Wiley InterScience Backfile Collection 1832-2000
Chemistry and Pharmacology
Process Engineering, Biotechnology, Nutrition Technology
This paper describes the development of a risk ranked Inspection Recommendation procedure that is used by one of Exxon's chemical plants to prioritize repairs that have been identified during equipment inspection.As part of the Company's Safety Management Practices initiative in the late 1980's a procedure was put into place to ensure that an Inspector's repair recommendations were properly addressed by the organization. The initial procedures were successful at “systematizing” the documentation and stewardship-to-completion of the Inspector's recommendation, however, there were complications with the original process: (1)The Inspector made a simple High, Medium or Low assessment of the priority/criticality of the recommendation. Frequently, this resulted in disagreements with Operations about the true priority of the recommendation.(2)If there was agreement on the priority of the recommendation, there was still disagreement on the relative rank within the priority-which high priority was the highest priority?(3)With limited funds to spend on repairs, it was (and is) important to make sure that the money was being spent on the highest risk items that had the greatest risk reduction/cost benefit ratio.To address these concerns, the procedure was modified to incorporate a risk assessment of the recommendation by both the Inspector and Operations. In the new procedure, the Inspector describes the deficiency that he/she finds and assesses the probability of failure within a certain time-frame. Operations must assess the consequences, from an environmental, safety and economics standpoint, were the failure to occur. These assessments are combined in the typical risk equation (risk = probability × consequences) to arrive at a severity index which serves to rank the recommendation relative to the other recommendations. Because Operations participates in the assessment there is very little disagreement about the priority of the recommendation. The severity index puts the recommendations in order so it is quite clear which are the highest priority recommendations. This process has helped to focus the entire organization on those deficiencies that represent the greatest risk with the result that less time and money is spent correcting items that have a low risk/cost benefit ratio, allowing these savings to be used to reduce the higher risks in the plant.
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