For a number of years, Eastman Chemical Company has utilized a sophisticated electronic system to manage MOC changes. As this electronic process became inculcated into the Eastman culture, users began to treat the electronic process as the compliance mechanism, rather than as a tool to empower themselves to make safe decisions.
Within the concepts of Operational Discipline, “a good COO/OD system can be viewed as a type of “control system” for human performance. It permits appropriate variability of intelligent human control, yet achieves desired performance within established constraints.”
The challenge of a recent improvement effort implemented at Eastman was to do just that. The team was tasked to institute changes to the company’s MOC process. These changes were to enhance the productivity and accuracy of the electronic process, while at the same time improving the users’ ability to make decisions and control outcomes when addressing the hazards associated with MOC changes. The team also sought to create a process and accompanying tool robust enough to manage the changing company profile in terms of site complexity and regions of operation.
The project objectives were achieved by implementing the following changes:
Standardizing job expectations and training for those individuals involved in the risk identification and mitigation of changes;
Instituting screening tools that help the users tailor the level of review with the risk profile of the change.
Improving the electronic tool to leverage modern collaboration tools.
Improving the electronic tool to allow for management of routine and non-routine tasks associated with MOCs
Improving documentation of risks and their associated mitigation plans
Providing clear, consistent, and visible measures that are standard across the company.
In the 12 months that the new process has been fully operational, Eastman has experienced measurable productivity improvement. More importantly, the system has performed as designed by improving the users’ ability to collaborate on hazard identification and customized risk mitigation plans.
 Conduct of Operations and Operational Discipline, AIChE, 2010, Page 35
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