HealthComplianceESGFebruary 28, 2019

The importance of a management of change (MOC) system

When companies make changes to their facilities, operations, organization, or procedures, a Management of Change or “MOC” may be required.

Those who are bound by Process Safety Management rules must complete an MOC. Other industries, that do not fall into that category, are strongly encouraged to utilize the Management of Change process as a best practice.

The Purpose of Management of Change

An MOC is used to ensure that the environmental, health, and safety risks are carefully evaluated and controlled prior to implementing significant changes. The MOC process gives employers a chance to identify potential new hazards that could result from these changes.

A Management of Change program forces you to slow down and take a step back.

Often times, especially in private industry, there is pressure to just hurry up and “get the job done.” When decisions are rushed, there is an increased risk of failure. MOC helps to prevent accidents and injuries that could be catastrophic.

How to Conduct a Management of Change

The MOC process should be conducted in a systemic way. The basic steps to follow include:

1) Recognize the proposed change(s).
2) Evaluate the hazards and risks.
3) Determine if the hazards and risks can be reduced, controlled, or eliminated.
4) Determine if the change(s) can or should be made.
5) Implement change(s) if determined safe to do so.
6) Conduct Pre-Startup Safety Review (PSSR).
7) Train workers on the implemented changes.
8) Follow procedures and continue to evaluate changes.

Companies should have their own methods and procedures for conducting a Management of Change. Some will use simple paper-tracking systems. Others choose a more robust, pre-built system.

Paper Systems vs. Software Programs

The old method of paper-tracking and excel spreadsheets for MOC processing can be tedious and time-consuming. There’s also the potential for information to be lost or misinterpreted as documents get passed around from person to person.

Many companies now use software-based programs to guide them throughout the MOC process.

With Management of Change software, users are able to standardize and streamline the process. With pre-built checklists and workflows, you won’t have to worry about missing any steps. Instead, you’ll be able to ask the right questions and gather all necessary data.

Additionally, a software-based MOC system increases the overall effectiveness of your program. It improves the decision-making process, and provides valuable insights such as:

  • What types of changes are common in your workplace
  • How many changes you make per month, year, etc.
  • How long the MOC process typically takes to complete

Another benefit of electronic systems is the use of automated notifications. These ensure all users are following through with their responsibilities. Centralized access allows you to hold each other accountable and stay up-to-date on where the MOC currently stands.

Final Thoughts

Don’t underestimate the risks and hazards that can result from seemingly minor changes. Management of Change is there for a reason. Follow a systemic process to identify risks and ensure that they are properly addressed before implementing changes.

Enablon provides a turnkey solution for your MOC needs. Our flexible technology features pre-built checklists and workflows, but can easily be adapted to the unique requirements of your facility.

Reach out to us if you have any questions about how to incorporate a comprehensive Management of Change program into your organization.

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