Operational Excellence in EHS Requires Focus on Risk Culture, Competencies and Conduct of Operations

1:50 to 4:00 PM, Wednesday October 11, 2017 in Houston, TX

Facilitated by:

Jerry L. Jones, PE, CSP, CHMM, CFEI
Chemical Engineering Consultant

Purpose and Target Audience 

This workshop concerning Operational Excellence focuses on EHS performance improvement and is intended to help with “accelerating the potential for member growth and strengthening the members' business and operations” as described in SOCMA’s mission statement.

This workshop should be of value to individuals in small to medium sized chemical enterprises:

  • at all levels of production operations management from plant managers to shift supervisors,
  • in process and project engineering, maintenance, utilities supply, logistics, EHS, quality assurance and human resources (e.g. training and performance improvement). 

Workshop Description

Mr. Jones will discuss a variety of good practices for EHS management that are consistent with key aspects of “operational excellence” as adopted by leading organizations in government and the chemical process industry. These are all based on risk management strategies, intentional competency development, and rigorous Conduct of Operations practices to drive continual improvement.

The practices described and discussed can help any small to medium sized chemical manufacturer ensure the safe and successful scale up and transfer of new technology or new products into production as well as driving improvements in reliability, safety, efficiency and quality assurance of day-to-day production operations for existing products.

The workshop will address how an organization must focus on the following to continually improve on the Operational Excellence Journey in relation to EHS and other aspects of its business:

  • The Organization’s Risk Culture 
  • Integrated Management System Framework Driven by Risk Considerations 
  • Continual Learning with Focused Competency Development Based on Risk 
  • Conduct of Operations with All Engaged to Minimize “Organizational Drift”

In order to ensure that all participants have a common frame of reference for the workshop, the first portion will include:

  • a brief discussion of various descriptions or definitions of Operational Excellence and the stages or phases organizations go through on the journey, and 
  • a review of some key lessons learned across the CPI during the last 50+ years from major accidents and the enterprise risk management approaches now widely used to try to prevent having to relearn these lessons. 

This initial discussion will also include a case study example with a breakout session for small groups to discuss specific management system failures (the root causes) for the events to illustrate the reasons to go beyond just regulatory requirements.

During the remainder of the workshop there will be several additional breakout sessions for smaller groups to discuss proactive approaches to drive continual improvement and ensure adherence to standards, competency development, and excellence in Conduct of Operations including methods to detect (e.g. looking for incident warning signs) and correct “organizational drift”.

Free tools that are useful on the Operational Excellence journey for EHS are available online (e.g. organizational self-assessments with scoring protocol) from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS) under the CCPS Vision20/20 strategy. These will be discussed as part of the breakout session exercises and can be used to help drive continual improvement efforts.

Workshop Facilitator

Jerry Jones

Mr. Jones has been a speaker at numerous previous SOCMA regional and national meetings and this workshop builds on his previous discussions of enterprise risk management.
He retired from full time employment in 2010 with >40 years of experience across CPI sectors including chemicals, polymers, pharmaceuticals, and electronics industry materials. He is currently a chemical engineering consultant for industry and government clients and also serves as an AIChE CCPS process safety instructor and staff consultant involved with development of CCPS guidelines and training materials.

During his career he has worked in process development and engineering, plant design, EHS, and process safety functions and supported manufacturing operations in over a dozen countries while an employee of Monsanto, SRI International, Raychem, and Genentech/Roche. He has also served as the VP of Chemical Process Technology and VP of Operations for several small venture capital funded specialty chemicals and materials companies in the optical materials field.

He has extensive experience with the implementation of risk-based management systems including those for process safety and quality. He earned BS and ME degrees in chemical engineering from Cornell and an MS in environmental engineering from Stanford. He is a licensed professional engineer in Illinois and California and holds a number of safety related certifications.

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