Why do we need Management of Change program?
The objective of a Management of Change (MOC) program is to ensure all changes to a process are properly reviewed and hazards introduced by the change are identified, analyzed, and controlled prior to resuming operation.
It is also one of the 14 elements of Process Safety Management.
MOC is important for every change because there are many details, and questions that maintenance and engineering have to answer satisfactorily to make this a safe process. Prior to any change, the following are considered:
- The technical basis for the proposed change
- Impact of change on safety and health
- Modifications to operating procedures
- Necessary time period for the change
- Authorization requirements for the proposed change.
The MOC element helps to ensure that changes to a process do not inadvertently introduce new hazards or increase risk of existing hazards. It also includes steps to help to ensure that potentially affected personnel are notified of the change and that pertinent documents, such as procedures, etc. are kept up–to-date.
Why is MOC important?
Because if a proposed modification is made to a hazardous process without an appropriate review, the risk of a process safety accident could increase significantly.
Where/When is it done?
MOC reviews are conventionally done in operating plants and increasingly done throughout the process life cycle of a plant
Who does it?
An employee or stake holder originates a change request. Qualified personnel will then review the request to determine if any potentially adverse risk impacts could result from the change, and may suggest additional measures to manage risk. Based on outcome of the review, the change is either authorized for execution, amended, or rejected. Often, final approval for implementing the change comes from another designated individual, independent of the reviewers. Many personnel are normally involved in making the change, notifying or training potentially affected employees, and updating documents affected by the change.
Organizations usually have written procedures detailing on how MOC will be implemented. The change can be implemented once the change is approved. Potentially affected personnel are informed of the change and/or provided with more detailed training, as necessary, prior to the change taking place.
Higher risk situations usually needs greater for formality and thoroughness in the implementation of a MOC protocol. Facilities with an evolving or weaker process safety culture may require more prescriptive MOC procedures, more frequent training, and greater command and control management system features to ensure good MOC implementation discipline.
So, is your company equipped with a robust MOC system and procedures? It is time to consider and implement a good safety culture by introducing MOC system or improve your current MOC practice so that it can directly or indirectly reduce process hazards.