woensdag 11 april 2018

Predicting HSE risk and vulnerabilities by the TTT mapping method.



At the Rotterdam Stoc Expo in March 2018 conference speakers introduced several methods to control and prevent HSE and operational risks. One spoke about the latest version of PGS 29 which was updated, because new risks were encountered and had to be included. Impressive charts in Excel showed how health, safety and compliance managers had been able to improve safety standards, but they had to admit that ‘Human Factors’, which cause 80% of incidents, were not easy to influence or change.
During the last years, TTT experimented with testing, not only human factors such as psychological biases or character flaws, but the manner people interact, communicate and share information. We started to learn about the value of information. We mimicked nature and looked at the way all living systems communicate and replicated this method to create our unique measurement and mapping tool. The measurement method was developed in cooperation with the Creazene Institute in Switzerland. It was invented with the purpose to predict and map vulnerabilities in corporations, organisations or institutions which are in fact ‘living systems of communication.’ Using the tool we look at day to day operational risks and HSE management and are now able to predict and therefore prevent incidents.
By a combination of scientific tools, cybernetics and systems sciences, we created this capability which exactly shows potential risks and vulnerabilities of organisations.
This goes way beyond compliance and regulations from the outside, which are usually too late and are implemented only after something bad has happened. It is a well known fact that enforcement of regulations, rules or compliance impair an organization’ functioning.
It is about how an organisation, company, storage terminal or refinery or any other organisation, even political, communicates. We work with information feedback loops to create syntheses (observing and measurement of all interdependent relationships) of operations and management systems and use the results to draw maps. These so-called feedback loops maps directly expose, show and predict risks before they could become incidents or accidents. 
When the maps show communicative connectedness with all stakeholders, the organisation’s operations are considered stable, balanced and manageable. If they do not show communicative connectedness, the organisation is at risk. Potential risks or vulnerabilities will become evident and we train organisations how to eliminate these by teaching about the sciences behind the tool. It works incredibly well. It could even become scary when one looks at such maps and directly understands where and what vulnerabilities are present. It works as an alarm system and enhances operational excellence.

We offer to synthesize your operations and management systems.
That is done in 2 phases:
1. Operational observation 
2. Verification of  ‘stakeholder' communication systems (internal and external)
We offer a comprehensive training program about this capability. The first public courses are planned for August 16-17, 2018 in Kuala Lumpur and September 13-14, 2018 in Zurich. The course is also offered as an in-house training program anywhere in the world.

woensdag 4 april 2018

Stoc Expo Rotterdam 2018


Drinking Water to Fuel our Future Economy.
Next week the Stoc Expo Conference and Exhibition will be organised in Rotterdam, Holland. An impressive number of internationally operating companies, organisations and people related to the Bulk Liquid Storage industry will attend this important yearly event. What I wrote two years ago on the future of bulk liquid storage business, Id like to share with you today. I developed a method to research future trends, predictions on longevity or continuity of industrial sectors and wrote and presented these trends as I do believe we have arrived at a tipping point. Bulk Liquid Storage is a part of- and dependent on- a hydrocarbon based economy consuming non renewable fossil fuels. When I am asking the question; does this industry harm the environment, social cohesion or human and non human life, I cannot say no. Sure, the products we all use made from these fuels and chemicals improve our luxurious lifestyles, but are they sustainable? You can answer this rhetorical question  yourself.
When we cooperate and endeavour to phase out products and industries that are harmful or as we called them negatively interdependent (benefiting some at the cost of others) and replace them with non-harmful ones, we can create a sustainable range of products that are so-called positively interdependent (they benefit everyone). I can therefore see a future energy storage industry storing harvested solar, wind, water, hydrogen or geothermal energy, but also, perhaps even more importantly, to store, ship and distribute (tank farms and pipeline networks) drinking  water. Investment in guaranteed drinking water supply chains will benefit the continuity of daily, global business. Drinking water should not be made into a commodity, because the value of availability of drinking water for every one on this planet would reduce revolts, risks or conflict. Prevention of such costs, would pay amply for needed investments. According the WHO the yield in drinking water supply investments would be between 10 % and 3000%!  I foresee a function for existing oil or chemical storage companies to also become drinking water storage and supply terminals with dedicated pipelines, pumps, jetties and storage tanks for water. Such an initiative will not be coming from politics, but can be organised by the industry itself. When one acts as a systems thinker, all you have to do is use ALL information to build a resilient storage industry which is able to stand the test of time. Perhaps we should change the current definition of sustainability into standing the test of time. What we now can observe, not only in the Storage Industry, but in all industries, political and economic linear systems, is that they often overlook the need of future generations. This modus operandi wont stand the test of time. We would have phase out our harmful business models and adjust them into new, non harmful, sustainable ways. The awareness, knowledge and skills are here. Lets use them in cooperation and lets share the profits equally.

woensdag 28 maart 2018

Methods of Training

I am writing this column in Mombasa, Kenya. I’m here to teach and train two groups of loading masters who work for a national energy distribution company.
Now that major energy companies are divesting and withdrawing from downstream and midstream exposure by selling their physical assets like oil terminals and petrol stations, joint ventures are being formed with investors such as trading firms that refurbish, rebuild and, in some cases, operate them. This needs an assessment of the quality, not only of the hardware, but more importantly of the ‘software’ i.e. the people who work there.
And that is where TankTerminalTraining comes in. We take a look at the competency levels of the people by using the OCIMF guidelines and our global operational experience to assess awareness, knowledge and skills. This can be done in limited time. With that tool in hand, we are able to create ‘made to order’ training programs that focus on possible gaps of knowledge. By doing that in this manner, people can be upgraded in no time to the levels of professionalism required.
I usually work as follows: At the beginning of the course a number of questions are asked in the form of a ‘pre-test’. From the answers I can analyse the current level of competence and then during the ongoing assessment a competency profile can be made of each person. The training program is adjusted accordingly in order to not ‘lose’ the person by too much technical or operational details at once.
Our Loading Master program works approximately the same, but is not a class for beginners. Controlling and managing the ship/shore interface requires experience and advanced awareness, knowledge and skills. Again, systems science and cybernetics are used to train the candidates, because information is what it’s all about. The students are requested firstly to learn how to pre-plan and prepare before any tanker comes alongside. This pre-arrival, pre-berthing and pre-load or discharge protocol is very important. They are required to obtain a maximum amount of information.
According to cybernetical principles there is a law which I explained in an earlier column: ‘information reduces uncertainty’. When you take a closer look, that makes sense. People can be shown how, when, or where to get this information from. But of course, they first need to be able to ask the proper questions, which means that they must be taught all the details and aspects of how to manage the ship/shore interface.
What we use is a reference, or if you will, leverage. We look at what a Chief Officer of a tanker had to learn before he was allowed to be in charge of cargo operations. He or she had to go to maritime college for four years and then needed to build sea-time and understand everything about loading and discharging, which is a complex operation. So, we apply systems theory to teach a new way of thinking to our students in order to realise that information gathering through learning reduces complexity. This new level of competence gives them maximum control and reduces HSE risk.
This is the latest in a series of articles by Arend van Campen, founder of TankTerminalTraining. More information on the company’s activities can be found at www.tankterminaltraining.com. Those interested in responding personally can contact him directly at arendvc@tankterminaltraining.com.