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News Article

Technological Innovation to Optimize Environmental Safety

Wed, 01/21/2015 - 12:53

Consultoría en Seguridad Industrial y Protección al Ambiente (CSIPA) was created almost 13 years ago with the main goal of providing personal and environmental safety solutions. “As individuals, we care about people who work in oil rigs, refineries, thermoelectric plants, or any other industry that generates substances that can be harmful to humans or the environment,” asserts Alejandro Hernández, Director General of CSIPA. “CSIPA is responsible for the largest environmental impact assessment studies in Mexico, which it has carried out in collaboration with renowned institutions such as UNAM. This collaboration has helped to give CSIPA a prestigious reputation,” says Hernández. The firm was born out of a particular vision that sought to link scientific and technological development with business. CSIPA has a diverse team, including chemists, oil specialists, oceanologists, biologists, and hydrologists, which all combine to carry out different scientific studies while the firm maintains a commercial approach. “CSIPA seeks to intertwine the perspectives of biologists concerned with protecting the flora and fauna and chemists who want to protect people through the control of chemical processes. Professionals specialized in industrial control systems who are interested in gas leaks and fire control also find a niche in our company,” explains Hernández. He believes that if companies learn to conceptualize management systems for the environment, security, and occupational safety, they will have the tools to manage their business in a holistic way and not just from an economic perspective. “If companies do not do things this way, their businesses will not be properly structured and investors could end up losing money. I would not risk my project or an investment if there is not a thorough study that can help me plan and prevent accidents in the long term.”

“CSIPA began carrying out studies for the oil and gas industry and has participated in 98% of the environmental impact assessments done in the Gulf of Mexico with highly trained Mexican professionals. Moreover, we are the first national company of its kind to gain experience in Mexican deepwaters by working with PEMEX on the Lakach project,” says Hernández. “PEMEX is one of the most supervised institutions in the country with some of the most stringent protocols regarding the environment and worker safety, particularly when compared to private companies. PEMEX has entrust CSIPA with studies that require a long time and considerable investments, and is very keen on giving these studies a proper follow-up. At CSIPA, we enjoy working with PEMEX because we can expand on the technical side. Since PEMEX provides plenty of information, our staff feels motivated to go beyond the planned limits.” CSIPA initially focused on its environment and risk divisions before other areas were included, such as functional safety, sustainable development, hygiene and health, civil protection, innovation, and safety in construction. The latter area was added to the firm’s services portfolio as a way of responding to the needs of various international construction companies that demanded compliance with national and international norms on workers’ safety. The innovation division, CSIPA 3D, has also benefited all areas by conducting laser scans to make 3D models using specialized software. These can also be used to simulate tridimensional explosions or toxic cloud dispersions, which is uncommon in Mexico. So far, CSIPA has adopted technologies from other parts of the world. However, Hernández says the firm is now able to develop its own technology thanks to its staff retention scheme and a technological innovation policy. In consequence, CSIPA is about to launch software to carry out risk analysis, an area in which it has ample expertise. Its own software can provide SIL and LOPA risk analysis, while CSIPA is the Mexican representative of German risk analysis leader TÜV Rheinland as well as for a Dutch company that pioneered the Bow Tie risk analysis technique. “We are aware that if we continue promoting the same services as every other company, we will be buried by the competition,” he shares to explain his company’s focus on innovation.

The recent creation of new regulatory organisms provides opportunities for CSIPA, and the firm has been preparing for this moment for quite some time. “Constantly training our personnel, acquiring new technologies, and participating in the country’s main projects has enabled us to strengthen our curriculum.” However, while Mexican consulting firms do not invest as much as CSIPA, this has made the firm less cost-competitive. “Technically speaking, CSIPA is a great firm, but it is also expensive,” he admits. “However, once a new regulatory agency imposes stringent technical requirements, CSIPA will face less competition. We are getting to a place where we hope the merits of our investments and our efforts in technological innovation will be recognized.” Now, CSIPA’s objective is to continue developing internal protocols and methodologies in order to strengthen its operations while controlling growth. “CSIPA is currently making significant investments in knowledge, procedures, protocols, and certifications to better tackle the challenges facing the oil and gas industry.”