Planning for high hazards

Published:  02 June, 2017

A new handbook that describes common scenarios for assessing risks associated with industrial sites has been published by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre.

The new handbook aims to help EU Members and other countries to reduce the impacts of a number of major incidents. The hazards covered include LPG, anhydrous ammonia, chlorine, LNG, liquefied oxygen and flammable liquids.

The Handbook of Scenarios for Assessing Major Chemical Accident Risks has been written by the JRC in collaboration with the Land-Use Planning Task Force, a group of industry and competent authority experts from EU Member States.

It describes common scenarios for assessing industrial risk and focusses on the proximity factor related to residential areas, transport infrastructure and other public spaces. According to the Executive Summary: “It has long been acknowledged that risk methods and land-use planning processes are embedded in local culture and pre-existing legal systems. However, technical aspects associated with the consequence analysis, in particular, selection of scenarios and scenario attributes, are not subject to this constraint and yet they are distinctly different from country to country. Up until now, there has been no common accepted practice among Member States for determining which scenarios should be taken into account in the land use planning process.”

Image: Shutterstock

The Handbook aims to help member states take a more consistent approach to decision-making regarding the use of land by high-hazard industry as well as the associated risk assessment and management. It fills a gap in the 1996 Seveso Directive as to what constitutes an appropriate safe distance, which currently can be interpreted according to national historical norms.

To download a copy visit

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