Risk Based Work Selection (RBWS) is a work process that has been used in industry for >20 years by some owner-operators, however; it remains a little-known process industry wide. In recent years there has been an increasing awareness of and interest in RBWS as owner-operators have focused on reducing cost and duration of STO (Shutdown, Turnaround & Outage) while maintaining safe and reliable operation. Our experience has shown that a reduction in the overall STO work scope of approximately 20% is routinely accomplished.
RBWS is a multi-discipline work process that includes all key stakeholders in the STO, Operations and the Subject Matter Experts (SME) from individual equipment disciplines. The intent of the RBWS is to determine if there is risk-based justification (H/S/E or Financial) to complete the worklist item during the STO. A threshold for unacceptable H/S/E risks is determined by the Site using a Risk Matrix. For discretionary items (Financial Risk only) a Benefit to Cost threshold or “Hurdle Rate” is set to ensure an adequate return on investment and that a cost effective solution has been chosen. Hurdle rates typically increase after the worklist freeze date as the time for planning decreases.
In order to justify items, it must first be determined that they cannot be done outside of STO. Once this is completed the worklist items are reviewed to determine what failure they are intended to prevent from occurring. Typically the timeframe considered is the run length between turnarounds.
The consequence and probability of the failure is then determined with input from the team and combined on the Risk Matrix to determine the Risk Level. When RBWS is used with Fixed Equipment, it can utilize RBI data to validate or reject STO tasks that are included in the STO Work List (WL). RBI assessments focus on equipment integrity and loss of containment, while the RBWS methodology supplements these assessments with consideration of operational failures in vessel internals which may cause an unplanned outage, and impact on equipment performance.
Methodology for assessing risks can vary from qualitative to quantitative. The methodology is semi-quantitative which provides teams with a structured process that produces consistent results without too burdensome an amount of data required. When Risk levels are assigned to each item it allows owner-operators to make informed decisions on what is “In” and what is “Out” of the Turnaround Scope.
The end-product of an RBWS is a justified worklist that will help the organization create a competitive workshop to meet its turnaround and reliability goals.
Key take aways:
- How owner-operator organizations successfully execute STO’s by removing or deferring tens of millions of dollars of unjustified work from turnaround scopes.
- How focus facilitation tailored to the make-up of each STO Worklist and site data collection helps ensure the client is prepared for a successful and efficient RBWS Workshop
- Results is a competitive scope to meet site’s units’ budgets, downtime, run length and reliability targets.
Frank Engli, P.Eng., is the Regional Group Lead – Canada for Becht’s Reliability, Maintenance, Turnarounds and Capital Projects Group and resides in Edmonton, Alberta. Frank has over 40 years of experience working in operation settings at six different sites across Canada on project, maintenance, HSSE and turnaround management and continuous improvement processes in the energy, refinery, and petrochemical industry. He has extensive expertise in solving site problems and a proven track record to implement change and create sustaining management programs and processes including improved business controls practices and contracts management. Frank has also built a strong network across North American with external clients, competitors, contractors and building trades and is a sought as a speaker at Canadian and international turnaround and maintenance conferences, webinars, and podcasts. Mr. Engli has engineering and business degrees (BASc - Windsor, M.Eng - Toronto and MBA – Saint Mary’s) and is a certified Six Sigma Black Belt practitioner. He is a licensed engineer in provinces of Alberta and Ontario. Becht is a global specialty consulting provider in the energy industry, focused on helping our clients succeed. Becht engages world class experts in providing multi-disciplinary solutions in engineering and plant services.
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