Industrial Accident

Most industrial sites are regulated by the Health & Safety Executive and the Environment Agency to ensure they are safe. The Emergency Services have clear procedures for dealing with accidents on those sites.

The Control of Major Accident Hazards (COMAH) Regulations 1999 (inc 2005 amendments) are the enforcing regulations within the UK that aim to prevent major accidents involving dangerous substances and limit the consequences to people and the environment of any incidents that do occur.

The operators who manage COMAH designated sites are required to maintain rigorous controls and contingency plans including a COMAH Safety Report and an On-site Emergency Plan. They are also required to contact neighbouring communities and provide them with relevant guidance regarding actions to take during an emergency. If your property is within the public information zone of a given site you should already have received formal notification.

Upper Tier and Unitary Local Authorities are required to maintain an Off-site Emergency Plan for each COMAH site within their area.  These deal with:

  • Setting up cordons
  • Warning and informing local residents and the wider public
  • Providing humanitarian assistance

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) and the Environment Agency act as the joint ‘Competent Authority’ for the administration and enforcement of these regulations.  Visit the HSE website to find out more.

What you can do

  • Be aware if you live near a hazardous site
  • If you hear warning of an incident go or stay indoors, close all doors and windows
  • Turn off all ventilation systems and extinguish all naked flames
  • Ensure all sources of ignition are turned off, i.e. central heating systems, pilot lights, electric appliances, fires, welding/cutting equipment
  • Only leave your building in the event of fire or major damage
  • Tune in to a local radio station (see In Case of Emergency below for stations and frequencies)
  • Follow any instructions given to you by the Emergency ServicesEnsure that any visitors to your premises are made aware of any instructions given
  • If advised to do so, be prepared to evacuate and follow instructions given