To understand COMAH you must understand the wider legislation of The Seveso Directives. These are the main EU legislation specifically dealing with controlling major on-shore hazards involving dangerous substances. On June 1st 2015 The Sevanso III Directive was implemented across Europe and therefore the UK legislation COMAH was amended and replaced by new legislation also to reflect this.
What is COMAH?
For those who don’t already know COMAH means the Control of Major Accident Hazards. They mostly affect the chemical industry and those using, keeping or dealing with dangerous substances regularly. Industries also dealing with storage, explosives and nuclear sites may also be affected. The aim of these regulations is to prevent major accidents that involve dangerous chemicals happening in the first place and lessen the effects on people and the environment, if incidents are to happen.
Who will it affect?
Previous COMAH duty holders should obviously pay attention to the new changes. Operators of current COMAH sites and emergency planners will also need to view recent guidance around the new regulations as well as any business using dangerous substances.
The COMAH Regulations 2015 have replaced the COMAH Regulations 1999, which have now been revoked. Although there are many similarities between the two regulations there are also many new or changed duties. Below is just a brief summary of the changes to duties:
• Some definitions have changed around substances and their uses
• The list of substances that COMAH Regulations cover has now been updated to be in line with European CLP regulation on the classification, labelling and packaging of substances.
• How safety reports are transitioned has been assessed and information provided.
• Informing people likely to be affected by major accidents is now a requirement of local authorities.
• Information must be more readily available to the public via electronic access.
• Cooperation with neighbouring sites and sharing relevant information will be a duty for members of a domino group.
• Emergency planning and testing of the emergency plan now requires cooperation from designated authorities.
• Inspections will be subject to stronger requirements by the competent authority.
As major accidents and incidents involving dangerous chemicals can be hazardous to both people and the environment, these legislations and regulations from both Europe and the EU aim to prevent accidents entirely or reduce the impact of contamination and effect of people’slives. For more information on the new COMAH Regulations 2015, read HSE’s full guidance document here. Check out our downloadable free checklist from Airsweb to help you on the first steps to complying with regulations.
As with any industry the rules and requirements must constantly change and adapt to deal with changes to technology and improved ways of working. Here at Airsweb our software solutions can adapt to your business and your safety or environmental needs. We keep up to date with new legislations and regulations in order to always provide a full and effective solution. Take a look through our solutions to see what could help your company or ring us today on 0151 289 6811 and talk through your situation with one of our advisors.