At the IOSH Conference in Manchester, England this week, risk- and evidence-based management was a prime topic. During a presentation of particular interest, Steve Flynn, the vice president of health, safety, security, and environment (HSSE) for BP, reported on numerous continual improvement actions that BP has taken since the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill in April 2010.
One of the key lessons learned, Flynn reported, was the need for and value of an integrated risk management approach, embedded throughout the value chain. He spoke of this in terms of a balance between people and systems, pointing to the importance of not only focusing on systems, such as a formal EHS management system, but also on the overall culture and perceptions of employees, including management. His comments reflect BP’s organizational learning, based on the Grangemouth, Forties Alpha, and Texas City accidents, as well as the Deepwater Horizon spill.
Flynn discussed numerous improvements that BP has made to its integrated risk management approach, two of which he referred to as “systematic operating” and “results.” “Systematic operating,” he explained, included actions that deeply embedded BP’s EHS management system throughout the value chain. He equated “results” with a “balanced scorecard” and the development of leading indicators that focus on management measures.
While Flynn did not delve into this level of detail, BP’s post-event learning reflects the integrated risk management approach that Redinger 360 uses in its 360 EHS and Sustainability Check-Ups, which are based on an integrated risk management system that combines ISO 31000, ISO 14001, and OHSAS 18001.
This integrated risk management framework provides the balance suggested by Flynn, as well as the vehicle for accelerated implementation throughout the value chain. Over the past five years, I have been working with a large, diversified industries multi-national company to help it improve its EHS performance and lower its overall risk profile. The approach used mirrors some of the actions taken by BP, as presented by Flynn.
© Redinger EHS, Inc. (2010)