In November 2019 HFL Consulting was acquired by SLR, a global leader in environmental and advisory solutions.

SLR has a team of over 1800 professionals delivering advice and support from a network of offices across Europe, Asia-Pacific, Africa, Canada, the USA and Latin America. Our expanded service offering means we can provide a unique blend of leadership, management, consulting, engineering and training services to businesses of all sizes across the process and allied industries. We can draw on many more ‘in house’ skills and services, including process, civil and structural engineering, environmental permitting and compliance, air quality, flood risk, ecology, acoustics and wastewater treatment.

HFL Consulting (now part of SLR)

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HFL Consulting has worked closely with Nufarm UK for a number of years, helping to maintain an impressive and improving safety record. With a desire for continuous improvement in process safety, the UK manufacturing  site invited us to benchmark their key Risk Control Systems against recognised good practice guidance. The assessment was to be carried out using HFL Consulting’s INSIGHT Lifecycle assessment tool, which had previously been used to carry out the UK chemical industry’s first ever Process Safety Management benchmarking programme; a programme that was supported by both the CIA and HSE.

Having benchmarked this site, the Nufarm business was keen to repeat the process to identify and share best practice within the Group. The organisation engaged us to assess five more of its global manufacturing sites and help develop its corporate strategy for continuous improvement in process safety.

The Challenge

To effectively develop and implement a global PSM system

Nufarm’s major challenge was how to effectively develop and implement a global Process Safety Management system. Four of the sites involved were in Europe, whilst the other two were in the USA and Australia. The sites had differing cultures and had to meet different regulatory requirements.

Working closely with the site management teams, our consultants would need to compare and contrast approaches that had emerged under quite different regulatory regimes so that common compliant operating principles could be established.

A further challenge, which is common in all companies, was the need to demonstrate the business case for good PSM. Only by aligning process safety policies with business objectives, could Nufarm ensure that all bases would be covered, allowing budgets to be deployed based on overall risk.

Demonstrating the business case for good Process Safety Management

The Solution

  • 01

Commitment to leadership and management.

The programme demonstrates Nufarm’s global commitment to leadership and management of process safety. HFL Consulting’s benchmarking and training workshops have given the company a vision for the future and have demonstrated that a coherent, integrated global policy on PSM is not only possible but sustainable.

Key Services

Management Alignment

European Leaders

The programme started with a workshop in Gaillon. It involved representatives from all of the European sites and was designed to:
• Establish a common understanding of Process Safety Management
• Educate on subjects pertinent to PSM performance
• Identify and prioritise major accident hazards across Nufarm’s European sites
• Develop an initial action plan to improve the effectiveness of key risk control systems in place for prevention, control and mitigation of major accidents

Participants reached general consensus on the need to benchmark four key risk control systems.

Process Safety Management Systems

European Sites

Following the alignment workshop, systems and procedures in place at the four European sites relating to Process Safety Culture, Competence Management, Asset Integrity Management and Management of Change were assessed against internationally recognised good practice guidance to identify examples of existing good practice and opportunities for improvement.

Process Safety Management Systems

Global Guiding Principles

Following a further series of workshops in Melbourne, involving representatives from the sites in Australia and New Zealand, a framework and corporate guiding principles (policies) were developed to create a shared vision for managing process safety at all of the company’s manufacturing facilities across the regions.

Process Safety Management Systems

Policy Deployment

Nufarm recognised that policy deployment would be essential for embedding both procedural and cultural tenets throughout the business. It is a structured approach used to plan, monitor and control team and individual involvement in the achievement of company targets and objectives. The principle is to involve the majority and drive responsibility to the lowest level in an organisation.

Process Safety Management Systems

Continuous Improvement

Successful policy deployment relies heavily on competent personnel. To ensure the effective cascading of business objectives, as well as the promotion of a positive safety culture throughout the organisation, HFL Consulting assisted Nufarm in identification of Process Safety Champions within each site.

The Results

Summarising the results of the programme.

Analysis of the benchmarking studies revealed a general lack of detail in high level policies which had led to variations in custom and practice across the participating sites. Building on this, the supporting workshops led to the creation of:

  • Clear global policies that can be understood by all
  • Realistic objectives and targets for each site
  • Measurement metrics for critical parts of key risk control systems
  • Audit methodologies at site level and for reporting to Group
  • Coherent management review procedures
  • Action plans and tracking for remedial measures


  1. 01
    Site safety was governed by different legislation in each region
  2. 02
    European sites were regulated by local legislation but also came under common Directives
  3. 03
    Sites in Australia and the United States had their own separate safety regulations

“Our partnership with HFL has proved invaluable in providing a coherent roadmap to continuous improvement in process safety across all Nufarm sites. Their knowledge and expertise in process safety has been hugely instrumental in helping us to develop and embed a culture of process safety and continual improvement across all sites. Their ability to readily identify gaps and develop sound workable solutions designed to provide common operating procedures has greatly assisted in the production of our new Corporate Guiding Principles.”

Group HSE Manager, Nufarm

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