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Safety Management Systems on Multinational Company Sites

Mutual Joint Visit Workshop for Seveso Inspectors
Arona, Italy              17-19 September 2014

Major hazard sites by nature demand a high level of attention to control risks associated with dangerous substances handled and stored on site.  When such sites belong to a multinational corporation, resources and specialised expertise available for risk management and analysis can be advantageous in keeping the risk of chemical accidents in check and preventing risks from exceeding acceptable levels.  Despite these seeming advantages, major hazard sites owned by multinational corporation often face particular challenges in achieving risk reduction objectives and in particular, in implementing effective safety management systems.  The parent company's safety culture, management style, profitability and a number of other factors significantly influence whether safety concerns of individual sites receive adequate support targeted to meet specific safety performance objectives of the site.  Moreover, sites in the European Union may confront particular difficulties if the parent company is not an EU company and has little or no experience with the Seveso Directive philosophy and its obligations.  This workshop intended to examine this issue from both a company and an inspector viewpoint, with the aim of identifying:

  1. Challenges encountered by sites owned by multinational companies in managing resources and maintaining focus on the highest safety priorities with different and sometimes conflicting inputs
  2. Good practices for corporate and local managers to uphold corporate values while responding meaningful to important local inputs
  3. How the authorities (inspectors or policymakers) can positively influence implementation of safety management systems on such sites

The workshop agenda consisted of a combination of presentations and break-out sessions in which participants discussed 6 different aspects of the main topic.

  • Corporate and international differences in approaching SMS and influence on implementation of Seveso requirements
  • Corporate involvement in process safety management
  • Management of safety issues from the site’s perspective
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Influence of corporate management on specific elements of SMS: Part 1
    Organisation and Personnel
    Identification and Evaluation of Hazards
    Operational Control
    Planning for emergencies

  • Influence of corporate management on specific elements of SMS: Part 2
    Management of Change
    Monitoring Performance
    Audit and Review

The agenda, break-out questions, presentations and results from the break-out sessions can be found here.

Agenda (.pdf)

Documents and Presentations          Results from the Break-Out Sessions