Pilko & Associates News and Events
Browse our latest, newest Grey Paper, information and insights, and events where you can learn more on how to increase control of operational, EHS, and transaction risk.
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NEW GREY PAPER: INCREASE CONTROL OF OPERATIONS/EHS & TRANSACTIONS RISK
Unprecedented risks face corporate officers and boards of energy and chemical companies. Risks that materially affect balance sheets, reputations, and business value. Take your company, operations, or assets to the next level of risk control by learning how to understand and implement some simple strategies and actions.
Click on the paper image above and download our newest white paper. We’re confident you’ll find something you can integrate and implement—even today.
GREY PAPER: OPERATIONAL & EHS RISK CONTROL
Catastrophic incidents have had a devastating impact within the energy and chemical industry. Surprisingly, most companies address these risk in an ad-hoc fashion, bouncing from one to another. Get ahead of operations and EHS risk by increasing control. Click on the image and download our most recent Grey Paper dealing directly with this topic.
GREY PAPER: INSIGHTS AT THE EARLY STAGES OF M&A
FATAL FLAWS IN INCIDENT INVESTIGATION—GETTING TO ROOT CAUSES
AUTHOR: Michael McCandless
While incident investigations can be the most powerful and effective way to reduce risk, there are several areas where companies fail to take full advantage of this powerful tool. This second post in the series looks at how companies investigate incidents and arrive at root cause. Leading companies ensure that root cause is effectively and accurately identified through training, resourcing, and follow-up.
When formal investigations of incidents with catastrophic or significant potential are routinely conducted, companies frequently fail to have the competency or discipline to dig deeply enough to identify the true root cause. Even with the use of trained facilitators, many investigation teams only manage to identify the symptoms that lead to an event, falling short of findings that can lead to true preventive action. There are many processes employed, which tend to be variations of the 5 Whys or Fishbone Diagram methodologies that help individuals or teams to systemically and objectively determine root cause. While each of these tools can be extremely effective, they are highly dependent upon the people using them.
Typically, the fatal flaw in investigations is the inability to dig deeply enough, especially in respect to human error. This is particularly perplexing, because there is a human element in the vast majority of incidents. Humans by their very nature are prone to making mistakes and in most cases; a thorough investigation will reveal inadequate systems and standards, ineffective training, or leadership behaviors that encourage risk taking on the part of the employees. It is therefore extremely important to determine whether the individual had the environment, training and tools to effectively deal with the situation and if missing, to rectify immediately.
Another flaw in root cause investigations is that it is sometimes very difficult and time consuming to gather the data necessary to truly complete the investigation. In such cases, part of the root cause may be the lack of useful or accessible data to ensure that the potential hazard is recognized and mitigated prior to an incident.
One of the most effective approaches to ensuring effective incident investigations is through management review. Many companies, business units, and plants select three or four completed incident investigations for review on a monthly basis. Through these reviews, management gets a very clear picture not only of the key incidents that have occurred, but also of the quality of the investigation. It is important that the management team challenges the identified root cause by asking why at least one more time, or testing hypotheses for deeper causes with the investigation team leader. When management teams see that investigations frequently appear to identify symptoms rather than causes, it is time to dig deeply into the investigation process and take action to improve the competency and discipline of the investigation teams to enable them to consistently determine root cause.
In Conclusion: When incident investigations identify the symptoms rather than the true root cause, incidents will continue to recur regardless of the actions taken. It is imperative that companies have measures in-place to ensure that ALL incident investigations find true root cause.
FATAL FLAWS IN INCIDENT INVESTIGATION—PRIORITIZATION
Author: Michael McCandless
While incident investigations can be the most powerful and effective way to reduce risk, there are several areas where companies fail to take full advantage of this powerful tool. This first in a series of posts looks at best practices for companies to process the many incidents that are documented.
Almost any company that manages risk has an incident investigation process in place, but many companies do not provide clear direction on how to manage the many events that are documented, treating all incidents, regardless of the potential impact, in the same manner. This can lead to incidents with high impact potential being lost among the many others that are reported. While all incident reports are important, it is vital to have a logical prioritization system for processing.
A fatal flaw for some companies is that they look only at the actual impact, rather than the potential impact of an event. Companies that prioritize based on the potential impact frequently capitalize on incidents or near misses that had little or no actual impact and take action that significantly reduces risk.
Leading companies have a system in place to prioritize incident reports based on potential impact, and provide clear guidance for how each level of incident should be addressed. A simple, effective method for prioritization is to group incidents into three buckets based on their potential impact: Catastrophic, Significant, and Minor.
- Catastrophic incident potential would be for events that could result in a fatality, significant off-site impact, or dramatic revenue loss. For those incidents, a formal root cause investigation should be conducted with a certified facilitator, and the corrective actions required should extend throughout the company where there would be potential for a similar incident.
- Significant incident potential includes events that could result in a recordable or lost work day injury or illness, community or customer concerns, or significant revenue loss. In these cases, an incident investigation team should use a “5 Why” or alternative root cause methodology to determine root cause and determine corrective actions. Corrective action must take place at the impacted location, and the lessons learned should be communicated beyond the site so that others can consider taking preventive actions at their locations.
- Minor incidents should be evaluated and tracked with the report author informed of the action that will be taken, if any. The author, should be thanked for their input to reinforce the importance of strong incident reporting. Over time, with appropriate tracking of the minor incidents, it is likely that threads of similarity will emerge, identifying the need for action to address these themes before they lead to a more serious incident.
Conclusion: An effective process to categorize and prioritize incident reports, provides the opportunity to fully understand, learn, and capitalize from incidents with the overall goal being to significantly reduce overall operational risk.
I have created an Incident Reporting Readiness Checklist, which consolidates the information in this blog. Feel free to download and use it to establish an effective Incident Reporting Program in your company or organization.
Pilko & Associate Grey Papers
Feel free to review and download any of our Grey Papers where we bring you information and insights you need to increase control of your operational, EHS, and transaction risk.
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INCREASE CONTROL OF OPERATIONS/EHS & TRANSACTIONS RISK
Energy and chemical companies face unprecedented operations/EHS and transaction risk. Unfortunately few corporate officers or boards are adequately equipped to deal with legacy thinking, internal momentum, fear, and trust issues to move organizations and companies forward toward improved risk control.
Download our most recent Grey Paper and discover how you can overcome common obstacles and grow your control of operations/EHS and transaction risk, starting today. It’s easier than you might think and the rewards bring business value growth and safety.
MAXIMIZING VALUE DURING DIVESTITURES
QUESTIONS THAT BOARDS SHOULD ASK
Corporate officers and board members of E&C companies know the financial and reputational risk associated with catastrophic incidents. Yet, despite, this, many boards lack detailed understanding of a company’s approach to risk management, mitigation, and control. Discover five, key questions that every board should ask in gaining insight as to how finances and reputation can be protected.
THE VALUE OF INTEGRATED DUE DILIGENCE
Competitive challenges in finding the right transaction opportunity are considerable. Critical to the process is an integrated approach to due diligence that spans operational risk (OR) and product safety (PS). This multidimensional view gives you the insights you need to control your operational, EHS, and transaction risk every step of the way.
INSIGHTS AT THE EARLY STAGES OF M&A
DELTA S (ΔS) IN DUE DILIGENCE
Assessing EHS compliance risk is an important part of every transactional due diligence process. A growing number of transactions have moved operational risk (OR) from the periphery to a key aspect of operational due diligence. Learn how to discover the difference between standard and target operating standards to gain control of your merger and acquisition risk.
SUPPORTING SUCCESSFUL DOWNSTREAM ACQUISITIONS
Downstream has seen steady growth in M&A transaction volume. Especially among non-traditional buyers. In such circumstances it is important to pay attention to financial, operational, EHS, and associated risk. This paper can help you learn the pitfalls to avoid as you grow control of information and insights associated with downstream acquisition activities.
8IGHT DRIVERS® METHODOLOGY
CATASTROPHIC RISK: NEW PERSPECTIVES FOR LEADERSHIP
In the aftermath of the Macondo platform explosion, fire, and crude oil leak, the news coverage was enormous. This catastrophic event led to billions of dollars in settlements, and steep declines in company business value. Learn about gaining control of operational and EHS risk, necessary critical success factors, and solutions that can be implemented now.
MITIGATING CATASTROPHIC INCIDENTS
We’ve all seen that catastrophic incidents are very expensive. They impact the lives of people and families while also consuming cash, profit, share value, reputations. Discovering, validating, and planning for catastrophic incident takes a holistic approach. Learn how you can get ahead of the problem of catastrophic incidents, gaining control of your operational and EHS risk.
AVOIDING CATASTROPHIC INCIDENTS DURING DOWNTURNS
GOVERNANCE & ASSURANCE FOR OPERATIONAL RISK
E&C industries have experienced ongoing high-profile incidents. Incidents that have impacted lives, the environment, earnings, business value, and reputations. At issue are the fundamentals that make safe and reliable operations and EHS outcomes. Discover the reasons why the next headline shouldn’t be about your company and how to grow control of your operations and EHS risk.
OPERATIONAL RISK: NEW CHALLENGES & RESPONSIBILITIES
Despite best efforts, process safety incidents continue. Many leaders tend to focus on technical reasons, where the causes often are in other areas as well. Learn how to discover other risk factors, such as leadership and behavioral, are often the most critical influencers of risk and safety. Discover how to get control of technical and non-technical contributors to operational and EHS risk.
MEXICO ENERGY REFORM | UNDERSTANDING & MITIGATING RISK
Mexico’s landmark energy reform has created significant opportunity. Executives eyeing expansion into Mexico may have difficulty understanding risks associated with Mexican markets. The winners identify and mitigate the most serious risks. Learn how you can get control of your operational, EHS, and transaction risk when considering and entering Mexican markets.