PIC November Blog 2023

Incorporating Stakeholder Engagement in Threat Analysis

Stakeholder Engagement in Threat Analysis

Threat analysis is an important component of pipeline safety, allowing operators to systematically identify, evaluate, and address potential risks to the integrity of their infrastructure. However, there are many challenges associated with threat analysis, ranging from the dynamic nature of environmental factors to evolving technological changes. To navigate these challenges effectively, a comprehensive approach is essential, integrating both quantitative data and qualitative insights. This ensures that operators can proactively address a diverse array of threats, from external forces like natural disasters to internal vulnerabilities within the pipeline system, thereby upholding the highest standards of safety and regulatory compliance. In this blog post, we’ll explore the benefits of incorporating stakeholder engagement in threat analysis and how you can implement this strategy as part of your DIMP cycle.

In adherence to the regulatory framework outlined in § 192.1015, small LPG operators are required to implement a comprehensive integrity management plan. Subpart B delineates a structured approach, encompassing various elements essential for safeguarding pipeline integrity. Among these critical components are the identification of threats, spanning corrosion, natural forces, excavation damage, external force damage, material or weld failure, equipment malfunction, and incorrect operation. 

Furthermore, operators are mandated to rigorously rank these risks, assessing their relative importance to the pipeline’s structural well-being. The subsequent steps involve the strategic identification and implementation of measures to mitigate risks, followed by vigilant performance measurement, results monitoring, and effectiveness evaluation. 

To ensure the perpetual efficacy of the integrity management plan, operators are obligated to undergo periodic evaluations and improvements, with a minimum re-evaluation requirement every five years. This formalized approach not only aligns with regulatory mandates but also serves as a steadfast foundation for fortifying the resilience of LPG pipelines.

Understanding the DIMP Cycle

The Distribution Integrity Management Plan (DIMP) serves as a comprehensive framework designed to enhance the safety and reliability of pipeline operations. Essentially, the DIMP Cycle is a systematic process that pipeline operators follow to manage, assess, and mitigate risks associated with the distribution of natural gas or other hazardous materials. The key components of the DIMP Cycle encompass a continuous loop of activities, including risk assessment, threat identification, data analysis, implementation of preventive measures, and the ongoing evaluation of the effectiveness of these measures. This cyclical approach ensures that pipeline operators maintain a proactive stance in addressing potential integrity issues, aligning with regulatory requirements, and safeguarding the integrity of the entire pipeline system.

Stakeholder Engagement: A Strategic Approach

Operators should consider incorporating stakeholder feedback as part of their data collection process for threat analysis. By involving various stakeholders in the process, operators gain invaluable insights that might go unnoticed through conventional risk assessments. Gathering information directly from the ‘boots on the ground’ not only enhances the accuracy of threat identification but also fosters a more comprehensive understanding of real-world concerns. This approach can help cultivate a collaborative environment, where collective expertise contributes to a more robust Distribution Integrity Management Plan tailored to the unique challenges of your operation.

Surveying Stakeholders

Implementing stakeholder surveys can be a pivotal methodology for collecting nuanced threat information. These surveys are designed to extract valuable insights from diverse stakeholders, ranging from on-site personnel to local communities affected by pipeline operations. By employing surveys, operators can systematically capture real-world concerns, leveraging a structured approach that goes beyond traditional risk assessments. This method not only facilitates a more comprehensive understanding of potential threats but also empowers operators to tailor their Distribution Integrity Management Plan (DIMP) with a fine-tuned awareness of the specific challenges inherent in their operational context.

Strategic Integration of Stakeholder Engagement

By systematically integrating insights from various stakeholders, operators can enrich the threat analysis phase, aligning their strategies with real-world concerns. This strategic fusion of quantitative data and qualitative analysis provides a multifaceted perspective on potential risks, allowing for a more nuanced understanding of the threat landscape. 

The quantitative data lends itself to objective metrics, while qualitative analysis captures the subjective, contextual nuances that are often crucial in anticipating and mitigating unforeseen challenges. This symbiotic integration not only fortifies the DIMP Cycle but also cultivates a proactive risk management culture, positioning pipeline operators to navigate uncertainties with a heightened level of precision and responsiveness.

Data-Driven Adjustments with Informative Dashboards

With the information gathered through stakeholder surveys, operators can combine and visualize the information for easier consumption. By leveraging these dashboards, pipeline operators can make granular, data-driven adjustments to their Programs and Activities to Address Risk (PAAR). This approach ensures that the steps you’re taking are aligned with regulatory requirements and are finely tuned to address real-world concerns. As a result, the marriage of data-driven insights and actionable strategies, facilitated by informative dashboards, becomes an integral part of the continuous improvement of pipeline operations.

Use pSEc to Implement Surveys

pSEc (Program Stakeholder Engagement Communications) is a configurable mobile application for communication and information exchange. With pSEc, users can plan out the information that they need to relay to stakeholders, ensuring that communication efforts have been mapped out in advance. Once planned, you’re able to communicate with the targeted audience by role, geographic location, or other demographics. 

Stakeholders have the opportunity to engage with the content and provide responses or feedback – which allows you to measure your audience’s reaction and level of engagement. Is the message getting through? Does your audience understand the message and its impacts? 

Over time, you’ll be able to use the information gathered to identify behavioral changes or responses – information that can be used to influence what you act on and which enhancements to implement. Most importantly, pSEc allows users to achieve incremental safety improvements by providing the data to inform the continuous improvement of your operation. 

pSEc enables you to:

  • Target stakeholders 
  • Satisfy API 1162
  • Measure engagement
  • Support the full PDCA cycle 

Our tools allow you to target the necessary stakeholders and gather additional information required for more detailed risk analysis. 

Fostering a Proactive and Inclusive Communication Culture

Fostering a proactive and inclusive communication culture through stakeholder engagement yields substantial organizational benefits within the pipeline industry. By actively involving stakeholders in the decision-making process, operators enhance transparency and build trust. This approach nurtures a workplace culture where communication is proactive, inclusive, and responsive to the concerns of all stakeholders, leading to improved safety, regulatory compliance, and overall operational excellence.

We invite you to request a free demo of pSEc. See for yourself how we help operators improve their information collection and risk analysis through a tool that was built for gathering stakeholder feedback.

Contact us today to schedule a demo of pSEc. We look forward to discussing the capabilities of the software with you and your team.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *