On 23rd October 2014, the OECD Working Group on Chemical Accidents (WGCA) organised a special session on “Facilities Handling Hazardous Substances with Ownership Change” in Paris. The session aimed to develop a deeper understanding of the potential safety implications of a change in ownership of facilities handling hazardous substances. The workshop session was organised by the Norwegian Directorate for Civil Protection.
Ownership change transactions are very common in the chemical industry and have been increasing in the past years. Change of ownership can potentially affect key elements of process safety management and lead to a change in the management of the risks of the facility, this change being positive or negative. In some cases, the effects of a change of ownership can be severe and significant and can lead to an increase of both occupational and major accident risks of a facility. Ownership change can lead to an accumulation of major changes in a short period of time, with effects that might be visible in the short and longer term. The goal of the special session was to illustrate the extent to which ownership change is a potential risk factor for the occurrence of accidents in facilities handling hazardous substance, with examples of accidents in which ownership change might have been a direct or indirect cause. The report summarizes the main conclusions from the special session.
You can consult the report here.