Right now, the coronavirus means a different way of doing business is needed to protect the community, stay open and keep plant, people and processes safe.

The Health and Safety Executive, on behalf of the COMAH Competent Authority, has therefore published guidance on the approach to some specific COMAH requirements during the outbreak.

The following pages, which have been added to the HSE’s COMAH website, provide a terrific resource for industry.

Managing staffing and fatigue at COMAH sites during the outbreak

Quick overview: HSE has produced new guidance on how to manage onshore major hazard establishments subject to the Control of Major Accident Hazard Regulations 2015 (COMAH) during the coronavirus outbreak.

The guidance, which is particularly important for establishments that are part of the critical national infrastructure, covers the potential overall increase in risk to COMAH establishments during the coronavirus outbreak from:

  • Reduced staffing or loss of key staff
  • Increased staff fatigue

Find out more

COMAH safety reports during the outbreak

Quick overview: The Control of Major Accident Regulations 2015 (COMAH) require that businesses take all measures necessary to prevent and mitigate major accidents involving dangerous substances. COMAH applies to sites that hold specified dangerous substances above certain thresholds. Despite the circumstances created by COVID-19, this primary requirement stands.

Whilst failure to comply with requirements will be considered a breach, there is flexibility within the enforcement frameworks to ensure that regulatory decisions made by the COMAH Competent Authority are pragmatic and this will be used to its fullest extent.

This page deals with safety report submissions and the scenarios that may arise during the current situation.

Find out more

COMAH safety reports during the outbreak

Quick overview: The Control of Major Accident Regulations 2015 (COMAH) require that businesses take all measures necessary to prevent and mitigate major accidents involving dangerous substances. COMAH applies to sites that hold specified dangerous substances above certain thresholds. Despite the circumstances created by COVID-19, this primary requirement stands.

Whilst failure to comply with requirements will be considered a breach, there is flexibility within the enforcement frameworks to ensure that regulatory decisions made by the COMAH Competent Authority are pragmatic and this will be used to its fullest extent.

This page deals with safety report submissions and the scenarios that may arise during the current situation.

Find out more

Planned external emergency plan tests under COMAH during the outbreak

Quick overview: This page sets out the COMAH Competent Authority (CA) position on requests to postpone or cancel external emergency plan tests for COMAH upper tier establishments during the coronavirus outbreak. Following the Prime Minister’s statement on 23 March 2020, the CA has been considering the implications this might have on planned external emergency plan tests under COMAH.

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COMAH notification requirements for businesses supporting the coronavirus response

Quick overview: Businesses normally not subject to COMAH may change activities at short notice to support the coronavirus response.

If this involves increasing their dangerous substance inventories or storing new substances that take them above the threshold at which COMAH applies, they will become subject to the regulations.

Find out more

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