What is the "silo factor," exactly? According to Conrad Ellison, "The silo factor occurs when departments/functions/groups within an organization don't share information or knowledge with others in the same organization." Ellison, who is interviewed in Downstream Today, is a process engineering and process safety expert.

The silo factor can have a negative impact on businesses in many ways, especially for process safety management (PSM). When information is not shared and communication breaks down, it can be catastrophic. Ellison is one of the authors of a new study examining the effect of the silo factor within the setting of refineries and petrochemical plants.

"My key message is process safety is characterized by layers of protection to prevent major accidents occurring. Silo behavior can lead to these barriers being impaired and could lead to increase in the likelihood of a major accident occurring," says Ellison. "You also need to have processes in place that help to check the health of barriers such as process safety performance indicators, traditional audit programs and deep-dive audits."

To read the complete interview, see the article from Downstream Today.

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