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Risk Management Strategy in Perspective of Chemical Industry

Risk Management Strategy in Perspective

of Chemical Industry

Author’s Name

Affiliation

1) In this paper I have selected a non-routine task of tank cleaning in the chemical industry. This cleaning task normally does not perform by an employee and at the same time considers as an extremely hazardous activity (Palmisano, 2016). While performing this task an employee may face following potential hazards-

  • exposure to a hazardous atmosphere within the confined space, like climatic conditions, tripping, obstruction hazards, and others (Popov, Lyon, & Hollcroft, 2016)
  • existence of a flammable mixture of vapor and air
  • exposure to hazardous chemicals during the cleaning process (Palmisano, 2016)
  • experience oxygen deficiency
  • existence of microbiological hazards (Palmisano, 2016)

So, for conducting a safe operating procedure the safety manager should adopt the following steps-

  • Pre-task survey- Accumulate information, like pictures, measurements, workplace chemical labels, inventories of chemicals, safety equipment, and others, by a walk-through survey of the job site (Popov, Lyon, & Hollcroft, 2016). All these information must be presented at the Pre-task meeting to draft the operating instruction for the task with prioritizing the optimum safety for the workers.
  • Pre-task safety team meeting- A team of diverse stakeholders, like managers/supervisors, HR representative, safety staff, and a couple of workers from the relevant field, must be assembled during the pre-task meeting to assess the tasks, hazards, and safety controls associated with this non-routine task (Palmisano, 2016). As an outcome a written protection plan (attached in appendix) must be developed to supervise the entire situation.
  • Pre-task written plan- On the basis of pre-task assessment, a written procedure should be developed to identify the following tasks as well as hazards- a) identification of the tasks to be performed, b) responsibilities of the management as well as employees related to it, c) avoid possible sources of ignition in and around the work area, including sparks from electrical equipment, lightning, static electricity, hot surfaces, and pyrophoric scale, d) beware of toxic dusts, sludge or scale, and oxygen levels before entering into the tank, e) supplies, equipment, and personal protective equipment require to safely perform the task, and f) step-by-step detailed work instruction must be understood by all the employees involve in this task. (Scott, 2003)
  • Provide employee training- In order to ensure safety of the employees they should be trained for following the instructions on job procedures, avoiding potential hazards as well as controls. Further, their testing process, under the guidance of the OSHA, would include both written and practical examination challenges (Scott, 2003). Hence it will be possible for them to adopt effective PPE for avoiding fall protection, immediate and long-term toxic effect, oxygen deficiency, and microbiological reactions.
  • Perform the task- After providing training, the successful employees should perform the adequate job supervision, varying in complexity and the size. In order to optimize the employee safety during the task the outside activities should be approved by the supervisor/management only (Palmisano, 2016).
  • Post-task review- After completion of the task, ongoing frequent and regular inspections of the task activities as well as a review of the safety protection process will be needed (Popov, Lyon, & Hollcroft, 2016). As such, it will help in identifying the existing gaps and improving the procedures to assure the future safety of the workers.

2) 

Job Title:

Analyst Name:

Date:

 

Task Description:

 

 This tank cleaning task in the chemical industry is selected for its inclusion of severe risk types, like the existence of physical hazards, exposure to chemical hazards, presence of flammable vapors, and sources of ignition (Popov, Lyon, & Hollcroft, 2016). Further, it is a non-routine task and as such performance of the same should follow a progressive written plan as well as OSHA training procedures, to assure the safety of the employees.   

 
 

#

Task Steps

Hazard and Effect

Initial Risk

Risk Reduction Tactics

Residual Risk

 

Basic description of task steps recorded in sequence

Description and effect of existing and potential hazards based on observation and experience

Severity

Likelihood

Risk Rating

Description of  risk reduction tactics for each hazard using the Hierarchy of Controls method

Severity

Likelihood

Risk Rating

 

1

 Pre-task survey

Physical hazards, Chemical exposure, Oxygen deficiency, Flammable vapor (Scott, 2003)

Critical

 Likely

 16

 Substitution, Elimination, and Administrative Controls

 Marginal

 Likely

 12

 

2

 Pre-task safety team meeting

Monitoring and assessment of safety control to avoid the potential hazards, including PPE (Palmisano, 2016)

 Critical

Frequent

 20

 Engineering Controls, Administrative Controls, and PPE

 Marginal

Likely

12

 

3

Pre-task written plan

Step-by-step instructions to avoid possible sources of ignition in and around the work area, as well as create awareness of toxic dusts, sludge or scale, and oxygen levels (Palmisano, 2016)

Critical

Likely

16

Elimination, Substitution, and Engineering Controls

Marginal

Occasional

9

 

4

Pre-task training

 Following the guidance of OSHA apart from adopting the effective PPE for avoiding fall protection, immediate and long-term toxic effect, oxygen deficiency, and microbiological reactions (Scott, 2003)

 Critical

Occasional

12

 Administrative Controls. Engineering Controls, and PPE

 Negligible

Seldom

 4

 

5

Performance of the task

 Optimize employee safety on the basis of the size and complexity of jobs, including obtaining approval from the management for outside task (Palmisano, 2016)

 Critical

Seldom

8

 Elimination, Substitution, Engineering Controls, and PPE

 Marginal

Occasional

9

 

6

Post-task review

Review the situation frequently to improve the safety procedure during post-task period (Scott, 2003)

 Marginal

Frequent

 15

Administrative Controls

 Negligible

Seldom

4

 

Comment/Discussion (300-word minimum)

 

While assigning severity and likelihood for each hazard before and after the implementation of controls, critical nature of each stage is considered with a foremost priority. Before implementation of control pre-task survey, pre-task safety team meeting, pre-task written plan, and pre-task training are falling in the first level of importance. On the basis of their significance, severity, likelihood, and risk rating have been done (Scott, 2003). After the assessment, the task is performed according to instruction and written plan to complete the tank cleaning task with optimum safety. Hence the severity, likelihood, and risk-rating are also varied according to their risk priority. However, the risk rating of each hazard involved in the tank cleaning task can be segregated into pre- and post-implementation of controls stages to make a comparison of the two phases (Ostrowski & Keim, 2010).

During the post-implementation control phase, the task is dealing with residual risk and for that reason the severity of risk is much less than the pre - implementation of control phase. Further, risk reduction tactics are also implemented for which post-implementation stage faces less severity. While comparing the pre-task survey, pre-task safety team meeting, pre-task written plan, and pre-task training phases of post-implementation stage it can be observed that risk severity is much reduced. Similarly, the performance of the task and post-task review have also experienced marginal risk severity (Palmisano, 2016). In this context, it can be stated that after implementation of the risk reduction techniques some risks are reduced to acceptable levels while others require additional controls. Although the risk severity of the pre - task survey, pre-task safety team meeting, pre-task written plan, and performance of the task are adequately controlled, yet to reduce the risk to a negligible level additional controls require to be implemented. The additional controls may be in the form of administrative control, engineering control, elimination or substitution which either are not implemented in one phase or the other (Ostrowski & Keim, 2010). Further, the risk severity is reduced to a negligible / acceptable level in pre-task training and post-task review phases after implementation of the risk reduction tactics.

On the basis of above analyses, it can be stated that the organization, during its future course of activity, should adopt proper assessment strategies to consistently maintain its risk-taking attitude. Before commencing any hazardous activity, past experience should be analyzed to assure optimal safety for its employees. Besides, ‘Hierarchy of Controls’ should be implemented properly to reduce the risk severity.  

 
 
 
 
 
 

Works Cited

Ostrowski, S. W., & Keim, K. K. (2010, June 23). “Tame Your Transient Operations.” Chemical Processing. Retrieved from https://www.chemicalprocessing.com/articles/2010/123/ 

Palmisano, C. (2016, January 28). “The Dangers of Non Routine Task.” LinkedIn. Retrieved from https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/dangers-non-routine-tasks-chris-palmisano 

Popov, G., Lyon, B. K., & Hollcroft, B. (2016). “Risk assessment: A practical guide to assessing operational risks.” Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Scott, S. (2003, January 22). “Hazards related to tank cleaning.” ORECO. Retrieved from https://www.oreco.com/solutions/downloads/industry-articles/hazards-related-to-tank-cleaning/ 

Appendix

Fig 1: Hierarchy of Controls

Source: https://www.oreco.com/solutions/downloads/industry-articles/hazards-related-to-tank-cleaning/ 

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