Incident Recording, Reporting & Analysis

Creating an historical record of incidents that is widely available and in a usable form is an important part of a process safety management system. This record could include not only information about major incidents, but all incidents, including near misses. The record should be in a usable form so that commonalities between past events and potential future events can be brought to light. Relevant categories should be established so that searches can focus on commonalities. Examples of such categories could include specific management system deficiencies, hazard sources, immediate causes, process information and short incident descriptions. The information should be general enough to ensure that an incident is not regarded as an isolated phenomenon, and specific enough to ensure that information is not regarded as too vague and broad to be useful.
Historical incident recording in useful form can allow precautions to be taken at other facilities, allow lessons learned to be taken into account in future design, and help identify trends not apparent from single incidents. Because incidents have many causes, some causes may not be identified in the investigation of a single incident For example, if an incident occurs on a Saturday, this may simply be coincidence or it may be a symptom of deficiencies in management systems on weekend shifts. If a pattern of weekend incidents develops, then management can take appropriate action. Without incident recording and analysis of the record, such patterns may go unnoticed and lessons from which to improve process safety management may go unlearned.
Reference: CCPS(1989) Guidelines for Technical Management of Chemical Process Safety
Management/Incident Investigation