In the chemical logistics sector, through years of experience, many Best Practices have been written and published about working safely with hazardous materials within this industry. These publication concern (international) companies and trade associations to which the SEVESO applies. However, the Best practices described often remain hidden for non-members of the trade association or specialists from different countries. The International Foundation for Chemical Logistics (IFCL) is going to change this.

The international foundation IFCL’s primary goal is to increase safety within chemical logistics. In addition, it strives to develop international standards in this area, provide certification standards and spread knowledge about safety within chemical logistics.

Better availability of Best practices
With regard to making Best Practices more readily available, the foundation will map and collect the Best Practices that have been published (internationally) in recent years in a structured manner and make them available via an online platform. The most important Best practices will be described in a short excerpt in both Dutch and English. The project will unlock knowledge internationally, with the aim of increasing safety, reducing costs and stimulating exchange and/or cooperation in the field of scientific expertise.

The specific reason for the initiative is the observation that in other countries, dealing with the same legislation and facing similar problems, other solutions have been developed. In other words, a great deal of knowledge is still ‘uncharted territory’ and therefore not or insufficiently used. If an incident could have been prevented by applying an existing, but not shared and therefore known methodology, that would be a bad thing. Quite apart from the fact that it probably costs an unnecessary amount of money to develop solutions to a similar problem in different places. Building on knowledge that already exists and has been proven has a more dynamic character and stimulates mutual challenge. The aim of this study is therefore not just a nice list of successful projects or practices, but much more a platform on which international knowledge can be shared, exchanged, compared and enriched.

Safety can be expressed in concrete incident reports, but also in the subjectivity of trust. Trust grows as knowledge increases. And now it’s not one organization, one industry or one country, but diverse companies and organizations with diverse interests and one common goal: safety. IFCL’s project will consist primarily of research and mapping of existing application practices. The result is not only a clearly structured database, but also an international network of experts and/or research agencies who know how to find each other. The whole thing will be made available online in due course via a specially developed website.

The project is partly supported financially by the Dutch government and by project participants within the framework of the SVO scheme; the International Foundation for Chemical Logistics (IFCL) and a number of Dutch companies. The project – which has already started – will run until the end of 2024.

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