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In July 2012, the Seveso III directive dealing with controls to major accident hazards (COMAH) was published, making changes to the COMAH regime and bringing it in line with the regulation on classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures (CLP).
The UK has until the 1 June 2015 to replace the current COMAH regulations and implement Seveso III into national law, and there is plenty that operators can be doing now to prepare.
Draft COMAH 2015 regulations are available for review and a consultation has just closed on the way the changes will be rolled out, so COMAH operators could start by getting to know the new rules.
Changes to COMAH will involve amendments to the way dangerous substances are classified (in line with CLP), so operators should ensure their inventories of dangerous substances are classified accordingly. They will also want to check whether the classification changes affect their COMAH status and the way the duties apply to them.
New duties will involve making more information available to the public, so operators may wish to start collating the required information and checking whether any further information will be required in safety reports and major accident prevention policies.
Operators should keep an eye out for the HSE’s consultation response, as well as their new guidance on COMAH 2015.
While the changes to COMAH aren’t anticipated as a major shakeup to the regime, they are significant and operators need to ensure that they fully understand their COMAH 2015 position.
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