How Operational Integrity stewarded by Geotechnical professionals enables Catastrophic Risk Management

Underground Geomechanical Challenges and Tailing Management


Johan, Toit

Tailings management is an enormous effort occurring within a system. A management system. A safety management system. A process safety management system (PSMS). The concept of Operational Integrity as an emergent property of a PSMS, arising from the harmonization of the outcomes of people, asset and process, was inspired for the author by researching the OIMS (operational integrity management system) that Exxon Mobil established in response to the Exxon Valdez disaster in 1989. OIMS has 11 elements, which is an elegant distillation of the original 20 elements from the generic PSMS codified by the CCPS (Center for Chemical Process Safety) after the Bhopal disaster of 1984. This presentation seeks to distil the pursuit of process-safety at a higher level of aggregation --for increased intelligibility-- of achieving: coherence in the collaborative efforts of many peoples' efforts resilience in asset performance via intelligent, adequate resourcing reliability from operating disciplines based on clear, committed-to standards It will elaborate examples of how learning, both human and machine, when taken to the next level can help meet the global industry standard (GISTM) that obliges conformance with tough requirements like: Adaptive Management best practices performance-based TMS (tailings management system) developing an organizational culture that promotes learning, communication and early problem recognition Many geotechnical engineers prefer considering their professional labors as ensuring zero failure of the assets in their care. So rather than averting catastrophe (a risk management perspective) these technical stewards pursue the creation of safety barriers (a dam safety perspective). This experience-share from 30 months of searching for answers (by an ex-scientist, latterly management consultant) will benefit people who feel dissatisfied with the superficial musings on risk management often heard in the light of recent tragedies. 
Keywords: CIMBC22