Management of Change (MoC): High risk and often overlooked, but…what is it?

Take a journey through history looking into the “root causes” of events that resulted in some of the worst industrial incidents and accidents and one of the culprits you will find is “failure” in Management of Change (MoC). 

What is Management of Change (MoC)?

Management of Change (MoC) is an important practice (or process) to ensure that environmental, health, safety, risks and hazards are properly controlled when an organisation makes changes to their facilities, operations, or personnel (more commonly known as Management of Organisational Change, MoOC).

What’s the purpose of Management of Change (MoC)?

There can be subtle hazards in making changes in a complex process or system. Small changes in one area can have unexpected consequences in other areas, and a series of seemingly insignificant changes can accumulate into a dangerous condition.  

The main objective of MoC (and MoOC) is to ensure effective control over all project and operational changes.

Having an effective MoC/ MoOC procedure or guideline when implementing changes can help to ensure that new hazards aren’t introduced and that the risk level of existing hazards aren’t being increased. 

What does and MoC (or MoOC) involve?

MoC/MoOC involves review of all significant changes to ensure that an acceptable level of safety will be maintained after the change has been implemented. Based upon the evaluation and risk level results, the proposed change can either be accepted or rejected.

The MoC guideline or procedure will allow an organisation to ensure that:

  • Safety, health, environmental, technical, cost and schedule changes are identified and evaluated in a controlled manner;
  • Proposed changes are reviewed by all relevant parties and approved by the appropriate level of management prior to engagement.

What should you be doing to “manage” your Management of Change (MoC) or Management of Organisational Change (MoOC)?

During the course of my career, my advice to Clients for managing their Management of Change and (MoC) and Management of Organisational Change (MoOC) are as follows:

  • Don’t wait to be a victim of an incident or accident to happen and then find that the root cause was due to failure in Management of Change (MoC). ACT NOW…
  • Don’t forget “Management of Organisational Change (MoOC)”  because changing key personnel (i.e., those who have a safety related or risk management function) can increase risk potential.
  • Make sure that the MoC/MoOC process is clear:  develop, implement and embed the Organisation’s MoC/MoOC procedure or guideline. 
  • Make sure you provide training for the relevant personnel (i.e., using TNA) to ensure that there is awareness and greater understanding on the requirements and importance of MoC and MoOC processes.

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