The Chemical Accidents Programme works in three areas: developing common principles and policy guidance on prevention of, preparedness for, and response to chemical accidents; analysing issues of concern and making recommendations concerning best practices; and facilitating the sharing of information and experience between both OECD and non-member countries. It is carried out in co-operation with other international organisations.
The Programme’s most important products are: the second edition of the "Guiding Principles for Chemical Accident Prevention, Preparedness and Response" published in 2003; and the second edition of the "Guidance on Developing Safety Performance Indicators" published in 2008. The Guiding Principles address all aspects of preventing and managing chemical accidents; the Guidance on SPI serves as a guide for key stakeholders to determine if their implementation of the Guiding Principles has led to improved chemical safety.
The second area of work essentially consists of organising workshops on specific issues to gather information and make recommendations concerning best practices. Examples of subjects include: accidents investigation; health and environmental aspects of chemical accidents; audits and inspections of hazardous installations; training of engineers in risk management; use of safety reports in the control of major accidents hazards; lessons learned from accidents; and integrated management of safety, health, environment and quality.
In the third area of work, the Programme helps countries share information and learn from each other’s experience in: OECD-EC accident reporting system; safety management, risk assessment, risk management and risk communication in the context of chemical accident prevention; economic aspects of chemical accidents and prevention; acute exposure guidelines levels; land use planning; and special concerns of small and medium-sized enterprises.