The Control of Major Accident Hazards Regulations 1999 (COMAH) and their amendments 2005, are the enforcing regulations within the United Kingdom applicable to any establishment storing or otherwise handling large quantities of industrial chemicals of a hazardous nature. Types of establishments include chemical warehousing, chemical production facilities and some distributors.

The principal aim of the regulations is to reduce the risks of potential major accidents that are associated with the handling of hazardous substances. The regulations operate on two levels depending on the establishment's status which is divided into two categories, 'Lower Tier' and 'Upper Tier', determined by inventory.

Lower tier establishments are required to document a Major Accident Prevention Policy (MAPP) which should be signed off by the managing director. A top tier COMAH establishment is required to produce a full safety report which demonstrates that all necessary measures have been taken to minimise risks posed by the site with regard to the environment and local populations. The penalty for unauthorised storage can be severe and companies unsure of whether the COMAH regulations apply should seek advice from trade associations and local health and safety inspectors.

The Competent Authorities and enforcing agencies in the UK are the Health and Safety Executive and either the Environment Agency in England, Natural Resources Wales (NRW) in Wales or the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) in Scotland.

The Client/Contractor National Safety Group, or CCNSG, is a consortium of major industrialists from the power generation, steel, oil, gas and chemical industries who recognised the need to train contractors on basic safety to a common standard. The group has standardised basic safety training and devised a core curriculum which has now become a national training scheme.

Representatives from major clients serve on the CCNSG steering group and there is also representation from contractors, training providers, trade unions and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). The CCNSG meets regularly to ensure that standards are being maintained and that the content of the training scheme continues to meet current safety legislation and safety practices.

At EBL Group, all of our operatives are CCNSG safety passport holders, fully experienced and continually working at plants for the likes of INEOS CHLOR VINYL, VYNOVA, ESSAR, BASF, EOS, CARGILL, and NYNAS.

Our RIDDOR safety statistics are unblemished as we constantly focus on maintaining and improving our standards of Health & Safety in the workplace.

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