Occutech Major Hazard Risk Assessments
Warehouse storage fire
Occutech (Pty) Ltd is accredited by department of labour (South Africa) to perform major hazard risk assessment for the following
Major hazard installation is any installation which can cause an offsite risk and which can cause an effect which could result in death. The worst case release can cause a catastrophic effect.
spillage and accumulation can result in a dust explosion
LPG bulk gas storage
ASSESSMENTS determine the risk to people, property in and around a plant. A toxic release can present problems
offsite and the potential the area of
concern is shown below.
MAJOR HAZARD INSTALLATION REGULATIONS
-Do you know if your installation, plant or storage is an MHI ?
-Do you have a major hazard installation?
-If so, have you performed a valid MHI Risk Assessment
-Have you determined the risk correctly?
- Worst case
- Alternative case
The Major Hazard Installation Regulations were revised in 2001 and are to be again been revised in 2018 and should be published this year There are some significant changes in the proposed legislation. These Regulations will be published for comment later this year.
At present the MHI Regulations apply to all employers ,owners who have a facilitate which can be considered to present hazard which can impact on the surrounding communities. These Regulations therefore apply to many industries, storage warehouses and treatment plants. In general if the industry/plant deals with more than 1000kg of a hazardous product it could fall into this category, but for some plants even smaller quantities can cause a problem and can be classified as a MHI. The revised MHI legislation will provide better guidance as to those establihments which can be a MHI. Many persons will also identify that in the existing MHI Regulations most Risk Assessors only considered the largest container however the new Regulations will require employers and risk assessors to add all the chemicals on site to determine the MHI risk potential even the single 1kg bags or gas cylinders.
The purpose of the MHI Regulations is to prevent or mitigate the impact of a major hazard/accident on the immediate community. That is the Regulations are aimed at the Major Hazard Installation to implement adequate control or reduce the risk of a major incident occurring.
To achieve this goal that following is required:
-All establishments which handle chemicals which can generate and/or release toxic air contaminents, cause an explosion or a fire which could impact on the surroundings need to perform a MHI Risk Assessment (Regulation prescribes this duty on the employer)
The Regulations detail the contents of this Major Risk Assessment. Its purpose is to:
-Establish if the installation can present a hazard incident and determine if this can impact on communities off site firstly. Under worst conditions and other scenarios. (known as alternative scenarios)
-Identify the major consequences.
-Estimate the probability of such an incident.
-Estimate the potential risk - if an incident occurred to community and the employees on that site and those around this site.
-Determine the area(s) affected by such an incident and what effect this could have this incident can have.
-Determine the risk the installation presents to the community.
-Evaluate and determine the controls that are necessary to reduce the risk and an incident occurring.
-Evaluate the existing Emergency Plan to deal with aWorst case release and also with other incidents involving the MHI.
Should the site or employer not comply with the Regulations and a major incident (spill, fire, explosion, toxic release or combination) occur then the employer could be liable for the total cost of bringing the incident under control, legal action by Local Authority and Department of Labour and possible civil action (including litigation) from those affected by the incident. This type of action has already occurred and the costs are very high and in the end the Risk Assessment will still be required.
The Risk Assessment is compulsory and must be done initially and then every five years. The Risk Assessment comprises of a number of elements and will always require models (scenarios) of the release/problem to identify the magnitude of the problem, the area affected ,the type of problem, the action and the precautions that are required.
It must also be noted that unlike other risk assessments, this risk assessment is only concerned with ABNORMAL, INCIDENT, ACCIDENT,and EMERGENCY CONDITIONS.
The findings of this RISK ASSESSMENT must be used in the Emergency Plan and should also provide recommendations where appropriate. The Risk Assessment needs to be a quality document which clearly establishes the risk and the controls necessary. Sub-standard risk assessments will place the organisation at greater risk.
Occutech have the necessary expertise to perform these assessments and design your emergency plan so that if an incident occurs the problem could be adequately managed. Due to the uncertainty in industry Occutech can also help determine if a facility or part of the facility is a major hazard installation. Occutech has been accredited by SANAS for a number of years and is also Department of Labour approved for MHI Risk Assessments.