As a bookend to Safer Together's time in Gladstone in early August; following our Industry Safety Forum, our Queensland Process Safety Working Group (PSWG) held their Process Safety Incident Review Panel (PSIRP).

With over 60 in-person attendees, this was the first in-person PSIRP post-COVID, the Working Group was delighted to have the event fully subscribed, with consistent requests for additional tickets to the event indicative of a very strong demand for events of this nature into the future.

Each of the LNG Plant operators (Australia Pacific LNG, GLNG (Santos), and Queensland Curtis LNG (Shell)) and upstream operators Origin and Arrow Energy shared learnings from recent process safety events. There was a particular focus on the human factors aspects of the incidents building on the industry’s current focus on human organisational performance (HOP).

With a welcome and introduction to the event from Andrew Thornton (Executive General Manger Integrated Gas, Origin Energy), he conducted a brief run-through of current PSWG projects, and took a quick look at what was to come on the day.  With that, the event was off to a great start.

Next up, we were privileged to have Trish Kerin (Director of the Institution of Chemical Engineers Safety Centre, Institution of Chemical Engineers) participate in the PSIRP, with the first of her two fantastic presentations, ‘Making the Most of Learning’. 


Trish walked attendees through some of the threats of a failure to learn, and the possible causes for that failure – she offered all viewing some fantastic tips about how we might go about addressing these issues.  Trish delivered a thought-provoking presentation, leaving attendees with lots to ponder. 

Following Trish’s presentation was some in-depth incident shares, highlighting:

  • The importance of the review of correct maintenance documentation during management of work process and pre-start safety review process prior to recommissioning/restarting assets is critical
  • That rehearsal of operator frontline responses is key to enabling safe behaviours during process emergencies
  • The importance of checking facilities for mixing locations (where high thermal differentials or cyclic service occurs) and assessing the requirement for testing is paramount
  • That even with procedures, training and on-the-job risk management, there is still potential for error
  • That emergency response takes time, and can often be complicated due to a difficult or remote work location

Following a short break for morning tea, attendees were then spoilt with another presentation from Trish Kerin. Trish is acknowledged globally as thought-leader in process safety and her next presentation had a title that read the room nicely - ‘Process Safety – The Ultimate Team Sport’.

Using this analogy, Trish reminded the room that process safety is a team effort, with all the stages of preparation for a game aligning with that of the development and deployment of a project; appreciating the diverse skills each team member brings to a project.  For each team member, clearly understanding their role and how each member contributes is vital to positive outcomes. 

Other incidents were presented following this presentation, that included the three following generalisations each bringing a smile to the room, ‘Engineers are Introverts’, ‘Engineers are Problem Solvers’ and ‘Engineers are Never Wrong’ – we’ll leave that here for readers to consider while they read on for the following questions arising from the two incidents:

  • On investigating an incident, why should we go beyond stopping at the ‘immediate cause’?
  • How much time and effort do we dedicate to each incident?
  • Is it ever okay not to completely understand the cause of an incident, or have ‘concrete’ recommendations?
  • Who ‘owns’ an issue long-term, and is there ever a need to ‘circle back’ on resolved actions?

David Videroni (General Manager Power and Energy, Downer) closed the event, thanking all for their efforts in attending in Gladstone, and then attendees moved onto a networking luncheon.


Photo: PSIR Presenters from left to right:

  • Alan Sim. Safer Together MC
  • David Videroni. General Manager, Power and Energy. Downer
  • Pranesh Khatri. Process Safety Lead. ConocoPhillips
  • Dale Whiting. Senior Process Safety Engineer. ConocoPhillips
  • David Heah. Team Leader, Midstream Integrity Engineering. Santos
  • Alex Van der Zee. HSSE Manager QGC Midstream (Curtis Island LNG). Shell
  • David Smith. Process Safety Superintendent. Shell
  • Laurence Ledrut. Process Safety Manager. Origin Energy
  • Trish Kerin. Director. IChemE Safety Centre
  • Prakash Naidu. Senior Process Safety Engineer. Arrow Energy
  • (Missing from Photo) Andrew Thornton. Executive General Manager, Integrated Gas. Origin Energy

Members can access materials presented at PSIR here.  

Contact: [email protected]