The directive from the front office seemed clear: where the work “…can’t be done safely, then we should stop, assess the risk and document any changes.”
Put yourself in the shoes of someone called in to work overtime, in the middle of a very complicated and troublesome restart of production. Alarms are sounding, operations are anything but normal, problems are to be found everywhere, and the pressure of production and cost are huge. Assigned to troubleshoot a small tank that might only contain hot water, with little to go on in the way of a procedure to be followed, what assumptions would you make as to how to do the job safely?
And at what point you “…should stop, assess the risk, and document any changes”?