Holding In NOT Holding Up

The familiar Process Safety Management (PSM) Frameworks are typically based on a structural model where elements (pillars) are founded on sound principles:

AIChE CCPS Risk Based Process Safety (RBPS) Framework

However, it is conceivable that several “columns” could be removed (or not constructed) and the PSM “roof” remains intact (albeit weakened). A better model might be an arch which requires all elements (blocks) to be in place:

OSHA 29 CFR 1910.119

We believe there is a more accurate model based on containment & control of Hazards i.e. Holding In not Holding Up to prevent Incidents, Major Accidents or Unplanned Events:

Move the slider to see the transition from Hazard to Top Event


Key learning are categorised according to familiar PSM elements:

In the simple model above, it takes several e.g. 2 adjacent elements to fail before the “Beast is out of the Box” (you may be familiar with the Tiger in the Cage model – alternatively consider a Gorilla) but perhaps your PSM system is not so “tight” and failure of a single element is enough to lose control/containment:


Technical subjects, techniques or technologies applied to create & sustain the PSM elements:


Delivered by topic specialists who provide services, software, training & coaching:


In simple terms, we aim to provide context by connecting:


So, should we be more Hodor than Atlas ?

Holding In
Holding Up

The full vision is available here:

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