It is widely agreed across the onshore and offshore high-hazard industries that the 8 Principles of Process Safety as first set out by the Process Safety Leadership Group (PSLG) are a positive step towards putting Process Safety Leadership at the core of businesses.

The challenge for many is accurately measuring against these principles and translating them into real and measurable insights. So how can companies measure against the 8 Principles and benchmarking with other companies?

First, let’s explore the principles themselves.

What are the 8 Principles of Process Safety?

The explosion and fire at the Buncefield oil storage depot in 2005 led to the establishment of a Process Safety Leadership Group (PSLG). They developed a set of 8 Principles for Senior Leaders to follow with the goal of reducing the risk of future similar events.

The UK offshore oil and gas industry endorsed a similar agreement and agreed on a set of Process Safety Leadership Principles in November 2019. The signatories to this were the Offshore Energies UK (formerly OGUK), Step Change, IADC and the Competent Authority (HSE). These were re-issued in 2023.

  • Clear and positive process safety leadership is at the core of managing a major hazard business and is vital to ensure that risks are effectively managed
  • Process safety leadership requires senior leadership team involvement, understanding and competence
  • Good process safety management requires constant active engagement and vigilance
    Senior leadership team visibility and promotion of process safety leadership is essential to set a positive safety culture throughout the organisation
  • Engagement of the workforce is needed in the promotion and achievement of good process safety management
  • Robust and regular auditing of the safety management system and associated major accident hazard barriers, is essential to ensure that system weaknesses are identified and process safety risks are being effectively managed
  • Publication of process safety performance information provides important assurance about the management of risks by an organisation
  • Sharing good practice across industry sectors in order to learn and implement lessons from relevant incidents occurring internally and externally to the organisation, is important to maintain the currency of corporate knowledge and competence


How can a company measure against the 8 Principles?

Understanding the Principles of Process Safety is one thing. In order to have impact, these principles require putting Process Safety at the core of a business, engaging with the workforce, senior leadership team involvement and competence in safety management.

How can the Board be informed of how well the organisation is performing against these principles?

Scapa Energy has built a growing database of Process Safety Leadership engagement ratings across 17 critical questions in four key themes: Leadership, Engagement, Performance Assurance and Learning.

Principles of process safety scapa energy heatmap

Our team of Directors and Consultants has unique expertise from former HSE Regulators and oil and gas operations which leads to actionable, measurable insights that really make a difference.

From clients engaged so far, the feedback has been extremely positive:

“A quick note of thanks for both my individual feedback but also for your efforts across the total project. The exercise has gone down very well with those in-scope and we are now working to digest the feedback and devise the correct steps to take combining this feedback into our Process Safety Programme. We would also be happy to reference Scapa to other clients for such a process as this.”

– CEO, UK and International Oil and Gas Operator

How are companies performing?

So far, eight separate oil and gas operators have undertaken a thorough review, with over 200 hours of interviews from CEO to Front Line, against these critical areas and are willing to share their anonymized results.

Industry wide themes are emerging. For example, the Process Safety risks associated with Engagement with Contractors and Vendors.

We compare guidance from IOGP, The Energy Institute, IChemE, Relevant Regulations and the Health and Safety Executive guidance tools on this topic with frontline experience and make recommendations on how to improve. This, in turn, has prepared clients for their mandatory HSE inspections – increasingly focusing on Major Accident Hazard Process Safety Leadership.

We intend to continue engaging with teams and corporations, extending to contractors and service providers in order to provide insights and opportunities.

Working with our clients and our network, Scapa Energy will continue to build an industry-wide picture of Process Safety Leadership strengths and key areas for improvement which we will look to share with industry through data and qualitative themes.

If you want to learn about how your own company performs against the principles and develop a clearer picture of wider performance, Scapa Energy can provide insights that help you answer questions such as:

  • How do your HSE Directors and Site Managers compare to other companies?
  • How does the Senior Leadership team’s understanding of Process Safety Leadership compare to site or offshore?

To learn more, contact us today at