Duties of competent authorities

General Competent authorities should define appropriate safety objectives, together with a major hazard control system for their implementation. Although the control of major hazards is primarily the responsibility of the works management operating a major hazard installation, this major hazard control system should be set up by the competent authorities in consultation with all interested parties. Such a system should include:
the establishment of an infrastructure;
the identification and inventory of major hazard installations;
receipt and evaluation of safety reports;
emergency planning and information to the public;
siting and land-use planning;
inspection of installations;
reporting of major accidents;
investigation of major accidents and their short- and long-term effects.

Establishment of infrastructure for a major hazard control system Competent authorities should establish contacts with the industry at various levels. Such contacts should allow discussion and co-ordination of the various administrative and technical issues concerning major hazard installations and their control. Competent authorities should make available sufficient expertise to carry out their responsibilities within the major hazard control system. Where the expertise for a particular aspect of major hazard control is not available within the competent authorities, they should arrange for that expertise to be made available from outside, for example from industry or from external consultants. Those who provided expertise at the request of the competent authorities should not disclose the information which they have learned in connection with their service to any outside body other than the competent authorities.

3.1.3. Establishment of an inventory of major hazard installations The implementation of a major hazard control system should start with the identification of major hazard installations. The competent authorities should draw up a definition of major hazard installations using criteria selected for their country or state. These criteria should be established to take account of national priorities and available resources. Legislation should be established by competent authorities requiring works managements to notify them where their works fall within the scope of the definition of a major hazard installation. The notification should include a list of hazardous substances and quantities present which qualify the installation to be classified as a major hazard installation.

3.1.4. Receipt and evaluation of safety reports A deadline should be set by the competent authorities for a safety report to be submitted or made available to them by the works management, and for its subsequent updating. The competent authorities should make arrangements so that they may adequately evaluate these safety reports. This evaluation should include:
examination of the information, to check for completeness of the report;
appraisal of the safety of the installation;
on-site inspection to verify some of the information given, preferably on selected safety-relevant items. The evaluation should preferably be carried out by a team of specialists, covering the various disciplines involved, where necessary with the help of external independent consultants.

3.1.5. Emergency planning and information to the public Competent authorities should establish arrangements for an on-site emergency plan to be drawn up by the works managements of each major hazard installation. Competent authorities should establish arrangements for an off-site emergency plan to be drawn up by local authorities and works management, depending on local arrangements. Such a plan should be prepared in consultation with the various bodies involved: fire authorities, police, ambulance services, hospitals, water authorities, public transport, workers and workers’ representatives, and so on. These arrangements should ensure that the off-site plan is consistent with the on-site emergency plan. These arrangements should cover the need for regular rehearsals to be carried out in order to keep the off-site emergency plan in a state of readiness. Competent authorities should make arrangements to provide safety information to the public nearby.

3.1.6. Siting and land-use planning Competent authorities should establish a land-use policy to separate, where appropriate, major hazard installations from people living or working nearby. Consistent with this policy, competent authorities should make arrangements to prevent encroachment of population nearer to existing major hazard installations. For situations where existing major hazard installations are not adequately separated from populated areas, a plan for gradual improvement should be established.

3.1.7. Inspection of installations Competent authorities should make arrangements to have major hazard installations inspected regularly. Competent authorities should provide adequate guidance and training to enable their inspectors to carry out appropriate inspection of major hazard installations. Inspection by competent authorities should be consistent with the risks from the major hazard installation. Based on the evaluation of the safety report of a major hazard installation, a specific inspection programme should be drawn up. The aim should be to establish a list of specific safety-relevant items in the installation, with the necessary frequency of inspection.

3.1.8. Reporting of major accidents Competent authorities should establish a system for the reporting of major accidents by works managements.

3.1.9. Investigation of major accidents Competent authorities should make adequate arrangements to investigate major accidents and their short- and long-term effects. Such investigations should make use of relevant accident reports and other information available. Competent authorities should study and evaluate major accidents occurring world-wide in order that lessons can be learnt in relation to similar installations in their countries.

Responsibilities of works management

3.2.1. General Works management operating a major hazard installation should:
Provide for a very high standard of safety;
Organise and implement the on-site component of the major hazard control system;
Contribute to the drawing up and implementation of an off-site emergency plan.

3.2.2. Analysis of hazards and risks Works management should carry out a hazard analysis of the major hazard installation. This hazard analysis should be sufficient to enable:
the safety system to be analysed for potential weaknesses;
the residual risk to be identified with the safety system in place;
optimum measures to be developed for technical and organisational protection in the event of abnormal plant operation. To carry out a hazard analysis, a suitable method should be applied, such as:
– preliminary hazard analysis (PHA);
– hazard and operability study (HAZOP);
– event tree analysis;
– fault tree analysis;
– accident consequences analysis;
– failure modes and effects analysis;
– check-list analysis. This method should be chosen according to the nature and the complexity of the major hazard installation, and should take account of the protection of workers, the public and the environment.

3.2.3. Determination of causes of major industrial accidents An analysis of hazards should:
lead to the identification of potential hardware and software failures, process and design deficiencies and human error;
determine what action is necessary to counteract these failures. In determining potential causes, the failure of hardware components should be considered. The analysis should show whether these components can withstand all operational loads in order to contain any hazardous substance. The component examination should indicate where additional safeguards are required and where the design should be altered or improved. Component failures should be avoided by an in-depth examination of the operational procedures and of the behavior of the entire installation in the case of any abnormal operation, and start-up and shut-down. An analysis of potential accidents should include outside accidental interferences, both human and natural. Human ability to run a major hazard installation safety should be studied in detail, not only for normal operation but for abnormal conditions, and start-up and shut-down. Workers operating major hazard installations should be adequately trained by works management.

3.2.4. Safe design and operation of major hazard installations Works management should seek to ensure in the design of their installation that the quantities of hazardous substances stored and used on site are the minimum consistent with their operational needs. Works management should ensure that all operating conditions are considered in the design of components for the major hazard installation. Particular attention should be paid to all aspects of components containing large amounts of hazardous substances. For the manufacture of these components, works management should pay special attention to quality assurance. This should include the selection of an experienced manufacturer, inspection and control of all stages of manufacturing, and quality control. When assembling the installation on site, works management should pay special attention to assuring the quality of on-site work such as welding, third-party inspection and functional tests before start-up of the installation. After careful design, manufacture and assembly of a major hazard installation, works management should secure safe operation through:
good operation and control procedures;
sound procedures for the management of changes in technology, operations and equipment;
provision of clear operating and safety instructions;
routine availability of safety systems;
adequate maintenance and monitoring;
adequate inspection and repair;
proper training of workers.

3.2.5. Measures to minimise the consequences of major accidents Works management should plan and provide measures suitable to mitigate the consequences of potential accidents. Mitigation should be effected by safety systems, alarm systems, emergency services, and so on. For every major hazard installation an on-site emergency plan should be drawn up in consultation with the safety team. Depending on local arrangements, in co-operation with the relevant local authorities, an off-site emergency plan should be developed and implemented.

3.2.6. Reporting to competent authorities The works management of a major hazard installation should provide the competent authorities with:
the notification of a major hazard installation which will identify its nature and location;
a safety report containing the results of the hazard assessment;
an accident report immediately after a major accident occurs. Works management should provide these reports, and update them, as specified in local arrangements. A safety report should document the result of a hazard analysis and inform the authorities about the standard of safety and the potential hazards of the installation. A brief accident report containing relevant information on the nature and consequences of an accident should be delivered to the competent authorities by works management immediately after an accident occurs. A full accident report containing information on the causes, the course and the scope of the accident, as well as lessons learnt from it, should be given to the competent authorities by works management within the specified time.

3.2.7. Information to, and training of, workers In view of the crucial role of workers in the prevention of major accidents, works management should make sure that:
workers have a broad understanding of the process used;
workers are informed of the hazards of substances used;
workers are adequately trained. This information and training should be provided in an appropriate language and manner.

3.3. Duties and rights of workers

3.3.1. Duties of workers Workers should carry out their work safely and not compromise their ability, or the ability of others, to do so. Workers and their representatives should co-operate with works management in promoting safety awareness and two-way communication on safety issues, as well as in the investigation of major accidents or near misses which could have led to a major accident. Workers should be required to report forthwith to the works management any situation which they believe could present a deviation from normal operating conditions, in particular a situation which could develop into a major accident. If workers in a major hazard installation have reasonable justification to believe that there is a serious and imminent danger to workers, the public or the environment, they should, within the scope of their job, interrupt the activity in as safe a manner as possible. As soon as possible thereafter, workers should notify works management or raise the alarm, as appropriate. Workers should not be placed at any disadvantage because of the actions referred to above.

3.3.2. Rights of workers Workers and their representatives should have the right to receive comprehensive information of relevance to the hazards and risks connected with their workplace. In particular, they should be informed of:
the chemical names and composition of the hazardous substances;
the hazardous properties of such substances;
the hazards of the installation and precautions to be taken;
full details of the emergency plan for handling a major accident on site;
full details of their emergency duties in the event of a major accident. Workers and their representatives should be consulted before decisions are taken on issues relevant to major hazards. In particular, this includes hazard and risk assessment, failure assessment and examination of major deviations from normal operating conditions.

3.4. Duties of the international supplier of technology involving major hazards

3.4.1. The supplier of technology and equipment should indicate to the competent authorities and works managements in the technology-receiving country whether the technology or equipment involves an installation which would be classified as a major hazard installation in the supplier’s country, or elsewhere, if known.

3.4.2. Where technology or equipment would create a major hazard, the supplier should provide, in addition, information on the following aspects:
an identification of the hazardous substances, their properties, the quantities involved and the manner in which they are stored, processed or produced;
a thorough review of the technology and equipment in order to show:
how control and containment of the hazardous substances could fail;
how accidents could occur;
the consequences of accidents;
the vulnerability of the installation to abnormal external events such as power dips and failures, floods, earthquakes, unusual climatic conditions and sabotage, and their effects;
the measures that can be taken to counteract these potential accidents;
the management of the systems to prevent accidents from occurring, including:
the use of design standards;
the provision of protective devices;
maintenance requirements;
inspection and testing schedules;
plant modification controls;
operating procedures;
training requirements;
safeguards against deviations from the process;
emergency planning based on the consequences of possible accidents assessed under (b) above, including:
procedure for raising the alarm;
requirements and responsibilities for workers dealing with emergencies;
necessary fire-fighting requirements and procedures;
procedures for limiting an accident and mitigating its consequences;
emergency medical services, procedures and supplies;
plant shut-down procedures;
procedures for re-entering a plant where a major accident has occurred;
safety performance and accident history of similar plants elsewhere, as available.

3.4.3. According to contractual obligations, the supplier should provide updated safety information as it becomes available, and assistance as necessary.

3.5. Use of consultancy services

3.5.1. Works management and competent authorities should make use of consultancy services if their expertise is not adequate to cover all tasks to be fulfilled in a major hazard control system (see Annex I). On the other hand, consultancy services should not be relied upon to the exclusion of local management expertise.

3.5.2. Consultancy services may provide different fields of expertise, such as:
hazard assessment;
safe design and operation;
analysis of potential accidents;
establishment of on-site and off-site emergency plans;
preparation of reports;
training on major hazard control;
assistance in the event of an emergency involving major hazards;
quality assurance.

3.5.3. Consultants should be experienced in the relevant technology of the major hazard installation to enable them to give independent advice to organisations requiring assistance.

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