Five Steps To A Sustainable Hazardous Goods Supply Chain

Designing a sustainable liquid bulk and hazardous goods supply chain will translate into trust. HSEQ or health, safety, environment, and quality has been my top priority during my career in the liquid bulk and chemical industry.  And it should be yours too. Over the years, I have been sharing my own experience and guiding companies to improve their safety performance.     

When you want to manage the safety performance of your business in the liquid bulk and chemical industry, no “push-button” solution will get you a quick result. But, the process to start designing your HSEQ system to protect people, environment, assets, and reputation is simple if you have the correct guidance.

Organizations need to control risks and complexities within the supply chain, which nowadays often spans multiple countries and continents. As supply chains are getting more complex, managing your suppliers, site operations, distribution, and customers is crucial in creating a sustainable business.

I know it can be hard to know where to start, so I created a five step-by-step guide to help you.

Step 1: Develop an HSEQ culture

Health and safety management should embrace the interactions between the working environment, equipment, systems and procedures, and the people in the organization. A significant number of accidents can be traced back to unsafe behaviors since effective risk management depends partly on the behavior of individuals in an organization. The safety culture of a company is crucial and starts with our attitude towards it!

Step 2: Implement safety management systems

A business will need to allocate time, resources, and money to perform proper risk management. The long-term value of implementing safety management systems is to create step-change improvements in safety without the large-scale disasters to drive them. Management must also set goals, and objectives and make use of the correct measurement tools.

Step 3: Mount a successful crisis response

It is critical to mount a successful crisis response plan covering activation, communication, information management, and decision making. Review how fast you can activate your crisis team and analyze your capabilities to deal with emergencies, including product knowledge and language barriers, for example.

Step 4: Use effective crisis communication

Think about how an incident will impact your business in today’s media landscape. During the first hours of a crisis, the initial key objective is to identify and assess the problem and draw up an inventory of requirements and resources. It is crucial to set up a crisis management center, know your internal and external target groups and communicate appropriately via a trained and authorized spokesperson.

Step 5: Develop a good plan B – contingency planning

Although successful outcomes are never a guarantee, having a well-developed and embedded crisis management capability is crucial. An efficient system will enable the organization to avert crises where possible, respond in a manner that protects its assets, and learn from experience to improve practices through time. Contingency planning is developing responses in advance for various situations that might impact business.


Taking risks is part of doing business and is an acknowledged and inescapable part of it. Risk management is an integral part of a successful organization!

Many companies either have a lack of resources for HSEQ or would like to review their current setup. We are here to share our experience and help you to develop best practices in health and safety.

The fact that you’re reading this article already gives you a leg up. Does my message help you re-frame your HSEQ priorities?  If it does, let me know what you will do differently to improve your HSEQ performance.    

This article is the first of a three-part blog series. Read our second article in this series – Safety Performance: Is Your Response Getting In The Way?

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