CBA And UKWA Release Hazard-Management Guidance

The Chemical Business Association (CBA) and the UK Warehouse Association (UKWA) have launched guidance for their respective member companies to assist in achieving higher levels of hazard management. Major incidents, such as those at Buncefield and Texas City, underline the importance of high standards of control for hazard risks and the consequences of failure. Investigations into these incidents revealed evidence of a failure to recognise the early warning signs of increasing hazard risks.

In July 2009, the CBA signed a commitment on behalf of its member companies to the Principles of Safety Leadership. Since this time, it has been working with the UKWA and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to develop practical guidelines to help companies to manage hazard risks. Peter Newport, the CBA's director, said: 'We recognised that smaller businesses and warehouses may have limited technical and managerial resources. 'We were, therefore, keen to develop a pragmatic framework that recognised these constraints, but nevertheless moved the management of safety beyond the reliance on historical data to key leading indicators,' he added.

The new CBA/UKWA guidance provides a six-step programme to creating safety performance leading indicators (SPLIs). It covers the formation of a properly resourced implementation team; defining the scope of the SPLI programme; identifying existing risk control systems; establishing the critical risk element in each control system; data collection and reporting; and the formal review of safety data by senior managers and directors.

'Although the guidance is focused mainly on sites within the scope of the Control of Major Accident Hazard [COMAH] regulations, it provides a model of performance measurement that can be easily adapted to other facilities needing to maintain the integrity of their safety systems,' said Roger Williams, chief executive officer of the UKWA. The guidance provides examples of key indicators relevant to the warehouse sector.

As part of the process of developing the guidance, pilot tests of these indicators were conducted to ensure their practicality and effectiveness. The CBA/UKWA guidance has been endorsed by the HSE. 'The use of key performance indicators can help to provide a clear, accurate and ongoing picture of the status of control measures needed to prevent major incidents,' said Ian Travers, head of the HSE's Chemical Industries' Strategy Unit.


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