Collaborating towards a zero-incident workplace, connecting people, process and plant.
Perhaps more so than in any other industry, digital innovation has the capacity to change lives in the oil, gas and (petro)chemical space. In surroundings where a careless mistake –or a minuscule oversight– can have catastrophic effects, putting smart software in the hands of better-trained staff (from control room to front line) can fundamentally improve the way we work on site.
An increasing number of Hazardous Industries organisations and regulatory bodies are focusing on intelligent risk reduction, increased worker competency and efficient (digital) infrastructure. This effort is supported by international governments, often captured in a global programme aptly named Vision Zero. Vision Zero can be distilled into three things:
The importance of moving towards Vision Zero is clear, as the International Labour Organisation (ILO) estimates 2.3 million workers die every year from work-related injuries and diseases. An additional 160 million workers suffer from work-related diseases and 313 million workers from non-fatal injuries per year. Besides this tragic loss of life, the damage to companies and economies is significant. In economic terms, the ILO estimates that more than 4% of the world’s annual GDP is lost as a consequence of work-related injuries and diseases.
There is a delicate balance to be extracted from these ILO numbers: the balance between improving human and asset safety, and improving operational efficiency. An inherently and ethically complicated balance: how much is a person worth? Is that a question that is even possible to answer? Dependent on who you ask, you’ll get different answers, but I believe the question might be missing the point.
The question shouldn’t be “safety or efficiency?”; it should be “how do we achieve safety through efficiency, and efficiency through safety?”
There’s an anecdote from a Japanese car manufacturer, describing how the engineering team were tasked with creating a maximally safe, maximally fast vehicle. After numerous failed attempts to create both simultaneously, they changed their tune: they would create a car that was so aerodynamic that it was safe, and so safe that it was fast. This turnaround in thinking resulted in a completely novel approach to, for example, crumple zones in the front bumper, streamlining the windshield, and much more. The end result was the iconic Datsun 240Z.
This anecdote illustrates, at its core, the need to think innovatively to achieve better results. This is exactly why eVision’s ONE Vision platform takes a similar approach. A platform which doesn’t sacrifice workforce and asset safety for process efficiency, and vice versa. Instead, ONE Vision combines information and processes from various domains, systems, and hardware into a single interface, mitigating the need to access multiple solutions and unconnected databases. At the same time, it enforces strict compliance through consistent business rules, with inbuilt learnings for continuous process improvement. In essence, from the permit office to the maintenance staff, the system is easy to understand, while streamlining processes where necessary, enforcing discipline where needed, and increasing awareness at all times.
This way of thinking has had significant results, both in a Vision Zero context as well as moving the industry forward. For example, our Permit Vision digital Permit to Work solution has measured 30% Control of Work related incident reduction across an eVision enterprise client’s 90 assets: a major milestone. But besides this, our penchant for innovation has allowed us to think into the future, developing the world’s first fully integrated Process Safety Management platform. Leading the pack with regards to Big Data and digital twins, this advanced system analyses thousands of data points (including live plant information, staff competency, alarms, inhibits, overrides, Risk Assessments, and many more) and algorithmically calculates the aggregated risk of your asset. This Cumulative Risk model is a perfect example of safety through efficiency / efficiency through safety: pulling disconnected data from dozens of internal and external systems, and visualising this in a way that is both easy to comprehend and functional.
We’re at a point in time where classically “conservative” industries are making the transition from archaic paper archives, spreadsheets and binders, to new, powerful digital technologies. Everything points to this shift leading to incredible results in the future. Vision Zero, once seen as an impossibility, is slowly becoming a “when”; not an “if”. And eVision is proud to accelerate this ambition, with ONE Vision sitting at the heart of Operations.