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The UK’s primary process safety legislation is the Control of Major Accident Hazards (COMAH) Regulations which apply if a facility stores or handles certain dangerous substances above specified quantities. Dependent on the quantities present, the Regulations apply as either a lower tier or upper tier level. The legislation requires operators to demonstrate that the risks present on site are as low as reasonably practicable (ALARP).

The demonstration process basically requires you to answer the following questions:

  • What can go wrong?
  • What systems are present to prevent, control and mitigate the things that can go wrong?
  • How do we know that these systems are effective?

Question (1) can be answered through a robust and proportionate Hazard Identification (HAZID) study followed by consequence and frequency assessment to determine the risk profile. This will include other risk assessment studies such as Task Analysis and Human Reliability Assessments (HRAs), Occupied Buildings Risk Assessment (OBRA), Layers of Protection Analysis (LOPA), ALARP Reviews, Gap Analysis against Accepted Good Practice, Environmental Risk Assessments, and Cost Benefit Analysis.

Question (2) relates to the procedural systems employed to manage the hazards and risks throughout the Process Safety Lifecycle (Design, Installation, Commissioning, Operation, Inspection, Maintenance and Decommission/Demolition) and the linkage to identified Major Accident Hazards.

Question (3) is concerned with how the organisation learns and continually improves, and so includes accident and near-miss investigation, Process Safety Performance Indicators (PSPIs), Benchmarking, Audits and Management Review.

HFL Consulting has been involved with COMAH from the very beginning. Our experienced team of consultants, scientists and engineers have been successfully preparing, maintaining, reviewing and revising COMAH safety reports for many years.

Simply put, we have worked with more than 25% of the UK’s upper tier COMAH sites and have written more COMAH safety reports for more companies than anyone else. From Government owned facilities to large multinational corporations across all process sectors, we are trusted with every aspect of the COMAH process. We have the know-how to deliver what’s expected and can help you keep abreast of upcoming changes.

More than that, we can help you to gain added benefit from your COMAH safety report by helping you to maintain it as a living document to support process safety improvement work, which is expected by the Regulators.

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