SOPs are frequently developed late in the project, after the design is completed and construction is well underway. They may be used for little other than operator training. Following the initial facility startup, they may even end up on a shelf collecting dust. In this environment SOPs have little influence on either the design or the operation of the facility.
But SOPs can be much more. They can be an integral part of the design process and a catalyst for culture change in the industry.
Generated early enough they can be a powerful tool for finding and correcting operability issues in the design.
Improving the design in this manner should yield a facility that is easier to operate and safer. Effective SOPs that are actually used in the field could have a significant further impact on process safety.
The airline industry has dramatically decreased the frequency and impact of accidents by creating a culture of following procedures.
This should be our goal as well. But this cannot reasonably be accomplished unless we start writing procedures that are more user-friendly; procedures that the operators will actually want to use.
This webinar suggests methods for generating SOPs that accomplish the dual goals of improved design and improved, safer operation.