Management of Change

Learn about the Management of Change, why it’s necessary, which agencies are involved, and how to smoothen its implementation in your organization.

management of change

Published 26 Aug 2022

What is Management of Change (MOC)?

Management of Change (MOC) is a systematic approach to dealing with organizational change. Although typically applied in industrial facilities and operations, it can be implemented in any workplace, especially for those that change their practices and processes from time to time. The goal of MOC is to safeguard workers from potential harm during crucial periods of transition.

MOC is a requirement of certain industrial companies in the United States. However, MOC can be used in other industries as well as it makes it easier for organizations to adopt new processes safely and smoothly.

The ultimate goal of MOC is to ensure that workers are protected from harm that could arise while the change is in place. This is why agencies such as EPA, OSHA, and COMAH are all involved with MOC.

Change: A Risky Endeavor

When organizations undergo major changes, workers are put at higher risk. Studies show that the risk of work-related injuries and hazards is much higher during periods of change, which is why MOC is crucial in protecting employees from avoidable accidents and incidents.

All change can result in unforeseen consequences. Even changes that are put in place temporarily add an element of risk to workplace operations. These risks are amplified further in companies that deal with hazardous chemicals, materials, and heavy machinery.

This is why managers need to put a lot of thought into any change before introducing it to an organization. Before introducing any sort of change to a process, all the risks need to be considered, accounted for, and actions need to be taken to alleviate these risks, which is the essence of MOC.

How MOC Alleviates the Risk of Change

When companies implement MOC, it means that they thought the change through before introducing it and applying it within the company. When creating a MOC strategy, teams need to dive deep into any potential consequences of the change they want to introduce, assess the risks involved, and make sure that actions are in place to alleviate the risk and make the implementation for all employees.

MOC forces leaders and team managers to take a step back and look at the bigger picture before implementing the change. Even if the change has a lot of potential benefits, they need to be weighed against the risks to ensure that the risks are worth the rewards.

A lack of planning when introducing a change in an organization can have a lot of impacts. For example, it can impact personnel, their families, and even the environment. However, a MOC assesses all of these risks and puts measures into place to make sure these risks don’t reach a point where the employees and environment are in danger.

Which Agencies Are Involved With MOC?

MOC can work with any industry. However, it’s required for industries and companies that deal with specific hazardous chemicals. For these companies, here are some of the agencies involved in keeping them in check;

EPA

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) implements many change management guidelines for companies that deal with chemical hazards. This is to ensure that no chemical-related incidents that result from newly implemented changes cause harm to the environment and communities surrounding the organization.

The EPA has placed many guidelines and requirements that these companies need to comply with when implementing a change.

OSHA

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) is responsible for ensuring that all companies in the United States comply with Safety Guidelines the organization sets. OSHA has a specific regulation known as Process Safety Management which is a systemic approach to MOC.

With that said, PSM only applies to specific companies and industries, particularly those that deal with highly reactive or toxic chemicals in their processes.

COMAH

Control of Major Accident Hazards (COMAH) is the UK equivalent of EPA and OSHA regulatory bodies. The office also has certain guidelines for industries to follow in regards to chemical and fire hazards, similar to OSHA and EPA.

How to Implement MOC in an Organization

While MOC is required for specific industries, it can improve the safety in just about any organization, especially when major changes abound. Implementing a MOC can get tricky, but it is much easier when organizations take a systematic and proper approach to their MOC.

The process of implementing a MOC varies for every company. However, teams need to ensure that they cover all the following steps when creating a MOC system.

  • Look at the bigger picture: organizations need to assess the change they wish to implement and consider all possible outcomes and consequences. Recognizing all the changes and potential outcomes is crucial in figuring out the appropriate safety measures to take.
  • Understand that hazards aren’t permanent: certain measures and actions can do wonders at reducing risks and hazards that arise during a change in the workplace. Not all risks can be avoided, and that’s a fact, but companies can still take measures to ensure that the risk is as low as possible.
  • Check if the change is feasible: it’s important to understand whether or not a company can accomplish the change without running into major issues. And if any issues arise from the change, they need to be accounted for.
  • Conduct a PSSR: a pre-safety startup review is crucial before implementing any change. This is to ensure that also safety measures are in place before implementing a change.
  • Implement the change only if safe: if there are high risks involved with the change, it’s not worth doing. So, make sure that you only proceed with changes after determining all the risks and deciding that they are manageable.
  • Make the necessary changes: there’s a high chance that teams will meet some bumps in the road when implementing a change. So, it’s important to take notes from people on the ground and make adjustments accordingly.

Implementing a MOC system is complicated and can take a lot of time. However, there are certain measures that companies can take to make the implementation easier. That way, they won’t have to struggle to ensure the safety of workers during change.

SafetyCulture staff writer

Leon Altomonte

Leon Altomonte is a content contributor for SafetyCulture. He got into content writing while taking up a language degree and has written copy for various web pages and blogs. Aside from working as a freelance writer, Leon is also a musician who spends most of his free time playing gigs and at the studio.

Leon Altomonte is a content contributor for SafetyCulture. He got into content writing while taking up a language degree and has written copy for various web pages and blogs. Aside from working as a freelance writer, Leon is also a musician who spends most of his free time playing gigs and at the studio.