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March 31, 2010

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Guidance – KPIs for major-hazard sites

The Chemical Business Association (CBA) and the UK Warehouse Association (UKWA) have launched guidance for their respective member companies to help them achieve higher levels of major-hazard management. 

Last year, the CBA signed up to the Principles of Safety Leadership and, since then, it has been working with the UKWA and the HSE to develop this practical guidance to help companies manage major hazards.  

Safety Performance Leading Indicators Guidance 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.

The guidance provides examples of key indicators relevant to the warehouse sector and pilot tests of these were conducted to ensure their practicality and effectiveness.

The CBA’s director, Peter Newport, said: “We recognised that smaller businesses and warehouses may have limited technical and managerial resources. We were therefore keen to develop a pragmatic framework, which recognised these constraints but nevertheless moved the management of safety beyond the reliance on historical data to key leading indicators.”

His counterpart at the UK Warehouse Association, Roger Williams, added: “Though the guidance is focused mainly on sites within the scope of the Control of Major Accident Hazards (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.”

The CBA/UKWA guidance has been endorsed by the HSE. The head of its Chemical Industries’ Strategy Unit, Ian Travers, commented: “The critical importance of high standards of safety management and strong leadership is now well understood. Unfortunately, many companies have lost their sense of vulnerability to major incidents and believe that such an event could not happen within their business.

“The use of key performance indicators can help provide a clear, accurate, and ongoing picture of the status of control measures needed to prevent major incidents.”

The guidance can be downloaded from the CBA website here – www.chemical.org.uk/SPLI.asp

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