Leadership in process safety

Leading from the top – the importance of leadership in process safety

Leadership in process safety (PSL) plays a crucial role in cultivating a robust safety culture within an organisation. PSL necessitates the commitment and accountability of senior management and leaders to make process safety a fundamental value and strategic priority. This involves setting clear expectations, allocating sufficient resources, effective communication, and fostering a positive safety culture.

A positive safety culture encourages the identification, reporting, and learning from process safety incidents and near misses. It empowers the workforce and recognises their involvement in process safety management (PSM). Additionally, it acknowledges the potential for human error and provides appropriate training, supervision, and feedback for individual growth.

To enhance PSL and the safety culture, organisations should follow a systematic approach:

1. Assess: Evaluate the current state of PSL and safety culture using methods like surveys, audits, interviews, and observations.

2. Develop: Create a vision and strategy for PSL and safety culture improvement based on assessment results and best practices from other organisations.

3. Implement: Put the strategy into action by developing policies, procedures, standards, and guidelines. Provide training, coaching, mentoring, establish performance indicators and improvement plans, and conduct regular reviews and audits.

4. Monitor: Track progress and effectiveness using measures like incident statistics, audit results, feedback surveys, and benchmarking.

5. Improve: Continuously enhance PSL and safety culture by identifying gaps, challenges, and opportunities for further development.

By following these steps, organisations can elevate their PSL and safety culture. This proactive approach not only prevents or mitigates major accidents but also safeguards people, the environment, assets, and enhances overall business performance.

How can OpenPSM help with leadership in process safety?

OpenPSM is focused on helping leaders be involved in the progress their organisation is making in their continuous improvement in process safety journey, using our customisable dashboards.  Our in-built maturity model shows progress against best practice guidance, whilst real-time information enables comprehensive action management across all areas of responsibility in the business.

OpenPSM engenders a strong process safety culture by allowing key individuals to work together across the business as a team, taking responsibility for relevant actions and issues.   

To learn more about OpenPSM click here

Further information

Corporate governance for process safety: Guidance for senior leaders in high hazard industries | en | OECD

Major Hazard Leadership Intervention Tool (hse.gov.uk)