- 1-1 Engineering Ethics
- 1-2 Myths about Process Safety
- 1-3 Safety Culture
- 1-4 Individual Risk, Societal Risk, and Risk Populations
- 1-5 Voluntary and Involuntary Risk
- 1-6 Safety Metrics
- 1-7 Accident and Loss Statistics
- 1-8 Risk Perception
- 1-9 Risk Tolerance/Acceptance and Risk Matrix
- 1-10 Codes, Standards, and Regulations
- 1-11 Safeguards
- 1-12 The CCPS 20 Elements of Risk-Based Process Safety
- 1-13 Inherently Safer Design
- 1-14 The Worst Chemical Plant Tragedy: Bhopal, India, 1984<sup><a id="ch01fn13_r" href="ch01.xhtml#ch01fn13">13</a></sup>
- 1-15 Overview of Chemical Process Safety
- Suggested Reading
1-3 Safety Culture
A safety culture is an essential part of any safety program, including process safety, laboratory safety, personal safety, or any safety program. Table 1-1 provides the CCPS’s definition of process safety culture. Almost all accidents, whether large or small, can be attributed to a failure of safety culture, since the safety culture is such an essential and over-reaching part of any safety program.
Klein and Vaughen1 provide a very extensive discussion of safety culture. They define safety culture as “the normal way things are done at a facility, company, or organization, reflecting expected organizational values, beliefs, and behaviors, that set the priority, commitment and resource levels for safety programs and performance.” The same authors also provide a list of essential features for safety culture, as derived from the CCPS sources; these features are shown in Table 1-4.
Mannan et al.2 found the following important elements of a best-in-class safety program: leadership; culture and values; goals, policies, and initiative; organization and structure; employee engagement and behaviors; resource allocation and performance management; systems, standards, and processes; metrics and reporting; continuous learning; and verification and auditing. These elements are similar to those provided in Table 1-4.
Table 1-4 Essential Features of Safety Culture
Sources: AICHE Center for Chemical Process Safety. Guidelines for Risk Based Process Safety (New York, NY: Wiley/AICHE, 2007); W. L. Frank. “Process Safety Culture in the CCPS Risk Based Process Safety Model.” Process Safety Progress, 26 (2007): 203–208; James A. Klein and Bruce K. Vaughen. Process Safety: Key Concepts and Practical Approaches (Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, 2017).
In November 2010, Rex Tillerson, Chairman and CEO of ExxonMobil, testified before the National Commission on the disastrous BP Deepwater oil spill. He stated:
A commitment to safety therefore should not be a priority but a value—a value that shapes decision making all the time, at every level. Every company desires safe operations—but the challenge is to translate this desire into action. The answer is not found only in written rules, standards, and procedures. While these are important and necessary, they alone are not enough. The answer is ultimately found in a company’s culture—the unwritten standards and norms that shape mindsets, attitudes, and behaviors. Companies must develop a culture in which the value of safety is embedded in every level of the workforce, reinforced at every turn, and upheld above all other considerations. … [A] culture of safety has to be born within the organization. You cannot buy culture. You have to make it yourself. … [M]ake no mistake: Creating a strong sustainable culture is a long process.