Many of the worst industrial accidents in recent history have as a root cause the failure of the MOC process. Some sources indicate that as many as 80% of the serious major accidents in industry are related to uncontrolled change.

Management of Change word cloud“In process safety, what is meant by change? Change includes;

  • All modifications to Equipment including materials of construction, specification, piping, experimental equipment, computer program revisions, and alarm and interlocks;
  • All changes to process technology, production rates, raw material, experimentation, equipment unavailability, new equipment, new product development;
  • All changes in operating conditions to improve yield or quality These changes must be properly assessed by identifying and reviewing them prior to implementing them; and
  • Employers must establish means and methods to detect both technical and mechanical changes. Any operation outside of established parameters requires review and approval by a written management of change procedure.

Temporary changes must be subject to the management of change provisions of the operating company. Temporary changes have been implicated as the root cause of several catastrophes over the years, and operating companies must establish ways to detect both temporary and permanent changes. It is important that a time limit for temporary changes be established and monitored since otherwise, without control, these changes may tend to become permanent. In addition, the management of change procedures are used to ensure that the equipment and procedures are returned to their original or designed conditions at the end of the temporary change. Proper documentation and review of these changes are invaluable in ensuring that safety and health considerations are incorporated into operating procedures and processes.

GHS Health and Safety consultants can help your business implement, integrate and improve your management of change process.