The structure of procedures–now the structure of manuals–that I settled on is based largely on OSHA’s Process Safety Management (PSM) Standard (29 CFR 1910.119). The purpose behind Process Safety Management is to ensure that persons performing particularly hazardous processes (like the process that went awry in Bhopal, India in 1984) would know how the process works, how to identify when a process is moving toward upset, and how to address the problem before disaster (fire, explosion, escape or release of hazardous materials, etc.) occurs.
So, the procedure structure, borrowing heavily from PSM, is as follows:
Introduction: what the procedure will cover
General safety and safety controls
Basic Components of the Equipment (this assumes the procedure is focused on a piece of equipment, which manuals will be)
Controls on the Equipment (a complete discussion of every gauge, indicator, button, etc. that performs some function)
Steps to Setting up the Equipment or Operation
Performing the Operation
Upset Conditions and How to Respond to Them
Shutdown of the Equipment
Those familiar with PSM will recognize some PSM-mandated procedure items are not addressed in the list above. But every PSM element is addressed, even if not in the order listed in the standard.
In the next posts, I will discuss in detail each section and what belongs there.