Inspectioneering Journal

IJ 2006 Survey Talley

By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal. This article appears in the January/February 2008 issue of Inspectioneering Journal

Background and Future of the Survey

This survey did not make metrics the primary focus. More importantly, our focus was on identifying practices that lead to better performance. Readers need to “draw a dashed line” linking these practices to performance based on your knowledge of best practices that can be found here and in published papers and experience. Soon we should be able to report metrics like risk reduction in measurable units (like sq’/year) and link those to practices. That risk number can include consistent consideration of; damage mechanisms and their severity, equipment condition (current and projected), inspection practices, operating practices, fluid contained and probable release scenarios including injury, business interruption, environmental impact, impact of replace/repair/run strategies and their effects. This is a good example where a consistent baseline would be needed to give credibility to the metrics.

Many of the metrics are based upon “lagging” parameters. This reporting is still largely in its infancy when wanting to identify trends and attribute credit. Couple this with inconsistencies and we still have a lot of question marks. To quote Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s inimitable detective, Sherlock Holmes, “It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly, one begins to twist facts to suite theories instead of theories to suit facts.” If the fact basis is flawed and inconsistent there is no perceived credibility. The industry is starting to address this issue as evidenced at a recent industry conference in Houston, the “API/PVRC International Conference on Decision Making for Risk Management in Process and Power Plants” (visit the Pressure Vessel Research Council for more information on this activity,, where industry leaders addressed the question of standardization for such endeavors.

Keep a copy of the September/October 2005 issue of the journal handy as some of the answers have been consolidated from related questions as you read through these results. The order in the survey is consistent with the referenced journal.

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