Article Abstract

Safety Performance Evaluation of Chemical Management and Emergency Response Planning in Science Park
Taipau Chia (1), Guangwoei Su (1), Hui-Chung Shih (1), Yan-Jung Lai (1),Shin-Ying Liu (2), Kuo-Chung Chiang (2); (1) Institute of Occupational Safety and Hazard Prevention, Hung Kung University, Taichung, Taiwan (2) Central Taiwan Science Park Administration, National Science Council, Executive Yuan, Taichung, Taiwan

Objective: The objective of this study is to evaluate the safety performance and develop an integrated emergency response plan in the Central Taiwan Science Park during the initial stage of development in order to ensure the effectiveness of the safety programs to prevent hazardous materials incidents.
Method: Thirty evaluation indicators of chemical management were determined through reviewing reports, standards and literatures related to safety management of high technology. Considerations of criteria include importance, practicality, and feasibility in order to be quantitatively expressed as the organizational effort. The indicators were categorized into four performance dimensions which include safety management, fire prevention, waste disposal safety and the compliance of regulations. Eleven high-tech corporations were evaluated on-site in the Science Park. Three to four professionals were invited to rate the performance indicators using the 5-point Likert scale. Further, an initial integrated emergency response plan was developed. An emergency response drill for a toxic materials incident was held to evaluate the feasibility of the plan. The checkpoints of the integrated emergency response drill include the proper use of the response procedure, incident commander system, emergency reporting system and logistics.
Results: Among the four dimensions of the safety evaluation, the chemical storage facility fire prevention system reflected the need for most improvement. The indicator with the lowest score is the appropriateness of the waste water disposal facility and its management of waste water generated after a fire incident. Other weaknesses from the findings include improper facility design, lack of funding and space, proper fire protection facilities, lockout/tagout procedures, hazard communication, on-site supervisors' inspection, etc., especially for the small-scale corporations. After the emergency response drill, most partners in the United Incident Prevention Organization involved in the emergency response system found that the capability of planning the emergency response program of the small-scale firms also needs to be improved.
Conclusions: Through on-site evaluation and emergency response drill(s), the effectiveness of the safety management of the resident firms in Central Taiwan Science Park was examined in the initial stage of the development. This study provides preliminary evidence of identification of advantages and barriers of the safety management using developed indicators. Although most evaluated firms were in compliance with regulations, it is suggested that more comprehensive programs or sharing lessons learned from benchmarks are very important for continuous improvement of safety management of hazardous chemicals to prevent incident or mitigate loss.

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