This paper investigates how the characteristics of operational processes—systematic and project-based—affect the impact of adopting the safety management systems on different performance metrics. The proposed approach allows the development of a framework which matches safety problems and risks encompassed by organizational tasks with solutions generated by new safety knowledge linked to the adoption of the OHSAS 18001 standard. Our analysis of the effect over work accidents, as well as operational and economic performance of implementing the OHSAS 18001 in Spanish manufacturing, construction and professional services organizations during 2006–2009 shows that organizations modify existing safety practices to mitigate work accidents, and that safety learning effects widely vary across industry sectors. Organizations whose current knowledge is mostly codified and processes are highly systematic benefit more from safety knowledge and experience, whereas the effects of the OHSAS 18001 dilute in organizations whose knowledge is high in tacitness, and whose processes difficult the visibility of the consequences of work accidents. This study has important implications for managing knowledge acquisition processes. The findings offer valuable insights on how managers can develop communication and coordination actions to cope with the potential incompatibilities between safety management systems, the properties of knowledge and work environmental conditions.
This paper aims at defining a set of indicators to be applied in port areas on the topics of Occupational Health, Safety, Security (OHSS) and Environment. The techniques used to identify and select the OHSS indicators involved two different approaches: (i) a bottom-up method, where an extended and in-depth analysis was performed in order to assess the current indicators applied by ports and, (ii) a top-down approach, mainly based on legislation and regulations as well as the feedback from stakeholders of the port and shipping industry. The bottom-up approach analysed a total number of 526 ports, allowing the identification of the most frequent indicators used by them. The top-down approach collected valuable opinions and suggestions from the port community members. A consensus between the results obtained in the two approaches was reached in order to provide ports with the most adequate and implementable indicators. The Environmental Performance Indicators (EPIs) have been selected based on the results of previous research projects plus further discussions with port stakeholders. The information provided in this paper can be considered as a preliminary attempt to promote port performance measurement in these four sensitive fields
With the rapid development of industry, the number of pipelines that are proposed or under construction is increasing year by year, connecting different regions of a country and, more and more, different countries. Thus, an accidental loss of containment from a pipeline involves a certain risk, which could imply potential consequences on people, equipment and environment. Therefore, the existence in some places of a large net of pipelines has a clear influence on land-use planning, especially in the ones with intense activities, which usually are the inhabited zones. In this paper, a historical analysis is performed on a sample of 1063 accidents that occurred in onshore pipelines, to illustrate the risk associated to these systems and its significance in land-use planning.
The frequency of occurrence of an accident scenario is one of the key aspects to take into consideration in the field of risk assessment. This frequency is commonly assessed by a generic failure frequency approach. Although every data source takes into account different variables, aspects such as the human factor are not explicitly detailed, mainly because this factor is laborious to quantify. In the present work, the generic failure frequencies are modified using fuzzy logic. This theory allows the inclusion of qualitative variables that are not considered by traditional methods and to deal with the uncertainty involved. This methodology seems to be a suitable tool to integrate the human factor in risk assessment since it is specially oriented to rationalize the uncertainty related to imprecision or vagueness. A fuzzy modifier has been developed in order to introduce the human factor in the failure frequency estimation.
In order to design the proposed model, it is necessary to consider the opinion of the experts. Therefore, a questionnaire on the variables was designed and replied by forty international experts. To test the model, it was applied to two real case studies of chemical plants. New frequency values were obtained and together with the consequence assessment, new iso-risk curves were plotted allowing to compare them to the ones resulting from a quantitative risk analysis (QRA). Since the human factor is now reflected in the failure frequency estimation, the results are more realistic and accurate, and consequently they improve the final risk assessment
Mining is an economic sector with a high number of accidents. Mines are hazardous places and workers can suffer a wide variety of injuries. Utilizing a database composed of almost 70,000 occupational accidents and fatality reports corresponding to the decade 2003–2012 in the Spanish mining sector, the paper analyzes the main causes of those accidents. To carry out the study, powerful statistical tools have been applied, such as Bayesian classi¿ers, decision trees or contingency tables, among other data mining techniques. Statistical analyses have been performed using Weka software and behavioral patterns based on certain rules have been obtained. From these rules, some conclusions are extracted which can help to develop suitable prevention policies to reduce injuries and fatalities.
In this paper we examine the connection between the adoption of the OHSAS 18001 standard and performance from a comprehensive perspective. We first examine the adoption of the OHSAS 18001 as a function of objective safety metrics related to work accidents. Second, we evaluate the effect of this safety standard on safety performance and labour productivity, paying special attention to the returns to certified safety experience. For the empirical application we use a unique dataset of 149 Spanish firms for the period 2006–2009. The results reveal that objective safety variables explain the probability to adopt the OHSAS 18001; and that performance improvements follow the adoption of this safety system. In addition, the empirical findings tend to give ammunition to the argument that safety systems are worthwhile investments with strategic implications, as the experience on safety management may become a critical tool that can significantly improve safety and operating performance.
The storage of dangerous substances is a high risk procedure: a historical analysis revealed that 17% of the major accidents associated with the chemical industry are related to this process. When a storage facility is designed, the investment in safety is not always optimal. The safety measures that are applied are sometimes redundant or ill-maintained. One way to improve safety in a storage facility would be to take advantage of the fact that dividing the mass of dangerous substance results in less catastrophic accidents. In this paper, we present a new method for optimizing the design of storage plants and minimizing the risk by calculating the ideal number of tanks and improving the way in which money is invested in safety. This is achieved by redefining how to estimate risk and by applying the principles of mathematical optimization to quantitative risk analysis. The method is explained step by step. We also present two case studies and a validation of the method using risk analysis software and iso-risk curves.