How safety-investments increase performance: a practical case

P.J.M. Sonnemans, P.M.W. Körvers, A.C. Brombacher

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)


    Prevention of incidents at manufacturing facilities, where hazardous material is processed, is a must. Operational efforts in this area are often primarily focused on production and not on safety. A most important reason, as this paper shows, is that the effectiveness of safety investments can neither be calculated nor measured nor traced back adequately, while the effects of production investments immediately show up in terms of profitability. Market share and competition reinforce that attention is primarily focused on production. This paper shows that risk reduction as well as performance improvement can be achieved by better control of the operational processes. In this paper, a method is presented to model, analyse and qualify the control of an operational process. Basic concepts are formally defined, from which a reference model, the so-called 'basic controlled process' is derived. Real life processes can be compared to this reference model. Differences between model and reality are categorized and the control-ability of the real life process can be qualified. Subsequently, the formalism is applied to a real life situation, by means of a case study. It is clearly shown that the presented formalism offers the possibility to analyse the 'control-ability' of an operational process and to identify its most serious deficiencies. From this case, it can be concluded that local control of sub-processes is no guarantee that the operational process on company level is also controlled.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)120-126
    JournalProceedings: Annual Reliability and Maintainability Symposium
    Issue number31
    Publication statusPublished - 2002


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