone at another company in your industry asked you to help them make sure they didn’t hurt anyone on their plant? Would you tell them what you know about risk management to help them operate safely?
There are so many great groups in the world promoting safety and creating vehicles for sharing knowledge across industries. Are you a member of that community? There can be a cost of entry, so not everybody can join, but there are other options, easy ways to build a community that works for you. Recently a group from India led by Govind Keshavrao Patil created a WhatsApp chat and invited professionals from around the world to collaborate, sharing everything from challenges they are working on and knowledge to job opportunities in PSM. He has a vision to bring people together, build the group, publish magazines and other educational content to continue growing the process safety community. It doesn’t cost anyone a thing to join the WhatsApp group, and it’s open to all!
If it is of interest, you can find it here:
There is always a way to form a community; it can be large, small but anytime you can bring people together to help make the world safer, you can make an impact.
Where are some places you can find your home in the Process Safety community?
- Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS) founded by AIChE
- American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturer’s Association (AFPM)
- Texas A&M/ Mary Kay O’Connor Institute
- Perdue Process Safety Assurance Center (P2SAC)
- European Process Safety Centre (EPSC)
Risk Management is Serious Business
Sharing knowledge and risk information prevents major incidents and keeps people, the environment and the communities we live in safe. The 2009 incident at Caribbean Petroleum in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, resulted in massive damage to the facilities and surrounding buildings in the community. Thankfully there were no major injuries or fatalities reported. Still, it was very similar to an incident that happened in the Buncefield disaster of 2005, at the Hertfordshire oil storage terminal in Hertfordshire UK (also no fatalities).
Did the team at Caribbean Petroleum know about the Buncefield disaster and the learnings from that incident? What learnings could they have drawn from that incident, which could have been implemented in their company to avoid an unsafe day? The Caribbean Petroleum incident resulted in changes to API.
Let's all work to support high hazard workplace safety. Let us know what that looks like for you and leave a comment with your thoughts below or connect with us to find out how Risk Alive® can help you!