Impact of Human Behaviour on Process Safety Management in Developing Countries

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Human behaviour is the core factor that affects process safety management. Understanding human behaviour and making the best use of them can reduce the risks associated with industrial processes. This article presents an insight into the impact of human behaviour on process safety management in developing countries.

The importance of process safety in the industrial facilities of developing countries subsequently draws attention to a complex array of challenges. The key challenges are accentuated by a culture, which emphasises the value of labour over capital assets and processes. Continuous challenges to human behaviour affect adversely process safety management in developing countries. It is also true that there is scope for improvement especially based on development initiatives designed with significant involvement of people at the grassroots level.

Human behaviour is considered the largest single barrier to the implementation of effective process safety management (PSM) systems in developing countries. Almost all incidents investigated by the relevant local, regional or national regulatory agency are found to have originated from human behaviour, either due to direct errors from individuals or from operational practices. As a result of its responsibility for providing a safe and reliable plant that has adequate protection for employees as well as for people living in the surrounding community and at the same time ensuring its competitiveness, the plant manager can take into account the importance of understanding humans in support for process safety.

The practice of process safety management (PSM) is gaining momentum across the globe, but with increased use has come considerable criticism from the public as well as safety experts. TheSafetyMaster is an organization that provides the best process safety management training focusing on operation, maintenance, and emergency preparedness. It is the foundation of any organization’s Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) program. It helps to protect individuals from injuries, loss or damage to people or property from the uncontrolled release of hazardous energy in industrial processes.

Process Safety Management is a tool that brings forth safe systems by learning and understanding the basics of hazardous incidents and their consequences. It gives an in-depth knowledge of the causes and effects of hazards, risk assessment methods and implementation strategies to manage risks associated with these hazards.

Human behaviour is a critical and inseparable element in the safety management process. Improper, inadequate and undesired human behaviour may lead to malfunctioning of the process and even catastrophic failure. If a human error occurs in a process that is not under adequate control, it will lead to serious consequences. The control for such possible occurrence is generally through training, education and auditing with the objective of changing undesirable behaviours and encouraging acceptable ones. For such purpose, it is necessary that the course on ‘Human Behaviour in Process Safety Management’ should be made mandatory for all relevant personnel in the organization.

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