New Research Addresses Performance Gap Between Safety Goals and Achievements

New Research Addresses Performance Gap Between Safety Goals and Achievements

The report highlights technology and culture as key to closing the safety performance gap.

A recent report by Sphera highlights a persistent gap between the safety goals companies set and their actual achievements, despite access to advanced technologies offering real-time data.

The eighth annual edition of its kind, the 2023 Process Safety Report draws from a survey of 239 professionals in process safety management (PSM) and operational risk management (ORM). Since the survey’s launch, more than 60 percent of respondents each year have acknowledged the gap between safety goals and the measurable results they’ve been able to achieve.

While two-thirds of safety-critical maintenance tasks are reportedly completed monthly, respondents said that limited resources (60 percent), conflicting priorities (56 percent) and inadequate planning (45 percent) are the biggest challenges holding safety objectives back. Nearly 66 percent of surveyed professionals named a reduction in major accident hazard (MAH) risk exposure as the top driver of improvement in their process safety performance.

"Our Process Safety Report shows a continued gap between safety goals and reality. While companies increasingly value technology for reducing vulnerabilities, the rate of adoption and implementation have a way to go," Sphera CEO and President Paul Marushka said in a statement. "Digital tools enable a shift from reactive to proactive PSM, and technology-supported business processes provide transparency and visibility into risk in real-time."

The report reveals that respondents pinpoint human factors (63 percent), organizational culture (52 percent) and staffing issues (38 percent) as the top three factors negatively impacting process safety performance. Additionally, 23 percent said senior leadership has a negative effect on their organization’s ability to make safety goals a reality.

More information—including how to download the full report—is available on Sphera’s website.

About the Author

Robert Yaniz Jr. is the Content Editor of Occupational Health & Safety.

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