Timely inspection reduces risk, increases safety

A former vice president I worked for always told me to keep all interoffice memorandums to a half page, especially when it is addressed to a supervisor.

“The information presented must have value,” she would emphasize. “It must portray a message, solve a problem or make a meaningful recommendation. And, if possible, include a picture or a graph,” because, she would insist, “it would save a thousand words.”

Good point, I would think to myself. Still, me, half a page? I would have to use a small font.

Of course her reasons here are simple and valid. Time is valuable. People have many topics to cover and things to respond to. Lesson learned.

So, in the spirit of brevity, here is a message (complete with a picture). Periodic testing or preventive maintenance (PM) saves money. PM also saves lives.

Operating refinery equipment involves risk. Proper care and maintenance of refinery equipment reduces risk. The more care and maintenance provided (within reason, of course), the larger the reduction of risk. The more frequently care and maintenance is provided (again, within reason), the larger the reduction of risk.

Take a moment to review Figure 1. This is actual plant data published in “Hydrocarbon Processing” magazine, December 2000, by contributing editor William M. Goble.
The plot is risk reduction factor vs. inspection time interval. The plot illustrates that decreasing the time between inspection intervals, or PM, of refinery equipment exponentially reduces risk. In other words, as the inspection frequency moves toward zero, the risk reduction factor increases. Better yet, the shorter the inspection interval, the more risk you have reduced.

Real data. Real results. Real clear. Real short! Effective PM reduces risk, maintains safety, and increases productivity and profits. Consider evaluating your PM strategy and making improvements.

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