The Risk Management Tool Box Blog

Details Matter in Safety Procedures

Graham Marshall - Monday, March 02, 2015

This month's Process Safety Beacon highlights how the details matter when it comes to writing Standard Operating Procedures (SOP).

One tip that I always use whenever I'm writing a Safety Procedure is to include numbers in both text and numeric format.

So, for example, forty-five feet (45') is written like that!

"Pressure-test the system to a maximum of five-thousand psi (5,000 psi)" is another example of this process to be used when writing SOPs.

The reason I do this with numbers is that it is so easy to miss a single zero (0) off a written number, and five-thousand (5,000) of something, suddenly becomes five-hundred (500) in the written SOP.

It may not matter, but often, there is a very big difference in a unit that is ten-times (10x) bigger or smaller than it is meant to be!

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