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PT Notes

Executive Order Status Report Highlights - Capturing Best Practices

PT Notes is a series of topical technical notes provided periodically by Primatech for your benefit. Please feel free to provide feedback.

Executive Order 13650, Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security, was issued on August 1, 2013 owing to continued catastrophic chemical facility incidents. The Executive Order has the objective of enhancing the safety and security of chemical facilities and reducing risks associated with hazardous chemicals to owners and operators, workers, and communities. A Working Group was appointed to oversee work on the Executive Order.

The Working Group published a status report on June 6, 2014. An analysis of the current operating environment, existing regulatory programs, and stakeholder feedback resulted in immediate actions and a Federal Action Plan for future actions to further minimize risks.

This PT Note highlights actions from the Plan relating to capturing best practices. The Plan calls for these actions within the next year:

  • Use a newly established repository to collect and share best practices for chemical safety and security.
  • Identify potential best practices through active engagement with stakeholders.
  • Compile the results and publish a compendium of best practices.

The Working Group report defines a best practice as a method or technique that consistently shows superior results to those achieved with other means for addressing a problem or issue. Best practices are the accumulation of lessons learned and are subject to continuous improvement as new information and experience are gained. Because each problem situation is unique, best practices are most effective when they are tailored to the specific circumstances of the problem or issue being addressed.

Best practices are:

  • Voluntary - complementary to existing requirements.
  • Documented - the purpose, objectives, processes, and performance metrics are clear and understandable.
  • Measurable - goals are clear, and progress toward those goals can be measured.
  • Repeatable - the practice is structured clearly enough so that it can be replicated.
  • Subject to evaluation - by the implementing party and others.

Best practices can be described along a continuum based on documented evidence of success, repeatability, and rigor of evaluation:

 

Practice

Innovative

Promising

Proven

Success

Early evidence of success

Demonstrates success

Success in a number of organizations

Repeatability

Shows potential for being repeatable

Limited repeatability

Broad repeatability

Rigor of evaluation

Limited or no evaluation data

Some internal and external evaluation data

Independent research conducted

 

The Working Group is seeking best practices to share with stakeholders involved in improving the safety and security of chemical facilities. Desired best practices include innovative, promising and proven practices in the areas of technology, training, safer alternatives, process safety, and administration.

The Working Group developed an online repository so stakeholders involved in chemical facility safety and security can submit best practices as they are identified. This resource is intended to allow stakeholders to research best practices submitted by their counterparts that may be applicable to their own processes. The newly launched repository can be found at:

https://www.llis.dhs.gov/topics/chemical-facility-safety-and-security.

The Working Group report is available at: https://www.osha.gov/chemicalexecutiveorder/

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