• 25 March 2021

Richard Tinkler understands energy-sector risk. A chemical engineer by degree and a longstanding process safety management leader at an energy industry giant, he now works exclusively to provide in-house engineering expertise for Miller’s Energy clients. We thought it was time to get to know him a little better.

“My main service is risk engineering consultancy,” he explains. “I visit clients’ refineries and petrochemical plants to conduct three- or four-day operational surveys, then issue a market report that includes recommendations to improve their risk profile.” 

His work for Miller clients doesn’t stop there. “The next step is to help them understand and implement our recommendations – this is key, as a lack of understanding can lead to frustration and significant delays. I provide assessment and advice, including workshops and technical training.” 

Speaking a common language

Richard eradicates misunderstanding and noise from the communication chain to help reach the right answers first time around. “I act almost as an interpreter,” he says, “smoothing the communications between risk managers and their engineers, Miller’s placing brokers, the insurers and their engineers.” 

The challenges faced by the companies he works with vary significantly based on national and corporate cultures. Location, facility age, and the involvement of states and joint-venture partners can all have a dramatic impact on his recommendations. “Some companies are much stronger on risk engineering. Some place many secondees into joint operations, which creates a consistency of standards,” he says.

Others have a very different approach, sometimes shaped by cultural norms. “It’s essential that operations, maintenance, inspection, safety, and technical personnel collaborate to identify problems and create solutions. I foster such cooperation.” Richard works closely with Miller’s front-line brokers to ensure those solutions are ideal ones. “I facilitate from a risk engineering perspective,” he says. 

Engineering transitions

One challenge Richard is commonly called upon to address is the transition from the construction to operations policy. “I help by opening the channels of communication and understanding between clients and underwriters.” 

Another area of consultancy relates to the policy itself. “I assess the suitability of the coverage – the insurance policy – especially in terms of the limit,” he says. Richard deploys his long, hands-on experience and the most up-to-date loss modelling software to estimate, for example, the maximum loss which could occur on a given site. This helps clients make informed decisions about the amount of insurance to purchase, and how much risk to retain. 

What’s best about his job?

Richard says it's working with clients over the long term. “When I work with a company over several years, survey their various facilities, get to know their people, and watch our recommendations being implemented, I really begin to feel like I am part of their team. That’s when I get true satisfaction from my job, and the most value is added for the client.”

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