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.
Howard Duhon is the Systems Engineering Manager and a principal of Gibson Applied Technology and Engineering, Inc. (GATE) in Houston, TX. He has 38 years of experience in the Petrochemical and Oil and Gas industries mainly in process design and project engineering roles.
For the past 15 years that work has mainly involved deepwater developments and has been focused on managing the interfaces between topsides and other disciplines. Duhon has a chemical engineering degree from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Throughout his career he has had a particular interest in the study of decision theory and in the application of that knowledge to improve project execution.
In 2013 he was named to the SPE Board of Directors as the Projects, Facilities and Construction Technical Director.