SECOND EDITION 2003
The Guiding Principles have been prepared by a Drafing group under the auspices of the Working Group on Chemical Accidents that manages the OECD Programme on Chemical Accidents. The development of the Guiding Principles has been undertaken in co-operation with other international organisations active in the area of chemical accident prevention, preparedness and response, including ILO, IMO, UNECE, UNEP, UNOCHA (UNEP/OCHA Joint Environment Unit) and WHO.
The objective of these Guiding Principles is to set out general guidance for the safe planning, construction, management, operation and review of safety performance of hazardous installation in order to prevent accidents involving hazardous substances and, recognising that such accidents may nonetheless occur, to mitigate adverse effects through effective land-use planning and emergency preparedness and response. These principles provide advice related to the role and responsibilities of public authorities, industry, employees and their representatives, as well as interested parties such as members of the public potentially affected in the event of an accident, and non-governmental organisations.
For purposes of this text, the word safety embraces health, safety and environmental protection, including protection of property, to the extent that they relate to prevention of, preparedness for response to accidents involving hazardous substances.
As a general matter, employee and public protection, environmental protection and other aspects of industrial safety are closely related and it is beneficial for an enterprise to integrate and co-organise various aspects of these areas as much as possible. While the text addresses only those aspects concerning accidents involving hazardous substances, it is recognised that actions taken in conformity with the Guiding Principles will serve to improve overall environmental health and safety performance.
These Guiding Principles apply to all hazardous installations, i.e. fixed plants/sites that produce, process, use, handle, store or dispose of hazardous substances such that there is a risk of an accident involving the hazardous substance(s). Thus, the Principles apply not only to installations which chemicals are produced or processed, but also to other industrial and commercial operations at which hazardous substances are handled or stored with a potential for fire, explosion, spills or other accidents involving hazardous substances. Accidents involving the release of radioactivity materials have not been addressed, recognising that this subject is already addressed in other international guidance materials. Transport of hazardous substances external to a hazardous installation by means of pipelines, road, rail, sea or air have not been specifically addressed, although many of the Principles apply to such transport. These Principles would, however, apply to transfer facilities at which hazardous substances are loaded and/or unloaded.
These Guiding Principles are based on the premise that all hazardous installations should be expected to comply with the same overall safety objectives - that is, the same expectation of such, irrespective of size, location or whether installation in publicly or privately owned.
The Guiding Principles have been developed with the recognition that there must be flexibility on their application due to significant differences which exist among countries with respect to, for example, legal and regulatory infrastructures, culture, and resource availability. In addition there may be differences in approach in applying the Principles to new and to existing installations. Furthermore, these Guiding Principles apply to a wide range of industries and types and sizes of installations.
Thus, while these factors do not diminish the applicability of the Guiding Principles, they may affect the approach taken to implement them. Therefore, consideration will need to be given to how to implement these Principles in a specific situation. Throughout the development of the text; the ad hoc Group has worked to ensure that these Guiding Principles are applicable worldwide, not only OECD countries, and that the text is consistent with the concept of sustainable development. Member countries have agreed to distribute the Principles as widely as possible, working with outside bodies to reach interested parties in non-OECD countries.
Guiding Principles Document [ PDF ]
Addendum to Guiding Principles
An Addendum to the second edition of the Guiding Principles for Chemical Accident Prevention, Preparedness and Response was published in June 2011.
The Addendum takes into account the results of five workshops that were held under the auspices of the OECD Working Group on Chemical Accidents during the period from 2003 – 2007.
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Translations of the Guiding Principles:
OECD-Leitprinzipien für die Verhinderung, Bereitschaft für den Fall und Bekämpfung von Chemieunfällen
Hungarian Translation of the OECD Guiding Principles for Chemical Accident Prevention, Preparedness and Response
Korean Translation of the OECD Guiding Principles for Chemical Accident Prevention, Preparedness and Response
Principes directeurs de l'OCDE pour la prévention, la préparation et l' intervention en matière d'accidents chimiques
Czech Translation of the Guiding Principles for Chemical Accident Prevention, Preparedness and Response
Principi Guida dell’OCSE per la prevenzione, la preparazione e l’intervento nei casi di incidente chimico
Chinese Translation of the Guiding Principles for Chemical Accident Prevention, Preparedness and Response