How PSM Programs of the Past Should Shape a Better PSM Future

Process Safety Management has been the “law of the land” in the U.S. for over 20 years, and while it may be perceived differently by different parts of your organization, one aspect is almost universally agreed on: If we had to do it over again, we would approach implementation and practice of PSM a bit differently.

This presentation brings the “pervasive” conversation out of the philosophical arena into the “real world” by focusing on tangible examples. Additionally, we look forward into a few current PSM initiatives the industry is tasked with implementing and how they can benefit from the hindsight of other similar PSM programs.

Hindsight examples include:

  • The extensive risks that can be created with inaccurate PSI
  • The multiple (and potentially conflicting) evaluation techniques internal to PSM and how to navigate the criticisms that come with those conflicts

As the old adage goes: hindsight is 20/20. In addition to hindsight, the value of whether the permeating nature of PSM (either by regulation or in practice) is good or bad is debated. The “hindsight” conversations about the pervasive nature of PSM tend to remain in the philosophical domain. Even with the debates, PSM continues to impact your facility and new programs will continue to be implemented, progress continues, and the extent of new programs must be determined.

Current and emerging topics focus on IPL management. We study how the examples above are similar to IPL management and how to associate lessons from our history and avoid the mistakes to ultimately make our PSM “future selves” better than our PSM “yesterday selves.”


Patrick Nonhof, Managing Partner

Mr. Nonhof holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin. He has nearly 20 years of experience in the petrochemical industry. He began his career with BASF and held positions in project engineering and operations.

After BASF, he worked for Berwanger, Inc., an engineering consulting company based in Houston. At Berwanger, Mr. Nonhof served in a variety of line management positions. During his tenure with Berwanger, he worked for multiple multinational oil and gas companies providing Process Safety Management (PSM) services. In 2006, he   co-founded Provenance Consulting, LLC., a process safety consulting company.  Provenance’s focus is implementation and maintenance of PSM systems, with a focus on data management.