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As part of our commitment to continually improve our service and to help our clients meet their legal obligations, we continue to update the Legal Registers on our website and provide free quarterly legal compliance updates to anyone who subscribes. The purpose of these updates is to ensure you stay up to date with any changes in your legal compliance obligations, our updates can also be kept and can be used as evidence that your business is staying up to date with any changes in the legislation, this can be very helpful at audit time.
The Control of Major Accident Hazards Regulations 2015 (COMAH) is a set of regulations that aim to prevent and mitigate the effects of major accidents involving dangerous substances. The purpose of the regulations is to protect people and the environment from the potential risks associated with the use, handling, and storage of dangerous substances in industrial activities.
The regulations apply to businesses that store, handle, or process specified dangerous substances above certain quantities. These businesses must take steps to prevent and mitigate the effects of major accidents, including preparing safety reports, carrying out risk assessments, and developing emergency plans. They must also appoint a competent person or team to ensure effective implementation of safety and emergency plans, and provide training to workers involved in handling or processing dangerous substances.
The requirements of COMAH apply to a wide range of industries, including chemical plants, oil refineries, storage depots, and nuclear power stations. The regulations apply throughout the United Kingdom, and are enforced by the relevant regulatory authorities in each jurisdiction.
Overall, COMAH is designed to ensure that businesses take appropriate measures to prevent and control major accidents involving dangerous substances, and to protect people and the environment from the potential risks associated with these activities.
The Control of Major Accident Hazards Regulations 2015 (COMAH) requires businesses that handle, store, or process specified dangerous substances to provide evidence that they have taken appropriate measures to prevent and mitigate the effects of major accidents. The following are some of the evidence requirements under COMAH:
1. Safety Reports: Businesses must prepare and maintain a safety report that identifies potential major accident hazards, assesses the risks associated with these hazards, and describes the measures that have been taken to prevent and control major accidents.
2. Hazardous Area Classification: Businesses must carry out a hazardous area classification assessment to determine the extent of any hazardous areas and to identify the potential sources of ignition.
3. Risk Assessments: Businesses must carry out a risk assessment to identify the potential for major accidents and to evaluate the likelihood and consequences of such accidents.
4. Emergency Plans: Businesses must prepare and maintain an emergency plan that details the procedures to be followed in the event of a major accident, and the resources required to mitigate the effects of such an accident.
5. Competence: Businesses must appoint a competent person or team to ensure the effective implementation of safety and emergency plans, and provide training to workers involved in handling or processing dangerous substances.
6. Inspections and Audits: Businesses must carry out regular inspections and audits to ensure that the measures taken to prevent and control major accidents are effective, and to identify any areas where improvements can be made.
Overall, the evidence requirements under COMAH are designed to ensure that businesses have taken appropriate measures to prevent and mitigate the effects of major accidents, and to demonstrate to regulatory authorities that they are complying with the regulations.
The Control of Major Accident Hazards Regulations 2015 (COMAH) does not provide any exemptions from the main requirements for businesses that handle, store, or process specified dangerous substances above certain quantities. However, there are some exemptions from certain aspects of the regulations, which include:
1. Temporary Storage: Businesses that store dangerous substances for less than 30 days are exempt from some requirements, such as the requirement to prepare a safety report.
2. Transportation: The transportation of dangerous substances is regulated separately under the Carriage of Dangerous Goods and Use of Transportable Pressure Equipment Regulations, and is exempt from the safety report and emergency planning requirements under COMAH.
3. Domestic Use: COMAH does not apply to dangerous substances that are intended for domestic use or are in the possession of individuals for personal use.
4. Retail: Retailers that sell dangerous substances to the general public are exempt from the safety report and emergency planning requirements under COMAH.
5. Low Quantities: Businesses that handle or store dangerous substances below certain thresholds may be exempt from the safety report and emergency planning requirements, although they must still comply with the other requirements under COMAH.
It's important to note that even if a business is exempt from certain requirements under COMAH, they may still be subject to other health and safety regulations and requirements, and are still responsible for ensuring the safe handling, storage, and processing of dangerous substances.
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Including our quarterly legal compliance updates that are a great resource for evidence for your ISO audits.