COVID-19 pandemic significant challenge for chemical activities around the world. ICCSS recommends measures to enhance chemical safety and security.
COVID-19 pandemic has been another significant challenge for chemical activities around the world. Lockdowns were established all over the world. Closed borders, transport and travel restrictions, have a major impact on chemical supply chain.
In such a complex and ever-changing risks, what COVID19 pandemic demonstrated more effective prevention and preparedness, more vigorous response and early recovery require better data collection, increased flow of information, improved sharing of knowledge, expertise and skills and consolidated scientific evidence.
ICCSS has conducted a survey to monitor COVID-19 impact on safety and security and cybersecurity in chemical activities, with an emphasis on production, transport, storage and use of chemicals, and impact on regulations.
ICCSS survey confirmed that chemical activities have been affected by COVID-19 outbreak, with immediate impacts on disrupting supply chain, reduced staffing, diminished monitoring and controls, and growing cyber threats, including increase in phishing attacks and online scam.
The combination of the negative findings/trends presented in the Survey would increase chemical threat locally, nationally and worldwide. This could undermine safety and security and cybersecurity with emhpasis on production, transport, storage and use of chemicals.
It is possible chemical operators and regulators could be facing an increased threat. Therefore chemical safety and security and cybersecurity shall remain a top priority of national and international efforts in time of COVID-19. Chemical safety and security and cybersecurity shall become core components of international multilateral security environment, chemical threat reduction and prevention of chemical weapons re-emergence.
- Chemical regulators and operators should join efforts to protect legal supply chain and secure business continuity and respond to reduction of operations, Staff reductions, ease of regulatory controls, including waivers for requirements, and reduction of inspection activities, increase of cyber threats and reduction of mandatory trainings.
- The chemical safety and security measures to mitigate COVID-19 impact shall concentrate on identification of Lessons Learned, inclusion of pandemic in emergency plans, priority given to cybersecurity and reliability (to migitate distance work and increase in remote controls/inspections), and field, on-site trainings and exercises.
- ICCSS invites national and international partners to develop guidelines, best practices and norms, including model pandemics plans for chemical activities (production, storage, transportation, monitoring and controls), pandemics safety security guidelines for CBRN related training and exercises.
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