Process Safety Should Never Take a Back Seat!

Well, the ESR Technology Safety and Risk Management team have been working from home for four weeks now and, whilst our usage of Microsoft TEAMS has sharply increased, it is very much business as usual. As consultants to the Energy sector we were already well used to working remotely from client’s offices, hotel rooms, meeting rooms, etc. and our systems and infrastructure allowed a seamless transition to our kitchens, living rooms, bedrooms, etc.

Over the last four weeks our consultants have hosted numerous online meetings, facilitated workshops, and continued to collaborate with our client’s teams. Regardless of the workshop or meeting purpose (HAZOP, HAZID, Bow Tie, ALARP, 3D model reviews, training, etc., etc.), we have found a way to make it work, using online versions of the equipment we would typically take with us to a workshop or meeting.


Based on the last few weeks, we have noted a number of enablers for an efficient online workshop or meeting:

  1. It is important to be able to see the team – video conferencing allows our facilitators to pick up on those ever so important non-verbal cues.
  2. If the facilitator normally works with a flip chart then an online version is a must. If the facilitator normally works with ‘Post-it’ notes, then an online version is a must… We have a multitude of tools available to make all involved as comfortable as possible.
  3. As we all know, a good scribe is worth their weight in gold – for an online workshop, it is essential the scribe and the facilitator work as one. Preparation, preparation, preparation.
  4. Having the whole team on the same page is essential. Preparation, as ever, helps here – drawings and other information should be shared with the team beforehand as well as online during the workshop. Sharing screens is also essential so that everyone can see the worksheet, Bow Tie, presentation, training material, etc.
  5. Every companies’ IT system is different – preparation, preparation, preparation (and test!). We have a wide number of options available to us and taking the time prior to the meeting to identify which one(s) will work for ALL attendees is incredibly important (no attendees, no meeting).
  6. As with face-to-face meetings, frequent breaks are important to maintain motivation and focus.

For more information please contact Terry Atkinson (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

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