441488 Restructuring of Process Safety at Air Products

Tuesday, April 12, 2016: 3:30 PM
361 (George R. Brown )
Brian E Farrell, Process Safety, Air Products and Chemicals, Allentown, PA

Air Products restructured its Process Safety organization in January 2015 as part of an overall corporate restructuring.  Process Safety was moved from a centralized function to a dispersed capability located within the operating businesses.  The reorganization offered the potential for simplicity and speed within Process Safety if executed well, or a loss of focus, competency and institutional memory if executed poorly.  Ten months later, the reorganized Process Safety teams have delivered on commitments and the changes can be characterized as successful. 

This Case Study will discuss the planning process for the transition, the outcomes of the reorganization, and how the following factors were managed during the transition to enable success.     


  1. Process Safety Culture

  2. Executive Leadership Commitment

  3. Management of Change for Process Safety Leadership Positions

  4. Standards, Tools, and Management Systems

  5. Metrics

The paper will also examine the strengths and weaknesses of centralized vs. decentralized Process Safety teams, the sustainability of Process Safety culture, and the ongoing challenges to retain institutional memory and improve competency of Process Safety professionals in a decentralized organization.  As with any reorganization of this size, all aspects did not proceed according to plan or go as smoothly as anticipated.  The Lessons Learned from the reorganization will be shared.   

Extended Abstract: File Uploaded
See more of this Session: Case Studies on Organizational Management of Change
See more of this Group/Topical: Global Congress on Process Safety