HFL Consulting (now part of SLR)

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Under the COMAH Regulations, operators must demonstrate that the risks to employees in offices and other work places on site are ALARP.

Many major incidents that have occurred on sites have resulted in people in buildings being killed or seriously injured because the hazards impacting the buildings have caused building collapse or generation of missiles or glass fragments. In many cases, the hazard impact is more severe than if the people were located in the open air.

Occupied Buildings Risk Assessment (OBRA) is the tool used to assess the risks to people located in buildings on site. The approach requires knowledge of the actual hazard impact on a specific building and of building performance (different types of building provide differing performance).

We have completed a large number of OBRAs of various types (including the use of exceedance curves for complex sites) for many operating companies throughout the process industries, and have a well-developed methodology which incorporates the requirements of the Chemical Industries Association (CIA) and HSE.

In fact, our experience in this area is such that we were involved in writing the latest CIA guidance on Occupied Buildings.

We can help you by:

  • Carrying out OBRAs according to the CIA guidance
  • Reviewing existing building design and identifying remedial measures to increase protection
  • Developing toxic gas and flammable/explosion refuges for people
  • Developing emergency response plans

Human Factors

DSEAR Risk Assessments