Process safety management development for EnergyAustralia, Australia

Assisting EnergyAustralia to establish and embed process safety management within its operations

Ensuring a safe place to work is imperative for EnergyAustralia in the operation of its six power generation sites, each with different historical ownership structures and unique physical asset legacy issues.

With legacy issues evolving on each autonomously operating site, EnergyAustralia aimed to establish consistent and effective approach to process safety management (for major hazard risks) which spanned all sites.

In line with corporate engineering objectives to development and continual improvement of coordinated activities, systems and practices are required for optimal, compliant, safe and sustainable management of physical energy assets, their associated performance, risks and expenditures over their life cycles, where EnergyAustralia has generation, operational or regulatory responsibilities.

Aurecon is working in close collaboration with a diverse range of EnergyAustralia’s workforce for the implementation of asset management integrated with process safety principles to ensure safe plant and equipment, protection of its people and the environment and the knowledge and controls for process safety risks.

Compliant, safe and sustainable work practices will enable EnergyAustralia to manage performance, risk and expenditure effectively.

To start the process

EnergyAustralia wanted to achieve a high level of workforce engagement with the development of process safety management, so Aurecon began by creating a visible, empowering leadership group that provided a strong narrative about how the company wanted safe, sustainable and compliant system consistency.

There was a focus on employees and giving them scope, treating them as individuals and providing them with guidance toward the future.

This was achieved through using multidisciplined, site-based, and highly interactive workshops to identify, analyse and develop continuous improvement plans. Simple, graphical, representations of the relationship between risk hazards and controls were presented in the workshops to enable participants to identify areas of concern, share their knowledge and provide ideas for improvement.

Engaging workshops

Through the workshops, Aurecon ensured that employees were highly engaged. The workshops served as a platform to reassure the frontline workforce that safety and the management of hazard risks would be a focus for business operations and not a reactive position.

Key performance indicators will be integrated into the Operational Plant Safety Plan and calculated from real, live operating data, providing clarity and transparency on process safety performance. When complete, this will enable all operations personnel as well as senior management across the whole business to drive continuous improvement.

Engaged employees are central to instilling change, encouraging innovation, ensuring a safe workplace, assisting with conflict resolution and contributing to the overall success of a business.

Aurecon supplemented the workshops with communication initiatives to reach out to EnergyAustralia’s workforce to promote the inclusion of safety and risk management into their daily work practices. Process safety posters, bulletins, newsletters and even cartoons were used to explain process safety, critical control identification and risk management.

Our work has provided EnergyAustralia a clear ‘road map’ for the implementation of process safety frameworks to ensure safe plant and equipment, protection of its people and the environment and the knowledge and controls for process safety risks. In addition, it will collectively embed continual safety improvement across its six power generation sites and within its business operations.

This methodology of asset management, strategy refinement and operational safety plan implementation is not just unique to the energy sector – it can be applied to any business with sustainable operation, performance and workforce engagement goals.

The success factors are delivering process safety management that enables a business to understand, control, monitor and minimise hazard risks, with an engaged workforce and appropriate plan.

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