Shift Handover and the Role of Health, Safety and Environment

The hydrocarbon industry is human resource and capital intensive, and safety measures in the workplace are vital. This is true for the whole process industry, be it power, chemical and fertilizers, pharmaceuticals or food and beverage. Therefore, safeguarding human resources is the utmost priority where hazardous environments are inevitable.

During the pandemic, the process industry has encountered many challenges concerning health, safety and environment (HSE). This has impacted the business world and also the personal lives of employees. Due to social distancing, there is limited physical and round-the-clock access to the assets, and the role of the HSE department in the process industry has become more vital than ever. Technology can now enable timely and virtual access to assets and support smooth operations, making sure that crucial information is relayed for preventive and remedial actions beforehand.

Gas leaks and fires remain all too common, causing damage to life, assets and the environment. This is usually followed by investigations, insurance claims and penalties. Per the International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, human errors are a major contributor to industrial disasters. Minimizing human error is prudent when examining and revamping shift handovers, operator rounds and work instructions.

Manual shift handover is a major contributing factor in industrial accidents, according to EHS Today. Poor shift handover is due to unorganized communication between workers, lack of work/operating instructions and the handwritten or verbal sharing of information relating to operations and maintenance. Capturing information in an organized and accessible manner is imperative for better decision making and analysis.

Although shift handover is deemed important by management, there is less clarity on how it can be more effective. Digitalization of shift handover processes makes information easier to access and provides visibility to real-time data and operations logs. This creates awareness of the issues that need to be mitigated, helps to avoid delays and ensures safety and compliance. Organizations with multiple geographical locations can implement centralized electronic logbooks for better visibility, enabling companies to have an easy-to-implement format, moving away from traditional paper logbooks which are often difficult to read. Information once entered cannot be deleted, thus audit traceability is maintained.

Taking advantage of digitalization and mobility solutions, field operators can have access to clear work instructions for operations and maintenance which helps improve decision making and capturing information. This is done by entering data or clicking photos, which is a lot easier than when working with paper-based methods where any additional information or photos are attached physically using a stapler or glue. Data becomes secure and accessible, which ensures safer work conditions.

Hexagons j5 Operations Management Solutions is an evolving framework of operations management and process safety applications, connecting people and processes from across an organization. It is a solid platform that has been continually developed over a sustained period. The disruptive j5 IndustraForm® Templates technology allows customers to transform paper, forms and spreadsheets into enterprise-level applications. Crucially, it also allows customers to configure j5 Operations Management Solutions in a patented and familiar spreadsheet-like environment. This configuration even extends to mobile devices.

As j5 applications and j5 IndustraForm Templates all exist on the same desktop and mobile framework, upgrading multiple j5 applications and j5 IndustraForm Templates is stable and hassle-free. This simple upgrade process saves time and financial costs, allowing customers to allocate more resources to operate their plants.

Are you ready to streamline your shift processes and improve your operational excellence? View our On-Demand webinar to learn more.


Rajat Tikku
Rajat is senior sales manager for Hexagon’s PPM division in India. Rajat has 20+ years of experience in engineering software sales in the CAD/CAE/PLM market. He has held various sales positions working with companies like Siemens PLM, Parametric Technology Corp (PTC), Altair, ANSYS and AVEVA. Rajat holds B. Com (Honors) degree from Delhi University.

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