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Defining a Best Practices Incident Response Mechanism for Chemical Facilities Open Access

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This dissertation investigated the incident response mechanism used by the chemical industry for handling extremely hazardous chemicals. The mechanism was described as the policies, procedures, practices, tools, and methods used to conduct incident response. The chemical industry is responsible for process safety management at all of its facilities, especially those that have off-site consequences in the event of an unplanned release.Initial interviews with industry experts indicated that there was not a formal repeatable method for incident response; and response tended to be ―ad hoc.‖ Industry experts also wondered if smaller chemical facilities were as successful as large sites in responding to unplanned releases.The researcher used the concurrent transformative strategy, which is a mixed method approach that involved concurrent qualitative and quantitative research. This method supported the elicitation of opinions from chemical industry experts. The collection of data occurred at 12 chemical facilities located in the United States and Europe. This research analyzed the current practices for emergency response for chemical facilities and provided the specification for a model that could be utilized by small or large chemical facilities.Business process modeling was used to capture information requirements of participants` incident response mechanisms. The researcher documented which technologies, specifically software and information systems, were utilized for chemical facility emergency response. Based on the qualitative and quantitative results the researcher defined the best practices characteristics for incident response mechanisms for chemical facilities. The results were captured in a model that can be used as a framework for the chemical industry to utilize when defining an incident response mechanism for a new facility or, to validate an existing response mechanism.

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