Operation and management of the facility

When dangerous chemicals are handled and stored in a facility, the facility must maintain and develop its safety operations in a goal-oriented manner. Hazards to health, the environment and property must be taken into consideration in the operations. It must be possibly to demonstrate the working condition and safety level of the facility reliably.

Taking care of safety requires systematic management measures, monitoring during operation and the assessment of measures that maintain and develop safety.

Functioning management involves systematic planning based on continuous development, work on safety and regular assessment of measures.

Duties and competence of the personnel

The personnel must be provided with sufficient information about the following subjects:

  • the characteristics of the chemicals
  • safe working methods
  • the dangerous situations that have been identified and their consequences
  • how to act in case of an accident.

Responsible persons such as the chemicals operation supervisor must be appointed for large-scale chemical facilities, and similarly, a LPG operation supervisor must be appointed for LPG plants. Operation supervisors must have passed an examination arranged by Tukes. More information can be found on the page on operation supervisors.

The personnel must be given regular training and instruction on dangerous chemicals.

Identifying hazards and risk assessment

Hazards caused by chemicals and the consequences of possible accidents must be assessed and, if necessary, updated regularly at the facility, especially in connection with changes related to the operations. The hazards identified must be taken into account in the design, operation and instructions.    

Maintenance

A functional preventive maintenance and upkeep plan covers the following issues:

  • the working condition of the equipment, pipes etc. related to the chemicals
  • checking the functionality of the alarm systems and safety equipment regularly
  • describing work permit practices, such as practices related to tanks, EX-areas, hot work
  • recording the responsibilities related to maintenance.

In order to demonstrate the realisation of the maintenance plan, the person responsible for maintenance must keep a record of the work done.

Change management

Chemical facilities must have a written change management procedure, which states how the risks related to changes, both major and minor, are assessed and how their management measures are implemented. Change management areas include:

Management and communications

  • defining the change
  • responsibilities and decision-making
  • implementing the changes, i.e. planning, implementation and commissioning
  • risk assessment related to the changes
  • communications, own personnel, contractors, cleaning, neighbours, suppliers of goods
  • training and instructions

Identifying hazards and risk assessment

  • Risk assessments, including an explosion protection document and an equipment list, fire risk mapping, have been drawn up as planned and the measures agreed there have been completed.
  • The safety criticality of new equipment has been assessed and the information on the equipment has been added to the maintenance system.

Inspections, permits and documentation

  • Specific references to the standards and regulations that the change/new function must comply with.
  • The required permits have been received and the terms fulfilled, such as the construction, action, demolition, water, environmental and Tukes permits.
  • The statutory inspections have been completed and the observations corrected.
  • The equipment has operating and maintenance instructions, such as information on isolation, locking, and separations.
  • Instructions in case of incidents and updates to the rescue plan and other safety documents.
  • Earthing and equipotential bonding have been measured.
  • Markings, such as chemical, flow direction, EA, fire extinguisher and EX markings.
  • The flow diagrams and piping and instrumentation diagrams (PI&D) as well as the electrical and automation drawings have been updated.
  • Environmental review.
  • The pipe and tank records have been compiled.

Planning for emergencies

Chemical facilities must prepare for incidents and make risk-based plans in case of accidents. The measures started in case of accidents and dangerous situations must be described in the internal rescue plan (Government Decree on the Monitoring of the Handling and Storage of Dangerous Chemicals 685/2015, Annex V).

You can find more information about the internal emergency rescue plan and the requirements on its content in the Tukes Guide 8/2015 Sisäinen pelastussuunnitelma (in Finnish).

Measurement of operations

Chemical facilities must develop monitoring and assessment methods suitable for their operations that can be used to demonstrate that the facility is safe and in working order. Reliable assessment of the safety level requires setting safety goals and objectives. When the goals and objectives have been set, the current situation can be compared with own goal levels. The criteria and assessment methods may vary depending on the field and the scope of operations, i.e. the amount of dangerous chemicals.

The level of chemical and process safety can be measured with proactive and reactive indicators. You can find more information on measuring process safety in the Tukes Guide Prosessiturvallisuus- ja sen mittaaminen (in Finnish) on process safety and measuring it, among other things.

Proactive indicators may include, for example, the realisation (%) out of the projected value

  • inspections, preventive maintenance, calibrations
  • chemical safety training and the number of participants
  • safety investments
  • safety rounds.

Reactive indicators include, for example:

  • statistics on equipment malfunctions
  • the range of adjustment being exceeded in safety critical processes, such as pressure being higher or lower than the goal
  • safety automation being triggered
  • malfunctions of monitoring and safety devices as well as false alarms
  • alarms
  • leaks and self-sustained ignitions
  • chemical exposures
  • unplanned shutdowns and the utilisation rate.

Safety can also be measured with indicators that are not focused directly on the functionality and reliability of the facility’s processes. Such indicators can include accidents and close calls, for example. If chemical facilities only use such indicators, chemical safety observations and their results should nevertheless be clearly separated from the other areas.

Areas of safety management

Duties and competence of the personnel

Identifying hazards and risk assessment

Maintenance

Incident management

Measurement of operations