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Atlantic boosts safety management
“How do you know if your company’s systems can stop the next potential hazardous incident from occurring?” Stephen Carboy, director of operations excellence at LNG producer Atlantic, asked this question recently when he unveiled details about the new Atlantic Management System and its aim to sustain the company’s recent record in safety of more 23 million hours worked without a lost time incident (LTI).
The new Atlantic Management System will begin implementation this year and become fully operational by 2016. Carboy explained that some 80 per cent of industrial incidents around the world were caused by employees not following company procedures. “Atlantic has put a lot of work into our asset integrity management system, into our health and safety system, we have put a lot of work into every system we currently have, but so did many of the companies that have had industrial incidents in recent years,” he said.
“We go to work every day and work hard to prevent these incidents from occurring, but the barriers we count on to keep these things from happening (could) fail.”
To minimise the possibility of such failures, the new system will facilitate a more systematic approach to Atlantic’s operations. “(Atlantic has already) put a number of systems in place and we’ve decided to take another look at ourselves and become a bit more systematic,” Carboy said.
“We can see when a flare is not working correctly...we can see when our personnel on board (POB) exceeds our safety limits ...but it’s really hard to see when your management of change procedures aren’t being used correctly or when your workers are getting fatigued, or your maintenance procedures aren’t quite right.
“The idea of (the Atlantic Management System) is to uncover that, to force us to really look with a strong mirror on ourselves.” He explained: “The Atlantic Management System is not about creating more, but taking what we already have and getting it organised—getting rid of the overlap, the redundancy, work on simplification. “If people weren’t following it in first place, then you think adding more steps would make it easier to follow?”
Carboy added that the new system would entail change to the company’s culture to ensure that it retains employees’ knowledge and familiarity with Atlantic’s systems and business. “Organisations have no memory, it’s the people—you must find a way to embed what the people know in your system. Once you have that embedded knowledge, you need to keep improving it,” he said.
Among the benefits of the new Atlantic Management System will be a regular cycle where employees check for “blind spots”, unknown risks and imperfections in the company’s systems. This will help to enhance safety throughout the company’s operations. Atlantic is the sixth largest producer of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) in the world, with a reputation in the international LNG industry in the areas of safety, plant utilisation and gas turbine reliability.