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Process Safety Management: How Doing PSM Digitally Makes Life Easier

October 21, 2019
By Tyler Hendrix

1. Helps with Organization

Simplified Storage

When it comes to organization and simplified storage, digital platforms are hard to beat. Physical documentation leads to stacks of paper that fill up countless binders in your office and make your PSM cumbersome. Instead of binders, digital PSM puts all your documents in one consolidated place. This streamlines your storage and allows you to view a document without flipping through all your records.

Consistent Organization

Digital PSM also ensures that everyone organizes documents in a consistent manner. We all have our ways of organizing info, but the digital platform makes sure everyone in your company organizes things the same way. For example, if there’s a “technical drawings” tab on your online PSM, then everyone will naturally want to put their drawings in it. This helps you keep all relevant documents in the same place. It also reduces the risk of an individual in your company becoming a gatekeeper of information, as digital PSMs are more universally accessible and consistent in structure.

Acts as a Legacy Tool

The structure of cloud-based PSM also acts as a legacy tool, lessening the negative impacts of company turnover. To demonstrate this, imagine a company that does PSM offline, where the PSM manager sets alerts in their Outlook calendar. If they decide to leave, the new PSM manager coming in would need to learn what the upcoming tasks are set those same alerts in their Outlook calendar. If the old manager doesn’t hang around to train the new manager, this onboarding takes even longer. With an online PSM, effort doesn’t need to be recreated. Simply add a new PSM account for the new PSM manager, giving them instant access to the reminders and alerts set by the previous manager. This reduces the negative effects of turnover, by reducing the need for the previous employee to train the new employee and reducing the time it takes for the new employee to get set up.

2. Adds Security

Digital PSM is generally cloud-based, meaning your data is backed up on a remote server online. Online servers have backup redundancy, so your data is copied and stored on multiple servers in case one server goes down. When doing PSM on paper, a coffee spill or other incident can destroy your records. Paper documents are also more likely to be lost or misplaced. You can make copies of everything to prevent these issues, but that means more papers and binders adding to the confusion and still isn’t as foolproof as cloud-based storage.

3. Set Alerts and Reminders

Software-based PSM allows you to set email alerts and dashboard reminders to let you when tasks are coming up. Potential tasks include but are not limited to: mechanical integrity inspections, training tasks, compliance audits, process hazard analysis, and non-destructive testing. With digital PSM, you don’t have to rely on someone to remember when all of these tasks need attention. It’s easier and more reliable to look at your upcoming tasks dashboard or set email reminders to go out to the appropriate person for the task.

4. Use It as a Training Tool

Depending on the software, a digital PSM could serve as a useful training tool. Some PSM software programs have information icons that explain what a section is for, what something means, etc. This can be good additional training, as people will not retain everything they were taught during hands-on training. The info icons also prevent gatekeepers of knowledge within your company, because that knowledge is accessible online to anyone with an account. You may also have training alerts to remind managers and individual contributors when they need to train or be trained.

5. Makes Outside Audits Faster

You can speed up your audits with a digital PSM, saving you time and reducing your chances of being fined. With a digital PSM, you can quickly jump to whatever the auditor wants to see, instead of flipping through piles of papers. Digital PSM allows you to print off anything the auditor wants to take with them, instead of removing the documents from a binder and making photocopies. When you speed up your audits, the auditor is generally looking through less material, asking fewer questions, etc. This saves time and reduces your chances of being fined.

6. Provides Remote Access

Most digital PSMs are cloud-based, giving you access to your PSM information from any computer, any-time, anywhere. Digitally pull up documents and reports whenever you’re out of the office. The majority of digital PSMs provide access advantages at the corporate level too. For the corporate level, there are reports that allow you to check the compliance of all your facilities at a glance. A digital report can quickly show you how many of your facilities are missing PHA reports, compliance audits, etc. If your PSM is primarily offline, then facilities will have to individually email their updates to corporate, which takes extra time and presents information in a less organized manner compared to a facilities dashboard. The ease of managing a digital PSM encourages more frequent checkups, allowing you to catch problems sooner.

If you’d like to learn about our digital PSM program (ePSM), please contact our sales department at sales@r717.net for a brief demo.