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process safety consulting

DEKRA can provide help with your Major Hazards (COMAH/Seveso II & III Directive compliance)

The Seveso II Directive (96/82/EC), with subsequent amendment, has been implemented in the EU to control the risks from major accidents hazards introduced by the storage and handling of hazardous chemicals. The Directive is implemented in the UK by the Control of Major Accident Hazards (COMAH) Regulations 1999, as amended in 2005.

The aim of the COMAH Regulations 1999 and Seveso II Directive and subsequent amendments is to both prevent major accidents involving dangerous substances in the workplace and to limit the consequences of such accidents to people and the environment. There are legally binding requirements on all sites affected by the Regulation to ensure they have a Process Safety Management System (SMS) in place to prevent major accidents, known as a Major Accident Prevention Policy (MAPP). Sites also have a duty to notify the Competent Authority (HSE or Environment Agency) of the presence and inventory of dangerous substances on the site, including making them aware of any changes

For sites with large quantities of dangerous substances (known as upper tier sites) there is also a requirement to:

  • Compile a safety report and issue this to a Competent Authority. The safety report must demonstrate the design and operation measures that the site is taking to prevent and control major accident hazards, as well as mitigate the consequences of major accidents. The latter involves emergency planning arrangements. The site is also expected to identify and assess the risks from major accident hazards. This often involves quantification of the risks. Once published the report needs to be reviewed every five years, and updated as a consequence of this review. Updates are also required if significant changes are made to the plant, process or safety management system.
  • Develop and test an onsite emergency plan
  • Provide information to the public

Sites storing and handling hazardous chemicals need to verify if they need to comply with COMAH/Seveso II by calculating if their inventories are large enough to exceed thresholds stated in the regulations.

How DEKRA Can Help

DEKRA can provide the following help with COMAH/Seveso II compliance.

Safety reports

  • Compilation of all or part of the report
  • Identification of potential major accidents e.g. through Process Hazard Analysis
  • Risk assessment, through consequence modelling (use of PHAST, EFFECTS etc), fault tree analysis, Layer of Protection Analysis (LOPA) etc. This includes Occupied Building Risk Assessment (OBRA)
  • Report 5-yearly reviews and gap analysis

Process Safety Management System (SMS)

  • Assistance with development of a Major Accident Prevention Policy (MAPP)
  • Development and Process SMSs
  • Process SMS training
  • SMS auditing and review

Emergency planning

  • Assistance with the development of on-site plans, including identification of suitable mitigation measures based on consequence modelling

Other services

  • Accident and near miss (hit) investigation
  • Related assessments; for example, safety-related systems, HAZOP, fire and explosion (DSEAR), chemical reaction hazard