Health, safety, environment 01 Nov 2018

Hats off to Watson

Woodside was rewarded for process safety best practice with two Institute of Chemical Engineers’ awards for a tool developed with IBM called Watson for HSEQ.

Preferred IChem award1

Woodside has collected the Institute of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) Australasian and Global Safety Centre Awards for its implementation of process safety best practice and improvements to reduce major loss of containment risks.

“This is fantastic recognition for our company’s collaborative effort in building the tool,” says Fiona Hick, vice president Health, Safety, Environment and Quality (HSEQ).

“We couldn’t have achieved this outcome with a single discipline approach. We gathered input not only from data scientists but we also approached health and safety advisers, geoscientists, environmental scientists, analysts and more. It’s a great example of the whole being greater than the sum of the parts.”

The tool is called Watson for HSEQ, and it’s one of a kind.

Released in early 2017, it’s a program that has taken more than 30 years of historical information and surfaces deeper insights, initiating a step-change in data analytics.

“It’s like a search engine on steroids,” exclaims health and safety analyst Leanne Taylor.

“During safety investigations, what used to take several days of cross referencing and searching can now be done in a matter of hours.”

Health and safety is not the only area reaping benefits from the tool. Teams across Woodside are also accessing Watson for HSEQ to prioritise, plan and make better decisions. The engineering centre process team uses the tool during risk assessments to provide operational data in planning workshops.

“Good process safety management involves building lessons learnt from the past into existing and future operation and plant designs,” explains onshore process technical authority Mike Lewis.

“Being able to draw real world operating experience into our future designs is very powerful.”

Woodside’s permit process has also been improved through Watson for HSEQ.

“We receive nearly 10,000 SAFE (See, Assess, Fix, Encourage) Cards a month at the Karratha Gas Plant and manually going through them would take hours, possibly days,” explains operations adviser Gavin Ramsden.

“What Watson for HSEQ allows us to do is analyse the cards to obtain feedback on our permit process, and then provide those insights to our site controllers to drive action and improvement.”

The IChemE awards also recognised Woodside’s collaboration with International Business Machines (IBM) on Watson for HSEQ.

“During the six months it took to build Watson for HSEQ, IBM contractors and our HSEQ staff became a single team,” notes data science manager Neil Richards.

Neil, who led the team during the building of the program, says the collaboration between the Digital and HSEQ teams was a key component in the success of the tool.

“The seamless interaction, communication and co-operation of the whole team was paramount to the success of Watson for HSEQ.”

What’s next for the tool?

“We are looking at the opportunity for improved data interrogation to reveal better and deeper insights of events to assist with faster and better decision making,” enthuses Neil.

“This would mean Watson for HSEQ could look at all the data it has, rapidly establish connecting trends and derive deeper insights, to enable proactive activity management. Identifying those early warning signs and responding to prevent a future event is our goal.”

Read the full Q4 2018 issue of Trunkline here.

  • Health, safety, environment
  • News