ISO 55001 certification isn't
required by any regulatory or other body just yet but we can expect that will
come in time. It is likely to happen in regulated industries and municipalities
fairly soon but as disasters continue to strike and reveal asset
management practices that were wanting, we can expect a call for some standards
to be followed even in other industries.
One that comes to mind is railways.
In North America we are increasingly shipping large volumes of highly flammable, volatile and toxic substances by rail. Pipeline construction is
increasingly subjected to political meddling and seemingly endless reviews so
trains are an alternative for bulk shipping. Recently there have been several
very high profile derailments with fires and fatalities. In
Canada the disaster at Lac Megantic is a prime example. To blame are arguably
insufficient operatng practces, poor watch-keeping, parking on an incline
leading into a populated area (with a curve in the line), lack of communicaton between the fire department and the train operator, carriage of
a volatle substance that didn't behave as expected, lack of testng protocols,
lack of regulaton covering the carriage of hazardous substances, poor labelling
of what's in the cars, politcal finger pointng, criminal or
near- criminal business decisions, declaring bankruptcy to get off the hook,
inadequate insurance coverage, just plain greed and so on. That train had
crossed about half of the contnent and arguably that same disaster could have happened anywhere along its route. Not long after Lac Megantc
another derailment involving the same crude from the same field occurred in the
US mid-west near Casselton, ND, in Jan 2014 another happened near Plaster Rock,
New Brunswick and another in Mississippi. A recent study shows
that train derailments typically spill more oil than pipeline ruptures. Perhaps
ISO 55000 offers at least part of the soluton to this problem.
Bridges are getting old in North
America. Several have collapsed and some with
fatalites. We all know they deteriorate with age but we don't know when they
will be weakened to the point of collapse. Money for upkeep is often cut
because spending on maintenance isn't sexy and doesn't win votes. Money for new
constructon - different story. But rebuilding all the
bridges on the contnent is going to be expensive - it's not a viable opton for
cash strapped, indebted governments with restve consttuents already feeling the
double whammy of a bad economy and high taxes. Again, perhaps ISO 55000 can help at least with part of the problem.
Other areas where applicaton of
good Asset Management can help include airports (most are horribly crowded and
struggling to keep up with air travel volumes that were predicted years
ago), roads in larger cites that can't handle the volumes of car traffic due to
poor transport infrastructure planning (or lack of it). Integrated and
mult-disciplined collaboraton can certainly help - of course the politcians will need to get out of the way too.
Even private industry can benefit. ISO 55000's aim of optmizing the
value we get from our assets, doing it safely and in an environmentally
friendly way has got to be consistent with what every company that uses physical assets wants to achieve. Why live with the contnuance of
mediocrity in the face of stff competton from less expensive places to do
business elsewhere in the world?