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August 6, 2013

New Executive Order Addresses Chemical Safety

Chemical Safety Sign
The White House has issued an Executive Order intended to reduce safety and security risks related to production and storage of potentially harmful chemicals. Prompted by the fatal West, Texas explosion, the Improving Chemical Safety and Security Order establishes a working group to address the issue.

The Chemical Facility Safety and Security Working Group will be co-chaired by the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Secretary of Labor or their designated representatives.

The group is ordered to:
  • Enhance Information Collection and Sharing
  • Improve Operational Coordination with State, Local, and Tribal Partners
  • Enhance Federal Coordination
  • Enhance Information Collection and Sharing
  • Modernize Policies, Regulations and Standards
  • Identify Best Practices
Policy, Regulation and Standards efforts will:
  • Develop options for improved chemical facility safety and security that identify improvements to existing risk management practices through agency programs,
  • Engage key stakeholders to discuss the options and other means to improve chemical risk management that may be available
  • Develop a plan for implementing practical and effective improvements to chemical risk management
The Group will convene stakeholders including chemical producers, chemical storage companies, agricultural supply companies, State and local regulators, chemical critical infrastructure owners and operators, first responders, labor organizations representing affected workers, environmental and community groups and consensus standards organizations.


  1. Hopefully this committee will be able to produce and enforce safety guidelines that can be implemented nationwide. Having standardized safety protocols is just another step to encourage companies across the US to create safe workplace cultures.

    1. Thanks for your thoughts on this. You make a great point - standards and workplace culture are the keys.

  2. OSHA has recently aligned their hazards communication standards with globally harmonized system for classification and labeling of chemicals and they have also provided training materials for that. is offering ghs and osha hazards communication standard training.

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