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COMAH SAFETY REPORT ASSESSMENT MANUAL Part 1 Chapter 1

Introduction to COMAH Safety Report Assessment Manual


Contents

INTRODUCTION DUTIES ON THE COMPETENT AUTHORITY SCOPE OF THE MANUAL ROLE OF CHID IN RELATION TO THE COMAH REGULATIONS AND THE INTERFACE WITH THE ENVIRONMENT AGENCIES STRUCTURE OF THE MANUAL AND HOW TO USE IT QUALITY ASSURANCE CHANGE CONTROL REFERENCE DOCUMENTATION APPENDIX 1 - GLOSSARY FIGURE 1 - CHEMICAL AND HAZARDOUS INSTALLATIONS DIVISION FIGURE 2 - FLOWCHART SYMBOLS
INTRODUCTION 1. The Control of Major Accident Hazards (COMAH) Regulations 1999 are enforced by a joint Competent Authority (CA) comprising HSE and the Environment Agency (for major hazard establishments in England and Wales), or HSE and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (for establishments in Scotland). This manual documents the CAs arrangements for the handling and assessment of safety reports submitted by the operator in accordance with the COMAH Regulations. It sets down the CAs policies, procedures and guidance for the handling and assessment of safety reports. 2. The assessment of safety reports involves the exercise of professional judgement by Inspectors. The manual provides a framework of procedures and guidance within which professional judgements are to be made. The manual is therefore intended as a practical tool for Inspectors, to help achieve consistency in the approach to safety report assessment, and in the judgements arising from the assessment. 3. The manual will be made publicly available via the HSE Internet Web site. DUTIES ON THE COMPETENT AUTHORITY 4. European Directive 96/82/EC on the Control of Major Accident Hazards Involving Dangerous Substances (the Seveso II Directive) is implemented in UK mainly by the Control of Major Accident Hazards (COMAH) Regulations 1999. Article 12 of the Directive on land use planning is to be implemented by changes to planning legislation. The COMAH Regulations have replaced the Control of Industrial Major Accident Hazard (CIMAH) Regulations 1984 which will only apply for a limited time in accordance with the arrangements in Part 7 (Revocations, Savings, Amendments and Transitional Provisions). The COMAH Regulations place specific duties on the CA as follows: a. to communicate the conclusions of its assessment of the safety report to the operator; b. to prohibit activities where the measures taken by the operator for the prevention and mitigation of serious accidents are seriously deficient;

to have inspection systems in place for major hazards establishments; to investigate major accidents and to ensure that appropriate remedial and preventative measures are taken, and; e. to designate certain establishments or groups of establishments as being subject to domino effects. 5. The CA is also required by Article12 of the Directive to have policies and procedures in place for land use planning. SCOPE OF THE MANUAL 6. This manual documents the CAs internal procedures and technical guidance concerned with assessment of safety reports. Guidance on land use planning, inspection, major accident investigation and reporting is outside the scope of this manual, and is addressed in other documents listed in the section below entitled Reference Documentation. The manual does, however, give guidance on the manner in which the assessment process relates to these topics, and where the assessment must provide outputs to feed forward into these other activities. ROLE OF CHID IN RELATION TO THE COMAH REGULATIONS AND THE INTERFACE WITH THE ENVIRONMENT AGENCIES 7. Within HSE, the Chemicals and Hazardous Installations Division (CHID) has responsibility for the enforcement of the COMAH Regulations for all major hazards establishments, with the exception of nuclear licensed sites where there is a shared enforcement role with Nuclear Safety Division (NSD). A separate instruction covering NSD/CHID working arrangements in relation to COMAH is in preparation. The internal structure of CHID is shown in Figure 1 (View or Print Diagram) which also indicates the roles of the various units in the assessment process. 8. Internal structures of EA and SEPA will be included in this chapter at a future update. 9. The COMAH Regulations are concerned with major accidents which have the potential to cause serious danger to people or the environment. The safety report will therefore be assessed by a team composed of members from CHID and the relevant Agency, led by an Assessment Manager (who in most cases will be from CHID). In the case of establishments in which the environmental hazard predominates, however, the Assessment Manager may be from one of the Agencies. The formal communication to the operator of the results of the CA's assessment of the safety report will be led by the Assessment Manager and done jointly by HSE and the relevant Agency. 10. The manual has been developed as a project under a Project Board with membership from both HSE and the Agencies. This manual is intended for use by the CA during the handling and assessment of safety reports. There are, however, some sections which are specific to HSE: Part 1 Chapter 3 (Roles and Responsibilities), Part 1 Chapter 8 - in preparation (Audit and Review) and Part 1 Chapter 9 - in preparation (Assessment Training Needs). STRUCTURE OF THE MANUAL AND HOW TO USE IT 11. The manual is in two parts, each divided into chapters. Part 1 is primarily concerned with organisation and administrative matters, whereas Part 2 contains the guidance to be used by assessors during the assessment of safety reports. 12. The manual is intended as an operational document for those involved in the handling and assessment of safety reports. Guidance is given below on those sections of the manual which are most relevant to the different roles involved in the handling and assessment of safety reports. 13. All staff involved in safety report handling and assessment should be aware of: a. The Guiding Principles in Part 1 Chapter 2, providing the fundamental top level guidance for the handling and assessment of safety reports. b. The relevant roles and responsibilities as defined in Part 1 Chapter 3. c. The procedures relevant to their roles and responsibilities presented in: - Part 1 Chapter 4 (for the handling and assessment of safety reports), - Part 1 Chapter 5 (for processing of applications made under Regulation 7(12) for limiting information in safety reports), - Part 1 Chapter 8 - in preparation (for measuring, reviewing and auditing the assessment process). 14. Administrative staff, the Assessment Manager and Assessment Team member(s) from EA/SEPA should refer to Part 1 Chapter 6 (information for the public register). In cases where the Assessment Manager is from EA/SEPA, the HSE Regulatory Inspector member of the Assessment Team will also need to refer to Part 1 Chapter 6. 15. Part 1 Chapter 7 is in preparation. This Chapter will give procedures for designation of groups of establishments where the consequences of a major accident may be increased because of their location or proximity to each other (domino effects). 16. Part 1 Chapter 9 is in preparation. This Chapter identifies training and competency requirements for HSE staff involved with assessment of safety reports. 17. The Assessment Manager and Assessment team will also need to refer to the assessment criteria contained in Part 2, as the benchmarks for the technical judgements made when considering safety reports. In particular, they should know how to use the criteria and the principles on which the criteria are based (Part 2 Chapter 1).

c. d.

18. A integrated glossary of terms is presented in Appendix 1 of this chapter which defines various terms used throughout the manual. Where relevant, the glossary closely follows the interpretations given in the Regulations and their supporting guidance document L111. If further interpretation is required, however, it is recommended that the reader refers directly to the Regulations or guidance document. 19. Flowcharts have been used throughout the manual. Figure 2 gives an explanation of the symbols used. QUALITY ASSURANCE 20. The various Chapters of this manual have been produced using PRINCE project management techniques. As part of its preparation, each component was produced to quality criteria agreed by the Project Board and an independent quality review in accordance with the project procedures. The manual has been produced by multidisciplinary teams comprising, as appropriate, representatives of the various CHID Units, Safety Policy Division, Nuclear Safety Division, EA, and SEPA. Individual Chapters of this manual have been subject to independent quality review as part of its production. There has been internal consultation within HSE on the technical guidance in Part 2. There has also been consultation on this technical guidance with industry, employees organisations, Local Authorities and other Government Departments via the Major Hazards Sub-Committee of the Advisory Committee on Dangerous Substances. 21. The relevant requirements of ISO 9001 (Quality Systems - Model for Quality Assurance in Design/Development, Production, Installation and Servicing (1994)) have guided the development of the system for safety report handling and assessment system set down in this manual 22. Implementation of the safety case handling and assessment system is subject to measuring, review and auditing in accordance with the procedure contained in Part 1 Chapter 8. CHANGE CONTROL 23. CHID 6 will be responsible for maintaining document control of this manual and will retain the master copy. 24. For HSE staff, hard copies of the manual will initially be distributed for training purposes. The manual will be put on the HSE INTRANET. CHID 6 will maintain control of the INTRANET version of the manual in accordance with change controls devised by the HSE INTRANET team; therefore, staff must work to the INTRANET version. 25. An up to date version of the manual will be available on the HSE Internet Web site. 26. CHID 6 will initially distribute a few hard copies of the manual to EA and SEPA to support training. The document will also be sent electronically by CHID 6 in a format agreed in advance with EA and SEPA; subsequent document control will be electronic. EA/SEPA are responsible for change control arrangements within their own organisations. 27. CHID 6 will review the manual on a six monthly basis. REFERENCE DOCUMENTATION 28. This manual is one of a number of documents providing internal guidance for CHID staff. The documents which cover the other main aspects of CHID's regulatory work are: a. Major Accident Response and Investigation Manual (Chemical and Hazardous Installations Division); b. FOD Guide to the Inspection of Health and Safety Management; c. Hazardous Installations Manual; d. COMAH Manual (in preparation); e. Instruction on NSD/CHID working arrangements in relation to COMAH (in preparation). APPENDIX 1- GLOSSARY

Abatement systems Activities

Systems designed to reduce the level of routine or accidental releases to the environment and hence the impact on the environment Events on the establishment under the control of the occupier but not necessarily directly involved with the installations where dangerous substances are located. These will include vehicle movements, transport and transfer operations. An audible or visible (or both) warning that a measured variable has exceeded set limits. It may be a process alarm and have no safety implications or it may be part of a safety-related control system, warning of the need for, or the implementation of, intervention to avoid danger. It may be associated with a

Alarm

trip system to initiate automatic intervention if the excursion continues beyond a further set limit. Appropriate Assessment Fit-for-purpose in the particular context - see also "suitable" and "sufficient". In this context, the process of reading a safety report and reaching a conclusion as to the adequacy of the demonstration that all necessary measures have been taken to prevent major accidents or minimise their effects. The field inspector responsible for co-ordinating the various assessment tasks and ensuring that the conclusions are communicated to the operator. The various people who will be completing the assessment process to the satisfaction of the assessment manager. These will include representatives from the various disciplines within HSE and the Environment Agencies. A unique numbering system used to identify chemicals according to the Chemical Abstracts System scheme. In relation to an establishment in England and Wales, the Health and Safety Executive and Environment Agency acting jointly. In relationship to an establishment in Scotland, the Health and Safety Executive and Scottish Environmental Protection Agency acting jointly (Regulation 2(1) refers). The degree to which all potential major accident and their causes are identified. In relation to a person, means control in the course of a trade, business or other undertaking carried on by that person. The means for controlling the realisation of hazards (i.e. limiting their occurrence probability/likelihood) and for mitigating the associated consequences (e.g. a water spray system for mitigating releases of anhydrous hydrogen fluoride). A means (manual or automatic) for maintaining operating variables within set limits. The primary function of a control system is economic (i.e. it is intended to ensure that the plant operates efficiently and produces a product that is within specification). If a control system has a role in the defence against excursions outside safety operating limits, then it should be regarded as a safety related control system. As defined in paragraph 104 of Part III of the Water Resources Act 1991. Defined standards of performance against which actual or predicted performance can be assessed. A substance, mixture or preparation-

Assessment Manager Assessors

CAS Number Competent Authority

Completenes s Control Control measures

Control system

Controlled Waters Criteria Dangerous

substance
a) listed in column 1 of Part 1 of Schedule 1 of the Regulations, or, b) which satisfies the criteria laid down in Part 3 of Schedule 1 of the Regulations, and present as a raw material, product, by-product or intermediate (Regulation 2(1) refers). Any reference to the presence of dangerous substances should include a reference to the anticipated presence of dangerous substances and the presence of those which it is reasonable to believe may be generated during loss of control of an industrial chemical process (Regulation 2(3) refers).

Demonstrati on of safety Directive (The) Directly involved Enforcement Environment Establishme nt

The process by which the operator provides information to show that all necessary measures to prevent major accidents, or mitigate their effects have been taken. Council Directive 96/82/EC (also known as the Seveso II Directive or the COMAH Directive). A situation where a major accident occurs involving dangerous substances where the dangerous substance causes harm to people or the environment. The range of tools available to the regulator from advice and guidance through to legal action. The surroundings around, over and under an establishment including the flora, fauna, buildings and infrastructure. The whole area under the control of the same person where dangerous substances are present in one or more installation. (For this purpose, two or more areas under the control of the same person and separated only by a road, railway, or inland waterway shall be treated as one whole area). (Regulation 2(1) refers). The severity of the consequences of any potential major accident for people or the environment. Essentially dose-response relationships for converting hazardous phenomena (spatial and temporal variations in contamination concentration, overpressure, thermal radiation) into harm for people and the environment. A physical situation with the potential for human injury, damage to property, damage to the environment or some combination of these. The process of identifying undesired events that lead to a hazard being realised, the analysis of the mechanisms by which these undesired events could occur and the estimation of their likelihood and the magnitude of any harmful effects. The frequency at which an individual may be expected to sustain a given level of harm from the realisation of specified hazards. The principle whereby the control of a hazard is achieved at source by design rather than by employing measures to prevent its realisation or reduce the

Harm Harm criteria Hazard Hazard analysis

Individual risk Inherent safety

consequences of that realisation after the event. Initiator (initiating event) Installation Some event that can escalate and lead to the realisation of a major accident.

A unit or area in which dangerous substances present are, or are intended to be, produced, used, handled and stored and it includes:
a) equipment, structures, pipework, machinery and tools, b) railway sidings, docks and unloading quays, serving the installation, and c) jetties, warehouses or similar structures, whether floating or not, which are necessary for the operation of the installation (Regulation 2(1) refers).

Key Risk Control Systems Major accident

Those risk control systems which are of key importance for the prevention and mitigation of major accidents. An occurrence (including in particular a major emission, fire or explosion) resulting from uncontrolled developments in the course of the operation of any establishment leading to serious danger to human health or the environment, immediate or delayed, inside or outside the establishment and involving one or more dangerous substances (Regulation 2(1) refers). The operator's policy with respect to the prevention of major accidents

Major Accident Prevention Policy (MAPP) Management arrangement s

In the context of health and safety at work in general, the term applies to an employer's arrangements for health and safety management and covers the elements of "policy", "organising", "planning and implementing", "measuring performance" and "audit and review". The concept is explained in HS(G)65 and Section 1.1 of the FOD Guide to the Inspection of Safety Management Systems. In the context of major hazards, the term applies to the operator's arrangements for managing major hazards and covers the same elements but as they relate to the prevention and mitigation of major accidents i.e."Major Accident Prevention Policy", "organising....etc". Management aimed at the prevention and mitigation of major accidents.

Management of major hazards Mitigation Nature of hazard Normal operating

The process of reducing the scale of the consequences of a major accident. The physical and chemical state of the substance e.g. a liquefied toxic gas stored under pressure as opposed to a refrigerated flammable gas. The normal operating limits are those operating constraints which apply under all normal operating modes. They are set so as to ensure that a suitable

limits

margin is present between normal operating conditions and the safe operating limits, such as to allow the application of controls (automatic, manual or both) to prevent excursion beyond the safe operating limit. An excursion beyond the normal operating limit will not usually lead to a significantly increased risk of loss of containment, fire or explosion. A person who is in control of the operation of the establishment or installation, (or in relation to an establishment or installation which is to be constructed or operated, the person who proposes to control its operations or, if that person is not known, the person who in the course of a trade, business or other undertaking carried on by him has commissioned its design or construction). A person may be an individual, corporate body or a partnership. (Regulation 2(2) refers). A general description but not providing the detailed information necessary for demonstration of safety to man and the environment. It is a general outline without extensive detail. Any operation by which dangerous substances are handled, or changed in some way. Under CIMAH this was used to determine particular requirements under the legislation and process was defined by a list of named operations. This is no longer the case in COMAH which does not distinguish between process and storage. An active or passive means of protecting plant from dangerous conditions either from within (e.g. overpressure) or without (e.g. fire). The means for eliminating hazards or reducing their likelihood and for mitigating the associated consequences. This includes approaches to inherent safety and identification of suitable control measures. The quantity of a dangerous substance as defined in Schedule 1 of the Regulations and used to determine the application of the various provisions of COMAH A process used to restore the performance of a catalyst or chemical reagent that has become exhausted during normal operation. May be carried out either on-line or off-line. The risk remaining after all proposed control measures for the establishment have been properly implemented. The likelihood of a specified undesired event occurring within a specified period or in specified circumstances. The process of hazard analysis, and the estimation of associated levels of risk to people, property, the environment or a combination of these. The process of risk analysis and the evaluation of the significance of the

Operator

Overview

Process

Protective system Prevention

Qualifying inventory Regeneratio n Residual risk Risk Risk analysis Risk

assessment Risk Control System (RCS) Risk reduction

results. Management system designed to control a particular risk or category of risk. The concept is explained at Section 1.1 of the FOD Guide (see also Key Risk Control Systems). The process of risk assessment coupled to a systematic consideration of potential control measures and a judgement on whether they are reasonably practicable to implement. Essentially the process for demonstrating that the adopted controls make the risk to people and the environment ALARP. The safe operating limits are the values beyond which the plant has not been designed to operate safely. They are usually synonymous with plant 'design conditions', i.e. the conditions against which the plant has been designed, specified and built. An excursion beyond the safe operating limit will result in a significantly increased risk of loss of containment, fire or explosion. Safe operating limits may require to be reviewed periodically based on the influence of age and condition of the plant and equipment. In relation to an item, an item of equipment is safety-critical if either: its failure could cause or contribute substantially to, or its purpose is to prevent, or limit the effect of, a major accident.
In relation to an event, an event is safety critical if its occurrence could lead to a significant release of contaminant with major consequences.

Safe operating limits

Safetycritical

Safetyintegrity Safetyrelated control system Safety Management System (SMS) Safety Report Scale of the hazard Serious

The probability of a safety related system satisfactorily performing the required safety functions under the stated conditions within a stated period of time. A system which both implements the required safety functions needed to maintain a safe state, and achieves, in conjunction with other risk reduction measures, the necessary safety integrity. The concept is explained at Section 1.1 of the FOD Guide. In the context of major hazards, the term applies to the operator's management arrangements and key risk control systems required for the prevention and mitigation of major accidents and in scope encompasses the issues described in Schedule 2 of the Regulations. A document sent by an operator to the Competent Authority under Regulation 7, Safety Reports (or Regulation 8, Review and Revision of Safety Reports) The severity of the worst case scenario. Essentially determined by the loss of containment of the maximum inventory of the substance presenting the hazard. When the measures for prevention and mitigation of a major accident are

deficiency Societal risk

sufficiently lacking to require prohibition of the use of an establishment as described in Regulation 18. The relationship between frequency and the number of people suffering from a specified level of harm in a given population from the realisation of the specified hazards. The presence of dangerous substances for the purposes of warehousing, depositing in safe custody, or keeping in stock (Regulation 2(4) refers). Means that something (e.g. evidence and arguments) is well developed and presented and does not require further elaboration in order to provide a valid input to the demonstration that the control measures adopted make the risks ALARP. This means that something is valid for a particular situation and set of circumstances. A means of actively ensuring that conditions within plant remain within safe limits. Trip systems work in association with alarm systems (q.v.) and operate by detecting excursions beyond alarm conditions and shutting the process or equipment down to a safe condition. Reducing the throughput of a continuous process but still within its design parameters. Suitable procedures or models have been applied without mistakes, including validity checks e.g. the derived estimates of event likelihood, consequences etc. (whether qualitative, semi-quantitiative, or quantitative) are realistic and compatible with company or other recognised benchmarks. A means of equalising the pressure within plant with that of the ambient atmosphere. Testing the accuracy of any aspect of the safety report. This will be part of the inspection process after the desk top assessment of the safety report is complete. Usually associated with the loss of containment of the maximum inventory of the hazardous substance and the subsequent scenario that produces the worst outcome for people or the environment.

Storage Sufficient

Suitable Trip system

Turndown Used correctly

Vent Verification

Worst case scenario

Part 1 Chapter 2

Assessment of Safety Reports Under COMAH Guiding Principles


Contents

INTRODUCTION EXPLANATION GUIDING PRINCIPLES MANAGEMENT PRINCIPLES Organising Planning and Implementation Review Auditing

INTRODUCTION 1. These principles and arrangements have been prepared for use by staff of the Competent Authority (CA) to give guidance on the way that safety reports are to be assessed. They describe the underlying principles and arrangements for the process of assessment that the CA will follow in assessing safety reports required by the Control of Major Accident Hazards Regulations (COMAH). 2. The assessment of safety reports is a requirement of the Seveso II Directive and therefore the Regulations. However, assessment is one part of an overall 'enforcement' strategy for those installations that must prepare them. The term 'enforcement ' is used in its wider meaning to include the range of tools available to the regulator from advice and guidance to legal action. As such the assessment process must meet current enforcement policy, it should be transparent, consistent, proportionate and targeted. 3. Operators will have the opportunity to use existing HSE complaints procedures 1 if they are aggrieved at the way in which the assessment of their safety report has been handled. 4. The management model described in the HSE publication HS/G 65 "Successful Health and Safety Management" holds good for a wide range of management processes including the assessment of safety reports. These guiding principles and arrangements are therefore structured in the same format as the recommended structure in HS/G 65 i.e. Policy, Organising, Planning & Implementation, Measuring performance, Auditing and Review of performance (POPMAR). EXPLANATION 5. The text is divided into 2 parts i.e. the Guiding Principles and the Management Principles. Each guiding principle or arrangement has been derived from one of the 6 POPMAR categories. The Guiding Principles are the aims and objectives of the assessment process i.e. the policy. They are followed by the remaining categories under management principles which ensure that the assessment process is delivered in a targeted, consistent, proportionate and transparent way. 6. Criteria expanding on the general framework as well as detailed procedures will be found in subsequent sections of this manual. These provide more detailed guidance for assessors on assessing whether the content of a safety report meets the purposes of the COMAH Regulations. They will refer to existing good practice, the use of recognised standards or published guidance where these are available. 7. For each principle and arrangement, the text is generally divided into two parts. The principle or arrangement itself is written in bold text with a further description, if necessary, in normal text. Each principle and arrangement has a number of the type GPX or MPX. GUIDING PRINCIPLES GP1 The duty to ensure that necessary measures have been taken to prevent major accidents and to limit their conseque operator and no conclusions reached following assessment of a safety report by the CA diminishes that duty. 8. The process of assessment is strictly to establish to the CA's satisfaction that the requirements of the regulations have been properly addressed and, as far as can be reasonably determined from the report, within the time scale and scope of the assessment, that the operator has taken appropriate action to prevent major accidents and limit the consequences to man and the environment. 9. Assessment is not a check of the operator's design by the CA and the conclusions of the assessment cannot be regarded as a statement that the CA has determined that an establishment is 'safe'. 10. The duty to ensure that an establishment is designed, constructed and managed safely remains with the operator. GP2 Assessment is a structured process by which the CA examines the adequacy of safety reports against the purposes s Regulations and which contributes to the CA's decision about whether the measures taken by the operator for the are seriously deficient. 11. The CA is either the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) and the Environment Agency (EA), or the HSE and the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA). 12. The examination by the CA should determine whether operators have complied with their statutory obligations relating to the submission of safety reports and in particular whether the safety report: a. contains sufficient information; b. makes the demonstrations required and overall it demonstrates that the operator has taken the necessary measures to prevent major accidents and limit their consequences; c. enables the CA to identify whether there are any serious deficiencies in the measures to prevent major accidents and limit their consequences. 13. Schedules 2 and 4 of COMAH require the assessment to provide answers to the questions listed in Part 2 Chapter 1 Appendices 2 and 3. These form the basis of the assessment criteria found in Part 2 of this Guide. 14. The CA has a duty to conclude its assessment of the safety report within a reasonable period of time and to communicate its conclusions to the operator. What is a reasonable period of time will vary and the Guidance to the

Regulations relates this to the type of report e.g. initial, (i.e. the first COMAH report for existing establishments) modification, update, pre-construction or pre-operation. The CA must conclude whether operators have made the demonstrations required by Schedule 4 Part 1. The outputs from the assessment process will be one of 3 actions by the CA at any one stage during the assessment process i.e: a. a request for more information from the operator; b. contact with the operator where serious deficiencies in the prevention and mitigation measures are suspected; c. communication of the assessment conclusions to the operator. 15. In completing its conclusions, the CA will also prepare an inspection plan to follow up on matters identified in the safety report and which will cover the period until the next update of the safety report is due. 16. The discovery of other deficiencies may require enforcement action under other regulatory powers. These matters will form part of an inspection programme for the particular establishment. GP3 Hazards should be avoided or reduced at source through the application of principles of inherent safety. Where ris such as ALARP (as low as reasonably practicable) for health and safety matters or BATNEEC (best available tech environmental matters should be used to determine the extent of the preventive and mitigation measures required. 17. Operators are required to take 'all necessary measures' to prevent a major accident or limit their consequences (COMAH Reg.4). Operators should therefore be able to demonstrate that they have looked at ways of avoiding the hazards or reducing them at source through the application of the principles of inherent safety. Clearly, it is more likely to be reasonably practicable to take measures to avoid or reduce process hazards at source during the design stage of new plant and equipment and as early as possible during the design process. It is at this stage that assessors will need to look for evidence of the use of principles of inherent safety to remove or reduce hazards to people and the environment. Even so, risks will remain, and the overall demonstration that 'all necessary measures' have been taken should be made on the basis of existing legal frameworks that risks should be reduced ALARP (as low as reasonably practicable) for health and safety matters, or BATNEEC (best available technology not entailing excessive costs) for environmental matters. 18. Operators should therefore be able to demonstrate that they: a. have identified the possible hazards of their operation and; b. have considered options for reducing the risks arising from these hazards including; - reducing the quantity of hazardous substances present and therefore the consequence of a loss of containment 2 (in the case of explosives by reducing the quantities present which could be involved in an incident); or - by changing the process to use substances or conditions that are intrinsically less harmful

and have properly considered these against the costs and effort involved to reduce the hazards and risks. GP4 The assessment of the safety report is part of an overall enforcement strategy for top tier COMAH sites. 19. The assessment of a safety report should not be seen as an isolated or 'one-off' process. It is part of a cycle. Information gained from assessing the safety report will be used to inform the inspection plan for a particular operator or a particular establishment. The converse is also true. Information gained from inspection and investigation will be used to inform the safety report assessment. The CA will continue to build on its knowledge and experience of dealing with an operator to help it assess each subsequent report. GP5 Conclusions about the safety report will be based on an assessment made against criteria by means of a structured published. 20. These will be incorporated into an Assessment Manual which will be available for information and use outside the CA. 21. Assessment criteria will be also be included and will be used: a. to assess the arguments and reasoning, including the use of standards and the following of guidelines, which demonstrate that the purposes of Schedule 4 Part 1 of the regulations have been met; b. to identify any shortfalls in the measures taken by the operator for the prevention and mitigation of major accidents that would be regarded by the CA as serious deficiencies in the context of Regulation 18. 22. Guidance on how assessors should use the criteria can be found in Part 2 Chapter 1. GP6 The conclusions of an assessment can be based on a full consideration of selected elements of the safety report. 23. The CA's conclusions will be framed in terms of whether the purposes of a safety report required by COMAH Schedule 4 Part 1 have been met.

24. The CA should target its resources to ensure that it assesses reports effectively and in a reasonable period of time. To achieve this end the CA may not need to examine every element of every safety report. Where assessment is based on the examination of selected elements of a safety report the process will: a. involve selection of a range and type of element of the report sufficient to permit the assessor to have confidence about the conclusions drawn from the answers to the questions in Appendices 2 and 3 of Part 2 Chapter1; b. ensure that the items for examination are identified in accordance with the guidance in the manual and the reasons for choosing them are recorded. 25. In practice this may mean that some of the measures provided will not be assessed by the CA but these should relate to the less hazardous sections of an installation and the less safety critical 3 activities, in the judgement of the assessors. 26. Selection will be guided initially by: a. the major accident hazards of each installation within an establishment; b. previous assessments both at the particular and related establishments and installations. With this knowledge, account can also be taken of plant or system vulnerabilities, or weaknesses in safety management systems which might contribute to major accidents. c. information about the 'loss of containment' hazards and perceived risks and focused on the relevant preventive measures and the SMS. 27. This selection can then be used to contribute to the conclusions about the management arrangements and the elements specified in Schedule 2 of the Regulations. Further factors for selection include: a. the report itself; b. local knowledge e.g. gained from site visits such as previous inspections and audits. (NB This knowledge may identify gaps in the report and its structure but should not be used to fill in gaps on behalf of the operator); c. previous accidents and incidents on-site and elsewhere; d. models that identify the most likely preventive and mitigation measures to avoid a major accident e.g. the in-house STATAS 4 audit model; e. other information sources and techniques still under development. 28. Where reports are submitted by operators in parts, using the COMAH Reg 7 (10) arrangements, each part should be regarded as a full report for the purposes of assessment. A selective scrutiny of the information in each part may be made, in line with the guidance above. 29. CIMAH reports were written for hazardous installations. For multi-installation establishments these reports can continue separately as part of the COMAH safety report for an existing establishment. Unless there is evidence that a particular individual report relates to a relatively low risk plant, the presumption should be that each individual report will be assessed either fully or in selected elements to complement the assessment of the full report. The extent of the assessment will be judged on the basis of whether the assessors are satisfied that they can conclude that the purposes of the safety report have been met based on the elements they have assessed. 30. The primary factor in selecting information for assessment in 'updated' reports will be the examination of the new information in the reports. However, assessors will not be precluded from choosing elements of the report that have not changed from previous submissions but were not assessed previously. If the assessors wish to re-examine parts that have been previously assessed then the Assessment Manager should record the reasons for this before the work starts. GP7 The CA's assessment conclusions will be based on the evidence in the safety report 31. The purpose of the assessment is to review the documentary evidence in the report and further documentation, as appropriate, which is referred to in the report. There is no need for visits to check on the accuracy of information contained in the report during the assessment process, other than following up on suspected serious deficiencies in the measures provided to prevent major accidents or limit their consequences. Checks on accuracy of selected elements of the report will be included as part of a systematic inspection plan. 32. The conclusions drawn from the assessment will be primarily based on the information contained in the report but will also be based on intelligence from inspection and other factors and sources of information described in principle 4 to identify deficiencies in the report. All existing COMAH sites will be subject to an inspection programme. Assessors may seek further clarification from the operator on assessment issues which exceptionally could include site visits at the inspector's discretion e.g. for new establishments, installations or sections of installations. Site visits will always be made where serious deficiencies are suspected. 33. Serious deficiencies will be dealt with as described in GP9. GP8 The contents of the safety report will also be subject to verification and further scrutiny as part of a continuing inspection programme, following the CA communicating its conclusions to the

operator. 34. When the CA sends its conclusions about the report to the operator, the CA is not acknowledging that the performance standards detailed in the report are being implemented. Where there is prior knowledge by the assessors, then this will be used to test whether the report gives a reasonable picture of site conditions. If the report is considered to be factually incorrect by assessors then they will request 'further information'. 35. Subsequent inspection findings will be dealt with as part of the routine enforcement activities of the CA. Where changes are made that require amendments to the information provided in the safety report then the operator and the CA will agree whether a further report is required based on current published guidance. If the changes do not have significant repercussions for preventing major accidents or limiting their consequences amendments can be left until the next review of the report required every 5 years. GP9 Where a potential serious deficiency is identified, the site will be visited before action is taken. Normally the CA's line management will agree the prohibition action before it is taken. 36. Action, jointly with the Agencies where appropriate, on an identified serious deficiency should not be delayed until the safety report assessment process is completed. Factors to be taken into account when considering whether measures are seriously deficient, can be found in Part 2 Chapter 1. 37. Assessors must obtain first hand evidence to support a prohibition decision. Before prohibition action is taken, the facts in the safety report relating to the potentially seriously deficient measures and the assessors conclusions should be checked by discussion with the operator. A site visit will be required to obtain first hand information before such action is taken. In some cases matters thought to be serious deficiencies may not require a site visit, following satisfactory explanation and further information by the operator. 38. Before taking Regulation 18 prohibition action, normally the issue should also be the subject of prior discussion with the Assessment Manager and with relevant members of the assessment team and agreement on that course of action obtained at Band 1 level (or as set out in the EA/SEPA's scheme of delegation). 39. Nothing in this principle affects the normal approach to the exercise of Prohibition Notice powers set out in Section 21 of the HSW Act, dealing with general health and safety matters. The use of COMAH prohibition powers is dealt with in the ' COMAH Manual' MANAGEMENT PRINCIPLES Organising MP1 An Assessment Manager will be appointed for each safety report to be assessed and the name made known to the operator to provide the primary point of contact for communications about the report. 40. The assessment of each safety report will be managed following project management principles with a clear start and end point. The Assessment Manager (AM), in consultation with the assessment team, will draw up an Assessment Plan for each safety report. This plan will cover (amongst other things) timing, resources to be used and issues to be addressed. 41. The name of the AM should be agreed between HSE and the Environment Agency/SEPA and recorded on receipt of the report. The AM will be at Band 2 or 3 level as appropriate (or as set out in the EA/SEPA's scheme of delegation). This will normally be a Band 3 working in the HSE Inspection Group dealing with the site, but these arrangements may vary e.g. if there is a Lead Inspector/Unit dealing with a particular operator nationally. It may be appropriate for the AM to reside in the Agencies where the environmental hazards predominate. The AM's identity will be a matter of public record. MP2 Assessment will be by a team composed of members with the necessary competences 42. For each safety report, an assessment team with the required discipline background, skills and knowledge to answer the questions in Part 2 Chapter 1 Appendices 2 and 3 will be appointed. This team will agree an assessment plan. 43. Before the conclusions of the safety report assessment are given, all views of the assessment team should be considered. In the event of a disagreement within the team which cannot be resolved by discussion, AMs will refer to their line managers who will make a decision based on information from all the assessment team. The procedures will provide a mechanism that permits an individual team member who feels aggrieved about the decision to challenge this. 44. Where views differ between team members from different parts of the CA, the AM will not submit the conclusions until the differences have been resolved using arrangements described in the procedures in Part 1 Chapter 4 and which are in accordance with the agreed inter-departmental Memoranda of Understanding. Planning and Implementation MP3 The CA's performance standards will be published.

45. Performance standards which specify what is required for completion and the time scale, will be set for key milestones in the process. These performance standards will be published in a manual. 46. The CA's annual workplan will allocate the necessary resources for the expected workload in order to meet the performance standards required by safety report assessment. MP4 The assessment procedures will be set out in a manual and will be guided by the relevant requirements of ISO 9001. 47. Clear roles and responsibilities of those involved in the assessment process will be defined in the procedures. MP5 The effort put into assessing a safety report will depend on a number of factors including the hazard, but enforcement will be proportionate to the risk, as identified by the CA. 48. The effort put into assessment should be sufficient for the CA to answer the questions in Part 2 Chapter 1 Appendices 2 and 3 within a reasonable period of time and form its conclusions about the safety report. The CA has limited resources and therefore has to target its effort to discharge its responsibilities as effectively as possible. Safety reports provide extensive information and much detail. But many matters identified as requiring further consideration during the assessment process will not be of serious concern and do not need to be pursued to closure in order for the CA to reach conclusions on the adequacy of the Safety Report. When the hazards have been properly identified and the preventive measures established, then the resultant risks should be used to judge what action should be taken by the assessor. An assessor's action should be proportionate to this risk e.g. whether there is a serious deficiency or the extent to which to pursue matters as part of an inspection plan. In other words the assessors actions will be consistent with the current enforcement policy and be proportionate. MP6 Monitoring against published performance standards will be an integral part of the assessment process. 49. Line managers for AMs should monitor whether the performance standards e.g. at milestones are being met. 50. The conclusions from the assessment will be 'signed off' by the AM's line manager. The signing off will involve confirmation that the conclusions have been derived in accordance with the agreed procedures, are consistent with the assessment records and that the action that the AM is proposing, including proposals for the inspection programme is in accordance with HSC's four enforcement principles i.e. targeting, transparency, consistency and proportionality. 51. Clear roles and responsibilities of those involved in measuring performance will be defined as part of the assessment procedures. 52. These roles and responsibilities will be additional to the monitoring role of the technical/professional input of individual team members by their respective line managers. 53. Line managers of individual team members (including the AM) will be responsible for monitoring the quality of the 'professional' input of their staff into the assessment process and will also provide guidance as appropriate on 'professional' matters within their competence. MP7 The CA's' actions will be confirmed in writing to the operator. 54. The conclusions of a safety report assessment should give the CA's views, what action is to be taken by the CA and what is expected from the operator. 55. Any prohibition of an activity will also be confirmed in writing. Review MP8 Procedures will include an in-built mechanism for review. 56. Reviews will take place as described in Part 1 Chapter 8. The reviews will consider whether: a. performance measures are being achieved and whether there are any difficulties; b. the overall aims and purposes are being achieved; c. the principles and procedures are right, taking into account the views of assessors and those being assessed. Auditing MP9 The assessment process will be auditable 57. The assessment procedures will be designed to ensure resources are properly allocated and used efficiently, legal obligations are being complied with, and that consistent, professional judgements are being reached within the published time scales, and to ensure that information is recorded which allows this to be demonstrated by audit. FOOTNOTES 1 See Booklet "HSE and You" HSE 34 2 prevention of 'loss of containment ' is of primary importance for the vast majority of chemical processes, however, for the explosives industry the primary prevention measure for a major accident is the removal of sources of ignition. Where the term 'loss of containment' is used in the text, it incorporates this primary measure for explosives sites. 3 For definition of "safety critical" see Part 1 Chapter 1.

4 STATAS is a structured audit technique for auditing management arrangements and which focuses on the risk control systems relating to the containment of hazardous materials Part 1 Chapter 3

Roles and Responsibilities


Contents

Head of Division Band 1 CHID 6 Band 1 CHID 1-5 Band 1 CHID 7, CHID 8 Band 2 Regulatory Inspector CHID 1-5 Band 2 Discipline Specialist CHID 1-4 Assessment Manager Line Managers to Assessors Assessor/Assessment Team Administrator
JOB HOLDER WITHIN CHID/ROLE Head of Division 1. Secure competent resource TASKS IDENTIFIED IN ASSESSMENT PROCEDURES Element 1: Pre-Planning 1. Check that 5 year plan prepared annually on time. 2. Check that annual workplan completed on time, distributed and countersigned. Element 6: Assessment Outcome 1. Monitor any prohibition activity. Band 1 CHID 6 Provide and maintain procedures for COMAH assessment. 1. Monitor assessment process. Element 6: Assessment Outcome 2. Identify requirements for competent resource. 1. Monitor number of assessment conclusions letters sent out late and the reasons for this. 2. Provide contact for advice and guidance to staff undertaking work on assessment process. Band 1 CHID 1-5 Element 1: Pre-Planning. 1. Allocate competent resource. 1. Check that Band 2 Regulatory Inspector has identified COMAH 2. Monitor against targets and standards. given in establishments. the assessment procedures. 2. Check that Band 2 Regulatory Inspector has put in place arrangements for 3. Resolve Assessment Team disagreements. handling notifications. 4. Endorse prohibition activity. 3. Agree rolling 5 year plan annually with Band 2 Regulatory Inspector. 4. Agree annual workplan with Band 2 Regulatory Inspector. 5. Check that Band 2 Discipline Specialist in Unit has secured technical resource to implement the plan. Element 5: Implement Assessment Plan. 1. Check on progress within Sections/Units and provide quarterly report to Head of Unit Element 6: Assessment Outcome 1. Ensure, by attending at least one meeting annually, that meetings are held in accordance with assessment system.

2. Resolve disagreements about the assessment between members of the Assessment Team in discussion with Band 1s of assessors involved. 3. Liaise with AM in relation to prohibition in the cases of serious deficiency. Sign off COMAH Prohibition Notice. Band 1 CHID 7, CHID 8 Element 1: Pre-Planning 1. Ensure allocation of identified assessment 1. Agree 5 year and annual plans prepared by the CHID 7/CHID 8 Band 2 resource assessor to meet resource requirements identified by the Band 2 Discipline 2. Monitor against targets and standards given in Specialist in Units 1-5. assessment procedures Element 6: Assessment Outcome 3. Disagreements resolution 1. Liaise with Field Unit Band 1 in resolving disagreements where CHID 7/CHID 8 assessor is involved. Band 2 Regulatory Inspector CHID 1-5 Element 1: Pre-planning. 1. Overall work planning for assessment 1. Identify COMAH establishments. 2. Identify resource requirements 2. Put in place arrangements to handle notifications for new sites. 3. Allocate identified resource 3. Prepare a 5 year plan at the appropriate time. 4. Monitor against targets and standards given in 4. Prepare annual workplan , estimate assessor's resource requirement, assessment procedures allocate AM per site, agree with Band 1, provide workplan to Band 2 5. Moderator role in Assessment Team Discipline Specialist. discussions Element 2: Report Received. 1. Check that AM is keeping a record of cases where there is failure to provide a safety report by its due date. 2. Putting in place arrangements to process safety reports. 3. Putting in place arrangements to process commercial/personal confidentiality applications in relation to safety reports in line with guidance in the Assessment Manual. 4. Check that AM in determining commercial/personal confidentiality applications is consistent with guidance in the Assessment Manual Element 3: Draft Assessment Plan. 1. Check that AM, in judging whether a safety report contains grossly insufficient information, is being consistent with guidance in the Assessment Manual. 2. Check that any draft assessment plan prepared by AM seems reasonable. For 1 in 5 reports, check consistency with guidance in the Assessment Manual. 3. Check that actions taken by the AM where a safety report contains grossly insufficient information are in line with enforcement policy. Element 4: Final Assessment Plan 1. Check that AM has arranged a planning meeting or can provide justification for reasons why a meeting is not needed. 2. Check that assessment plan is consistent with Assessment manual guidance. 3. Authorise assessment plan. Element 5: Implement Assessment Plan. 1. Monitor progress against assessment plan milestones - sample 1 in 5 reports. 2. Monitor progress within Sections/Units against milestones. Element 6: Assessment Outcome Meeting. 1. Chair meeting (or have other arrangement) to come to assessment conclusions. 2. Monitor process of communication of conclusions to operator. 3. Monitor assessment process. Particular attention to be given to areas of assessors' concern in relation to potential serious deficiency. 4. Check basis of decisions in relation to matters put forward for inspection Element 7: Assessment Follow Up 1. Check that AM in determining commercial/personal confidentiality applications is consistent with guidance in the Assessment Manual

Band 2 Discipline Specialist CHID 1-4 1. Secure technical resource. 2. Monitor against standards and targets in assessment procedures.

Element 1: Pre-Planning 1. Secure technical resource to meet annual workplan prepared by Band 2 Regulatory Inspector. Element 5: Implement Assessment Plan 1. Monitor progress within Sections/Units against milestones. Assessment Manager Element 2: Report Received. 1. Manage assessment in line with standards and 1. Check that administrator has acknowledged receipt of all safety reports targets in assessment procedures. and confidentiality applications/notifications received. 2. Manage confidentiality requests in accordance 2. Check that administrator has recorded information on date, number with agreed procedures. received, type, unique identifier. 3. Assessment. 3. Check that administrator has forwarded copies to AM, Assessors, 4. Bring to attention of line management any Agencies. significant disagreement, failure or difficulty in 4. Check that administrator has forwarded any confidentiality meeting stated milestones in assessment process. applications/notifications to AM. within specified timescales. 5. Lead on enforcement, including prohibition 5. Check that administrator is monitoring failures to submit report on time. activity. 6. Record action of non-receipt of safety report on time. 6. Provide balanced view of safety report 7. Determine any commercial/personal confidentiality applications received assessment based on views of all assessment in relation to safety reports. Consult, as a minimum, with Site Inspectors team members in written conclusion by the CA. from HSE and Environment Agencies and, depending on nature of request, 7. Send conclusions letter to operator on behalf other assessment team members. of all parts of CA . 8.Respond to commercial/personal confidentiality applications received in relation to safety reports. Element 3: Draft Assessment Plan. 1. Judge whether report contains grossly insufficient information. 2. Draft initial contents of assessment plan if report does not contain grossly insufficient information. 3. If the safety report contains grossly insufficient information, take appropriate action (Letter to operator/HSW Improvement Notice). If the report is not re-submitted by agreed deadline or date required by the Regulations, take further action in line with enforcement policy. Element 4: Final Assessment Plan. 1. Consider whether planning meeting is necessary, and if so, arrange. 2. Prepare assessment plan using feedback from team members. Element 5: Implement Assessment Plan. 1. Monitor progress by team members by checking against milestones in assessment plan. Element 6: Final Outputs 1.Communicate conclusions to operator. 2.Record concerns if suspect serious deficiency. Visit site and prepare record to establish whether on site conditions reflect assessment concerns. 3. Issue COMAH Prohibition Notice in cases of serious deficiency. 4. Record assessment team matters for inspection and basis for decisions. Element 7: Assessment Follow Up 1.Determine any commercial/personal confidentiality applications received in relation to safety report conclusions. Line Managers to Assessors Element 1: Pre-Planning. 1. Allocate resource. 1. Give resource commitment as identified by Band 2 Regulatory Inspector. 2. Monitor against standards and targets in Element 5: Implement Assessment Plan. assessment procedures. 1. Check 1 in 5 reports of assessors' contributions to determine technical quality of contributions. 2. Check progress within Sections/Units against milestones. Assessor/Assessment Team Element 2: Safety Report Received. 1. Assess 1. Assist AM, if requested, with determining any commercial/personal 2. Enforce confidentiality applications received in relation to safety reports. 3. Provide input to assessment of confidentiality Element 3: Draft Assessment Plan. requests where requested by Assessment 1. Provide feedback to AM on draft assessment plan.

Element 5: Implement Assessment Plan. 1. Provide assessment comments/conclusions. Element 6: Assessment Outcome. 1. Record concerns if suspect serious deficiency. Visit site and prepare record to establish whether on site conditions reflect assessment concerns. Manager Element 7: Assessment Follow Up 1. Assist AM, if requested, with determining any commercial/personal confidentiality applications received in relation to safety report conclusions. Lead Unit/Co-Ordinating Inspector To take the lead in deciding how common issues for multi-site operators should be assessed/dealt with [Instructions being developed] Administrator Element 2: Report Received. 1. Track safety report submissions 1. Acknowledge receipt of safety report confidentiality 2. Administration of safety reports in accordance applications/notifications. with assessment procedures. 2. Record information - date, number, type, unique identifier. 3. Administration of confidentiality requests in 3. Forward copies to AM, Assessors, Agencies. accordance with assessment procedures. 4. Identify failures to submit safety reports on time on quarterly basis. 5. Acknowledge receipt of confidentiality requests (if received). 6. If safety report accompanied by commercial/personal confidentiality application, forward application and safety report to AM within specified timescales

Part 1 Chapter 4

Assessment Procedures
Contents

PURPOSE OF THE ASSESSMENT PROCEDURES OVERVIEW OF THE ASSESSMENT PROCEDURES DESCRIPTION OF EACH ELEMENT IN THE SAFETY REPORT ASSESSMENT PROCEDURE Element 1. Pre-Planning Element 2. Safety Report Received Element 3. Draft Assessment Plan Element 4. Final Assessment Plan Element 5. Implement Assessment Plan Element 6. Assessment Outcome Meeting

Element 7. Assessment Follow up

ASSESSMENT PROCEDURES FOR MODIFICATION SAFETY REPORTS Introduction

Purpose of the Assessment Procedures for Modification Reports Element 1. Pre-Planning Element 2: Safety Report Received Element 3: Draft Assessment plan Element 4: Final Assessment Plan Element 5: Implement Assessment Plan Element 6: Assessment Outcome Meeting Element 7: Assessment Follow up

ASSESSMENT PROCEDURES FOR SAFETY REPORTS ISSUES PRIOR TO COMMENCEMENT OF CONSTRUCTION Introduction

Purpose of the Assessment Procedures for Pre-Construction Parts of Safety Reports Element 1. Pre-Planning Element 2. Safety Report Received Element 3. Draft Assessment Plan Element 4. Final Assessment Plan Element 5. Implement Assessment Plan Element 6. Assessment Outcome Meeting Element 7. Assessment Follow Up

ASSESSMENT PROCEDURES FOR SAFETY REPORTS ISSUED PRIOR TO COMMENCEMENT OF OPERATION Introduction Purpose of assessment Procedures for POSRs

Element 1. Pre-Planning Element 2. Safety Report Received Element 3. Draft Assessment Plan Element 4. Final Assessment Plan Element 5. Implement Assessment Plan Element 6. Assessment Outcome Meeting Element 7. Assessment Follow Up

Appendix 1: Types of COMAH Safety Report that could be Received from Establishments Appendix 2: Protective Markings Table 1 - Definitions of Protective Markings

Table 2 - Descriptions for Protective Markings which may be Relevant to Safety Report Assessment Table 3 - Handling Protective Marked Material - Minimum Standards, April 1994 Appendix 3: Proformas for Draft and Final Assessment Plans Draft Assessment Plan Final Assessment Plan

Appendix 4: Assessment Recording Forms Team Conclusions Descriptive Aspects Predictive Aspects MAPP and SMS Aspects Technical Aspects Emergency Response Aspects

Appendix 5: Framework Letters for Communication with Operator Framework Letter to Operator Advising of Safety Report Due Date

Framework Acknowledgement Letter to Operator

Framework Letter to Operator Requesting Re-Submission of Safety Report Framework Letter to Operator Requesting Information in Support of Safety Report Framework Letter to Operator Giving Assessment Conclusions

Appendix 6: Identifying Safety Reports Received Appendix 7 - Outputs from Assessment Recommended for Inclusion in Inspection Plans Appendix 8 - Guidance on Target Agenda Appendix 9 - Timescales for Safety Report Assessment Timescales for Modification Report Assessment

Timescales for Pre-Construction Safety Assessment Report (Single Document) Timescales for Pre-Operation Safety Report Assessment

Appendix 10 - Electronic Safety Reports Figure 1 - Safety Report Assessment Procedures (view or print) Figure 2 - Procedure Covering Element 2: Safety Report Received (view or print) Figure 3 - Final Assessment Plan Procedures (view or print)
PURPOSE OF THE ASSESSMENT PROCEDURES 1 To provide a framework so that the purpose of assessment can be achieved efficiently and effectively. 2 The purpose of assessment is set out in detail in Part 2 Chapter 1. In summary, the purpose of assessment by the CA is to: f. examine the INFORMATION in the safety report and see whether it is SUFFICIENT to meet the purposes of such a report; and g. assess whether the PURPOSES have been achieved eg whether the required DEMONSTRATIONS have been MADE; and h. inform the operator of the CAs CONCLUSIONS from doing (a) and (b). During reading of the report the information will be used by the CA to: d. take prohibition action where certain MEASURES appear to be SERIOUSLY DEFICIENT in preventing a major accident or limiting the consequences of one (and this is confirmed by a site visit), e. make recommendations concerning certain installations, parts of installations or activities at an establishment which relate to preventing or controlling a major accident, to include them in the CA's INSPECTION PROGRAMME. OVERVIEW OF THE ASSESSMENT PROCEDURES 3 The procedures require: f. a team of competent assessors drawn from both HSE and the Environment Agencies;

g. an Assessment Manager (AM) [see para 9] and plan for each safety report under assessment. 4 The procedures describe: a. steps to be followed and tasks to be done by each person involved; b. performance standards (eg timescales and defined actions); c. decision point(s) and milestones; d. rules for communication with operators prior to and at decision points; e. systems for recording any issues considered, conclusions reached and reasons for decisions. 5 The assessment procedures divide into seven sequential elements, as shown in Figure 1. Each element has a purpose and a description of the tasks which must be done before passing on to the next element. 6 Elements include tasks to which indicative timescales have been attached which should not be exceeded; tasks can however be completed ahead of these timescales. The timescales are from receipt of the report and include allowance, within reasonable limits, for additional information which may have to be provided by the operator to allow the CA to come to a conclusion. In setting timescales for tasks, account should be taken of planned workloads. Timescales considered reasonable for the operator's reply to CA requests will depend on the type of information requested. For straightforward CA requests, for example, copies of documents referenced in a report or preparation/collation of information, periods of about one month for operator response are generally considered reasonable. In the event that the operator does not supply information within a reasonable period, timescales may be increased by the CA on a case by case basis. Appendix 9 shows the timescales for tasks described in the assessment procedures for the various types of report submitted by the operator (para 8 refers). 7 In these procedures, "read" means to examine the information in the report, whilst "assess" means to make judgements about the information in the report (having first read it). 8 Figure 1 applies to all types of safety report, but there are differences in detail depending on the type of report submitted by the operator. Appendix 1 lists the different types. This chapter gives procedural detail for standard COMAH safety reports, modification reports and for reports submitted prior to commencement of construction and operation for new establishments. 9 The AM will generally be the local inspector in HSE responsible for the particular establishment. There may be establishments in which the primary major accident risk is to the environment and it is agreed within the CA that the relevant Agency should provide the AM. 10 Unless otherwise specified, any HSE posts mentioned in the procedures, for example, Band 1, Band 2 etc, refer to Regulatory Inspectors as opposed to Discipline Specialists. Any reference to a Regulatory Inspector in the context of CHID 5 means a Specialist Explosives Inspector. TopOfPageTopOfPagePARTBPARTB DESCRIPTION OF EACH ELEMENT IN THE SAFETY REPORT ASSESSMENT PROCEDURE Element 1. Pre-Planning Element 2. Safety Report Received Element 3. Draft Assessment Plan Element 4. Final Assessment Plan Element 5. Implement Assessment Plan Element 6. Assessment Outcome Meeting Element 7. Assessment Follow up ELEMENT 1. PRE-PLANNING Purpose To plan and co-ordinate the work to be done on safety report assessment. 11 Integrated plans have to be developed for the predicted safety report assessment workload at divisional, unit, team and personal levels. 12 The plans will identify and estimate the: a. number of assessments to be undertaken; b. expertise needed; c. resources required; d. where these resources will come from; e. contingencies needed to cope with non-routine assessment demands (eg new establishments and modifications to existing ones); f. resource shortfalls (or excesses); g. timescales - expected safety report submission dates and assessment time frames. 13 The primary source for all plans dealing with safety report assessment is that produced at Regulatory Team level in CHID Units 1 to 5. Aggregation of Team plans produces Unit and Divisional plans. Provision of technical

assessment is planned and co-ordinated by Discipline Specialist Teams in CHID Units 1 to 4 and liaison with Unit 8 and RSGs also produces plans for those parts of HSE. Planning of predictive assessment is carried out by Unit 7 in consultation with Units 1 to 4. The exemption to this is CHID 5 who provide their own technical and predictive resource. Where the need for additional technical or predictive resource for non-explosive aspects on licensed explosive sites is identified, CHID 5 will liaise with the relevant inspectors in Units 1-4, and Unit 7 to enable these resource requirements to be included in their plans. 14 Provision of assessment resource for environmental matters will be planned by EA or SEPA as appropriate based on information provided by the CHID Regulatory Teams. The Agencies may take the lead on sites where environmental matters are the main major accident hazards and will develop similar plans for these establishments. Task 1.1: Record COMAH Top Tier Site Details Action by: Band 2, 15 Identify and list all establishments covered by COMAH top tier requirements and record: a. names and addresses, b. numbers of installations, c. the type of safety report expected (see Appendix 1), d. a judgement of likely complexity of assessment primarily to establish resource requirement; this will depend on, for example, hazard potential, the type of plant or process (novel or standard), the age of the plant (generally, older process plant is likely to merit more thorough assessment due to the increased risk arising from plant deterioration with time), the risk control measures in place. e. the date when submission of safety reports is expected using the timings from the Regulations and knowledge of the last submission date under CIMAH (if applicable) or COMAH. (The Regulations and Guidance explain the rules on timing.) f. The Band 2 may use any source to aid identification; including - computer systems such as the HSE Field Operations Computer System (FOCUS) which is one of the databases holding information on HSEs dealings with operators (e.g. visits, Notices issued), - paper files, - personal knowledge, - team knowledge, - contacts with operators, - contacts with the Environment Agencies and local authorities. 16 The Band 2 should arrange to keep the list up to date as a result of notifications and new information. When in place, the HSE computer Common Information System (CIS) will facilitate this task. 17 This information should be passed on to those who will require it in their planning activities, including the Field Unit Band 2 Discipline Inspectors (in the case of Units 1-4), Unit 7 Band 2 Inspectors (in the case of Units 1-4) and nominated contacts from the Environment Agencies (to be provided). Task 1.2: 5 Year Plan Action by: Band 2, Units 1-5 18 For the establishments covered by COMAH top tier requirements, the Band 2 will record the expected submission dates, by quarter, for 5 years ahead. Task 1.3: Annual Plan Action by: Band 2, Units 1-5 19 Each year, prepare an annual plan to start on 1 April for the submissions expected. This plan will coincide with the normal HSE planning cycle. The plan should include a contingency for modification reports, based on previous experience in the team. The annual plan is to be kept under review and amended (for example, if information is received that a new establishment is starting up). 20 Predict, for each submission due in the planning year ahead, the likely resource allocation required and its timing. To inform predictions, use information in this manual about the way in which individual safety report assessment plans are to be drawn up, and previous experience. 21 For multi-establishment operators, take account of agreements made between the operator and the Lead Unit/Coordinating Inspector with respect to dealing with common issues in the safety report. [Detailed procedures are being developed.] 22 Allocate AMs to each expected submission in agreement with the Agencies. Arrangements with respect to AM selection should be made by discussion with nominated contacts (to be provided) in Local Agency Area Offices. The AM should be from the Band 2's team, and responsible for enforcement of COMAH at the establishment concerned; the exception to this is where the AM is to be allocated from the Agencies based on whether environmental impact is the primary concern for a major accident. 23 Pass all of this information to those who will require it for their annual plans, including the Field Unit Band 2 Discipline Specialists, Unit 7 Band 2 Inspectors and the Environment Agencies. In particular, for Units 1-4, the

resources required for Technical Assessment should be discussed with the Discipline Specialist Band 2 in the Unit, who will secure RSG, CHID 8 and external resources, as necessary. Any supplementary technical resource required by CHID 5 should be discussed with the Band 2 Discipline Specialist in the appropriate Unit covering the region where the explosive establishment is situated. Resources required for Predictive Assessment should be communicated to and discussed with the relevant CHID 7 Band 2. 24 The Band 2 should discuss plans with any other parts of HSE during their development under the normal planning cycle. Discussions should also be held with nominated contacts from the Environment Agencies (to be provided). Any issues that cannot be resolved by the Band 2 should be referred to the Band 1 for resolution (for example, managing peak workloads for members of assessment teams). Generally, draft plans should be available by end December, and plans finalised by end February for the planning year commencing 1 April. The finalised annual plans should, where possible, identify individual members of assessment teams against each expected submission and give an estimate of their commitment and when this is required. The plans should at least identify the HSE teams which have given a commitment to provide a member of the Safety Report Assessment Team, (e.g.Wales &West RSG, Mechanical, 5 days). 25 For each safety report, confirm nomination from the EA or SEPA of their assessor/AM one month before the report is due; 26 Send a letter to identified COMAH Top Tier operators one month before their safety report is due advising of a. due date, b. AM assigned, c. number of copies of the report required (9 + original); that one copy will suffice but in such cases CA will charge for making remainder, d. requirement to make applications for exempting information in the safety report from the COMAH Public Register on the grounds of personal, or commercial confidentiality grounds or informing the CA that an application has been made to the Secretary of State (AM to provide contact point - see Part 1 Chapter 6) on the grounds of national security at the time the report is submitted - the AM should also request a copy of the application (Part 1 Chapter 6 covers information for the Public Register); e. option to consult with AM on scope of para (d) applications in advance of submitting them. This letter should be modelled on the appropriate standard framework letter given in Appendix 5. 27 Similarly, for update reports, send a letter to the operator advising of the review due date, and of the required subsequent notification to the CA that this review has been carried out. The operator should also be advised of points (b) to (e) above in relation to any update report to be submitted. As for initial reports, this letter should be modelled on the appropriate standard framework letter given in Appendix 5. Technical Assessment - Annual Plan Action by: Band 2 Discipline Teams, Units 1 to 4 28 It is the responsibility of Band 2 Discipline Specialists in Units 1 to 4 to provide a co-ordinating role in identifying and securing the resources necessary for technical assessment, including non-explosive installations on licensed explosive sites. 29 Band 2 Discipline Specialists should liaise with Regulatory Band 2s in their Unit, and with CHID 5, to establish what submissions are expected in the planning year, their timing and the likely requirements for Discipline Specialist Input. This should be done well in advance of the deadline for production of the final Unit plan (generally, by end February for the planning year running from 1 April to 31 March). 30 Band 2 Discipline Specialists from Units 1 to 4 should meet to discuss the expected demand for technical assessment resources and to allocate the resources available from within their own teams, RSGs and CHID 8. The need for any additional external resources should also be identified at this point and action initiated to secure them. 31 The resources required for technical support should be communicated to and agreed with each RSG Band 1 and CHID 8 Band 2. Agreement should be sought on membership of Assessment Teams for each expected submission, plus an agreement for contingencies. This information should be fed back to Regulatory Band 2s, for inclusion in their plans. CHID 7, CHID 8 and RSG - Annual Plans Action by: Band 2s CHID 7, CHID 8 and RSGs 32 CHID 7 Band 2s should agree the annual resource allocation directly with Regulatory Band 2s in their delegated area. Agreement should be sought on membership of Assessment Teams for each expected submission, plus an agreement for contingencies. 33 CHID 8 and RSG Band 2s (via the Band 1) should agree the resource allocation with Band 2 Discipline Specialists in CHID Units 1 to 4. Agreement should be sought on membership of Assessment Teams for each expected submission, plus an agreement for contingencies.

34 All Band 2s in CHID 7, CHID 8 and RSGs should analyse the total resource allocation for their teams for resource peaks, troughs, shortfalls and excesses, and attempt to resolve them into an achievable plan in liaison with the Regulatory Band 2. All Band 2s from CHID 7, CHID 8 and RSGs to raise with their Band 1s any unresolved planning issues. Action by: All Band 1s - CHID 1-5, CHID 7-8 and RSGs 35 Authorise the final annual plans at team level, having resolved all issues. ELEMENT 2. SAFETY REPORT RECEIVED To describe the actions to be taken following receipt of a safety report, and the actions to take if a Purpose report is not received Task 2.1: Safety report processing arrangements Action by: Band 2, Units 1-5 36 These procedures assume a written report is received. Electronic safety reports will be allowed by the Regulations. Guidance on arrangements for handling electronic safety reports can be found in Appendix 10. These procedures may have to be amended to cover processing of them; this point will be addressed at the next update of the procedures. 37 Following Figure 2, devise local arrangements in each CHID Unit office to cover the following tasks: a. re-direct reports to the correct HSE office if necessary, normally within 24 hours of receipt; b. date and record receipt of safety reports, normally within 24 hours of receipt; c. identify the type of safety report received (see Appendix 1: the type affects the detail of the assessment plan); d. tag each copy of the report with a unique identifier prior to distribution (Appendix 6 gives details); e. acknowledge receipt of the report to the operator and name the AM in that letter; f. In line with Part 1 Chapter 6 of this manual, which gives the procedure for providing safety reports for the Public Register, acknowledge (i) receipt of any accompanying application for information to be excluded from the public register version of the safety report on the grounds of commercial and/or personal confidentiality, and/or (ii) receipt of any accompanying correspondence from the operator of requests made to the Secretary of State for information to be excluded from the public register version of the safety report on the grounds of national security, OR iii) confirm that the operator is not making any applications for excluding information from the public register version of the safety report on the grounds of commercial and/or personal confidentiality, or applying to the Secretary of State for excluding information on the grounds of national security; g. check and record the number of copies received from the operator. The AM should confirm how many copies are required for the assessment. These should be obtained from the operator or the CA will itself promptly make copies from the original to avoid delays. At least 2 original copies should be obtained from the operator, one for assessment and the other to be placed on the public register. To ensure the assessment process is carried out efficiently, a total of 9 copies plus the original have been found necessary; h. write to operator to inform employee representatives informing them of the name of AM and of the information in paras (e) and (f); i. despatch a copy to the appropriate AM within 5 working days of receipt; j. send copies to members of Assessment Team (allocated in pre-planning element) as requested by AM, including, where appropriate, CHID 7, CHID 8, RSGs, and other HSE members, within 5 working days of receipt; k. in the unlikely event of contractor effort having been secured at the pre-planning stage, send 1 copy to the Discipline Specialist responsible for providing technical assessment resource who will manage the contractors involvement. For Units 1- 4, this will be the Band 2 Discipline Specialist inspector located in the CHID Unit, in the case of CHID 5, this responsibility may be at Band 2 or Band 3 level; l. send 2 copies to the EA or SEPA (details will be provided by Agencies) within 5 working days and request written acknowledgment of receipt; Providing Safety Reports for the Public Register

38 The procedure in Part 1 Chapter 6 should be followed when a safety report is received. Part 1 Chapter 6 provides guidance on excluding from the register commercially and personally confidential information and information contrary to national security interests. 39 The CA has 28 days from the date of the application to assess any commercial and personal confidentiality applications made by the operator. 40 Operators are required to make requests for confidentiality on the grounds of national security to the Secretary of State. The CA must be notified of such requests. 41 Of particular importance, on receipt of an application for commercial and or personal confidentiality, Part 1 Chapter 6 requires a copy of the report and application to be sent by administrative staff to the appropriate AM and the Agency member of the assessment team (allocated in the pre-planning element) within 2 working days of receipt. If the AM is from either EA or SEPA, send a copy of the report and application to the HSE Regulatory Inspector member of the assessment team. 42 Figure 2 shows the sequence in which the Task 2.1 steps are to be conducted. Task 2.2 Failure to submit report Action by AM 43 Identify any operators who fail to submit a safety report by the due date. Appendix 1 provides details of due dates for safety reports [note: safety report due dates are not finalised]: a. For establishments which came within the scope of CIMAH and had submitted a CIMAH safety report, - if the 3 yearly CIMAH update is due between 1 April 1999 and 3 February 2000, a COMAH report should be submitted by 3 February 2000. The Regulations permit a later submission date (no later than 3 February 2001) if agreed in writing by the CA [Exemption criteria for agreeing later submissions are in preparation];

- if the 3 yearly CIMAH update is due between 3 February 2000 to 3 February 2001, a COMAH report should be submitted on the date the three yearly CIMAH update would have been due, or at a later date (no later than 3 February 2001) if agreed in writing by the CA; - if the 3 yearly CIMAH update is due after 3 February 2001, a COMAH safety report should be submitted by 3 February 2001.
b. For sites with more than one installation, some CIMAH safety reports were presented in the form of a core report dealing with aspects of major hazard control generally applicable across the site and installation specific reports which were submitted, and therefore updated, at different times. The core and installation reports are each part reports and the full complement of part reports is considered to be the safety report. Even so, Regulation 7(10) allows the CA to take action on each of these parts straightaway, e.g., to examine and come to conclusions about them, without waiting until all the parts have been received. In the transitional CIMAH to COMAH period (1 April 1999 to 3 February 2001), where a CIMAH update is due for an installation safety report, operators should submit the core part with the first installation report due, conforming to the COMAH Regulations. This should be followed up with submissions of the other installation reports no later than the dates due and in any case no later than 3 February 2001. Alternatively, operators may provide a complete establishment COMAH report when the first CIMAH update is due. If the operator fails to submit the core information with the first installation report, then the CA is unlikely to have all the information required by Schedule 4 Part 2 to assess whether the purposes of Schedule 4 Part 1 have been met. In such cases, the CA should request further information using Regulation 7(13) setting a date for its receipt. Enforcement action, such as an Improvement Notice, may be appropriate in accordance with HSEs Enforcement Policy. Establishments within scope of COMAH top tier but which have not previously been required to submit a safety report under CIMAH (e.g. explosives sites newly brought into scope), must submit a COMAH safety report by 3 February 2002. COMAH safety reports must be reviewed, and if necessary revised, at least every 5 years, because of new facts or to take account of new technical knowledge about safety matters, or on operator changes to the safety management system which could significant repercussions with respect to prevention and mitigation of major accidents. The updated safety report should be submitted to CA on or immediately after the 5th anniversary of the due date of the earlier report. If the operator

c. d.

decides no revision is required, then the CA should be notified of this fact in accordance with Regulation 8(2). If such a revision has not been completed within one month of the 5th anniversary, then appropriate enforcement action should be considered. e. For sites with more than one installation, the review should be completed by the date on which on which the 5th anniversary for each installation falls. The CAs assessment for each part cannot be completed without re-submission of the core information report or the operator notifying of its review and confirming no changes. To demonstrate that he has complied with Regulation 8(3), the operator should also, on completion of the submission of all parts of the report covering each of the installations, confirm that he is satisfied that all the parts together contain all the information relating to the establishment. 44 For operators who have not submitted their safety reports by their due dates, enforcement action such as issue of an Improvement Notice, is appropriate for delays in excess of one month. Prohibition under Reg 18(2) should only be used where an operator is unwilling to produce a report. The AM should inform other members of the Assessment Team of the delay and the expected date of submission. 45 Record the number and types of overdue reports and the number and nature of associated enforcement actions taken. Task 2.4: Arrangements for Document Handling. 46 Operators of COMAH Top Tier establishments are asked to provide the CA with copies of their safety report. Unless information is to be excluded from the public version of the report on the grounds of commercial, personal or national security (Part 1 Chapter 6 provides guidance), one of these copies will be placed on the Public Register. Since a copy is publicly available, there are no security implications in relation to storage of the remaining copies. However, a clear desk policy is custom and practice within HSE and safety reports should generally be kept out of sight when not in use. 47 Appendix 2 specifies arrangements for handling confidential information. These arrangements will be followed in relation to handling parts of safety reports where confidentiality is an issue. 48 On completion of the assessment process, 3 copies plus the original of the safety report are to be retained by the CA: Public Register copy; original for the CHID site inspector, copy for the Agency site inspector; copy for CHID C. On communication of its assessment conclusions to the operator (section of procedures on Element 6: Assessment Outcome Meeting is relevant), the CA will ask the operator to specify whether he wants the redundant copies of the safety report to be returned or destroyed by the CA. 49 Similarly, when an updated safety report is received, arrangements for dealing with the earlier version are to agreed with the operator on completion of the assessment of the updated version. 50 The CAs assessment records will be filed at the Assessment Managers Local Office and retained for a minimum of ten years. This retention period is in line with guidance provided in HSE Operational Minute OM 1995/153 which establishes procedures for maintenance and operation of FOCUS. Assessment records will comprise of: a. Draft and Final Assessment Plans; b. Written contributions of individual assessors to the CAs assessment conclusions; c. Conclusions letter to operator. Action by: Band 2 Line Manager of AM 51 Devise local arrangements in each CHID Unit Office to cover: a. retention of assessment records; b. disposal or return of redundant copies of safety reports as requested by the operator. ELEMENT 3. DRAFT ASSESSMENT PLAN Purpose To determine whether the safety report appears to contain enough information. To prepare the first draft of the assessment plan and discuss it within the team. Task 3.1: Judgement on whether the report appears to contain grossly Action by AM, within 5 weeks insufficient information. 52 Read (do not assess) the safety report to determine whether (prima facie) the operator has provided appropriate information against the main headings listed in Schedule 4 Part 2 [minimum information to be included in a safety report]. If the report refers to text submitted for other purposes, for example IPPC, then the operator should have identified who in the CA has copies (or have attached copies to the report). 53 Decide and record whether (prima facie) the report appears to contain the minimum information. If it appears that there is obviously not enough information in the report, contact the operator giving details of the shortcomings found and emphasising that the operator must check for any further omissions as well as addressing the ones uncovered. Inform employee representatives at the same time. The shortcomings and omissions should be

substantial rather than minutiae, and be linked to a clear breach of the Regulations (Schedule 4 Part 2). Agree resubmission of the whole report to a deadline which is to be agreed with the AM. Enforcement action to obtain a resubmission within a suitable time frame is appropriate. Communication to the operator should be modelled on the standard framework letter given in Appendix 5 for cases where the minimum information requirements of Schedule 4 Part 2 are not satisfied and a re-submission is therefore required. Further: a. inform others who were scheduled to be involved in the assessment of the delay and likely date for the procedure to start again; b. the date on which the whole report is re-submitted will be taken as the actual date of receipt for the operator's report, and the time period for its assessment will start from this date. The date on which the re-submitted safety report is received will be the date from which the clock starts with respect to setting the due date (maximum 5 year period set by the Regulation 8(1a)) for review and revision of the report; c. when the re-submitted safety report is received, it goes through the same procedure again (beginning with the "safety report received" element 2). The re-submitted report is to be given a unique identifier. This report will be then be the version for the public register, with all copies of the earlier version returned to the operator. 54 The AM should monitor the operator's progress in meeting re-submission dates. If the safety report is not resubmitted within the deadlines, ascertain the reasons for the delay and re-negotiate deadlines if appropriate. If the operator is being unco-operative, decide on appropriate enforcement action, such as issue of an Improvement Notice, in line with HSC's enforcement policy, CHIDs enforcement strategy and discussions with the Band 2. Assessment Team members may wish to read the report and contribute to the AMs view on whether the report contains grossly insufficient information. 55 If it appears that the report contains at least the minimum information, then the remaining tasks in this element should be undertaken. Task 3.2: First draft of assessment plan: Initial contents Action by AM, within 5 weeks of receipt 56 The purpose of the assessment plan is to record: a. who is working on the assessment, b. the time they intend to spend, c. what deadlines they will aim for, d. any local background information available to the AM to assist assessors in forming a judgement on which parts of the safety report to focus assessment effort, e. any information provided by the Lead Unit/Co-ordinating Inspector about a multi-establishment operator. Appendix 3 gives a proforma for the Draft Assessment Plan. 57 The Band 2 Regulatory Inspector and Band 2 Discipline Specialist will have the majority of this information from the pre-planning stage: assessment team, target deadlines and approximate assessment time for each assessor. 58 The question of what to assess is the most difficult issue to address. What is a good enough sample? For some reports it may be appropriate to read and assess all the information; for others, all the information must be read but it may be more appropriate for a sample to be selected for assessment to determine whether the purposes of the safety report have been met. This should be based on individual assessor's discretion, in consultation with other members of the assessment team, prioritising the choice by safety significance identified in the first instance (this may change as the assessment develops). 59 The Assessment Team must be satisfied with the risk analysis but could, for example, sample measures for prevention. Therefore, as a matter of policy, for all reports, the plan must include the information on the descriptive information and major accident scenarios. It must also include a "target agenda" of other issues which are selected from the remaining information in the report. 60 The "target agenda" should be devised so that assessors have enough data to come to conclusions about the purposes of the report (the demonstrations). In other words, elements of the report should be selected which allow assessors to come to conclusions about: a. the MAPP and safety management system (Schedule 4 Part 1, para 1); b. the design, construction operation and maintenance (Schedule 4 Part 1, para 3); c. on-site emergency plans (Schedule 4 Part 1, para 4). In short, whether the necessary measures have been identified to prevent major accidents and to limit their consequences for persons and the environment. 61 Appendix 8 gives an aide-memoire of issues for assessors to consider when drawing up a target agenda.

62 For multi-establishment operators, the AM should consult the Lead Unit/Co-ordinating Inspector for guidance on content of the draft assessment plan. 63 Some items on the target agenda may not be covered in detail in the report itself. The assessment procedures permit the seeking of more information for the purpose of coming to assessment conclusions, through consulting records on file, or by phone calls, contacts and written requests to the operator. All direct contact with the operator should be arranged through and agreed with the AM. 64 The draft plan should detail assessment responsibilities. Assessment responsibilities should be agreed within the team before the plan is finalised, and the AM may decide on particular allocations, but normally: a. the predictive assessor will be from CHID 7, or CHID 5 for explosives sites, and should be allocated anything pertaining to major accident scenarios; b. relevant technical assessors will have been secured from CHID Units 1-4, CHID 8, RSGs, external resources by the Band 2 Discipline Specialist in Units 1-4 at the pre-planning stage and should be allocated anything to do with technical aspects of major accident prevention; CHID 5 has its own specialist technical assessors but may also require input from time to time from other specialists. c. the AM is also the management systems assessor and should be allocated the MAPP, safety management systems and emergency planning (Note: specialist support for human factors, safety managememt systems and emergency planning is now available from the human factors team (MSDU B1). The team would welcome an early initial approach at this stage if the AM/AT would like advice on possible referrals. A temporary briefing note has been issued to the discipline specialists on likely areas of deficiency for human factors; d. the environmental assessor will be from the environment agencies and will look primarily at environmental matters and also make a contribution to other issues. 65 AMs will generally be from HSE, unless the primary major accident hazard is environmental and the relevant Agency agrees to act in this role. 66 Send copies of the draft assessment plan to: a. HSE Assessment Team members, including, where applicable, those, from CHID 7, CHID 8, RSG and other HSE Directorates. b. Band 2 Discipline Specialist located in the same CHID Unit in cases, not expected to be the norm, where external contract resource is involved; c. EA or SEPA nominated environmental assessor. Task 3.3 Draft Assessment Plan - Feedback from team Action by: team members sent copies of the assessment plan, within 2 weeks of receipt of the plan 67 To provide feedback to the AM on (and input to) the draft Assessment Plan in relation to: a. whether they wish to be involved in the assessment team at all. If not, they should give written reasons; most assessment teams will consist of 1 operational inspector, 1 predictive specialist, technical specialists as allocated at the pre-planning stage by the Band 2 Discipline Specialist in the Unit and 1 Agency inspector. However, for assessment of some types of report, there may be a more restricted membership. For example, for wood treatment works, the assessment team is likely to comprise an Agency and operational HSE inspector; for gas holders, the Agencies are unlikely to be involved; b. provisional Target Agenda and to include details of what each thinks they should assess; c. resource required for assessment; d. team membership & additional specialist resource outside the CHID Unit which may be needed; and e. timetables for detailed assessment for each team member, taking account of planned workloads. 68 The aim of the feedback should be to move towards an appropriate final assessment plan. 69 In order to provide the feedback, team members will need to read the report in sufficient detail to gain adequate understanding. In order to meet the deadline for replies about the plan, this reading may have to be started on receipt of the copy of the safety report (up to 4 weeks earlier than the plan may be received). 70 Detailed assessment against criteria is not required at this stage. Nevertheless, assessors may uncover issues because they will have read the report with knowledge of the criteria in mind, as well as their own recollections of the operator. These should be fed into discussions about the draft plan. Task 3.4: Draft Assessment Plan: Decision on whether to hold a planning Action by AM meeting 71 Depending on the feedback from team members, decide whether a planning meeting is necessary. In most cases, it will not, and communication by phone or in writing should suffice to devise the final assessment plan.

72 The purpose of any planning meeting would be to discuss the draft assessment plan and agree a final assessment plan. ELEMENT 4. FINAL ASSESSMENT PLAN Purpose To devise a final assessment plan for each safety report that (amongst other things): a. confirms the assessment team b. finalises the resources likely to be expended c. identifies aspects of report to be assessed, including the target agenda, and the reasons for selection d. lays down milestones and timing for particular stages of the assessment. Task 4.1 Convert draft assessment plan into final Action by AM within 12 weeks of receipt assessment plan of report 73 Using the feedback received from team members (at a meeting or otherwise), produce and record the final assessment plan which should detail:

a. name of the Assessment Manager; b. names of those involved in the assessment team; c. assessment responsibilities of each member of the assessment team, in terms of the information to be examined; d. the Target Agenda and the reasons for selection of those parts of the report. This is an important aspect of the final Assessment Plan as it is the justification underpinning those aspects of the report which will be assessed in detail or omitted from further assessment. e. the resource (in days) that each team member is planned to use, expressed as a range if necessary; f. the deadlines for conclusions to be received by the AM from each team member; g. the date for the assessment outcomes meeting, which should be scheduled for no later than 7-8 months after receipt of the report.
Appendix 3 gives a proforma for the Final Assessment Plan. 74 Circulate the final assessment plan to team members and Band 2 line manager. 75 If discussions with team members do not lead to agreement on the final assessment plan, inform Band 2 line manager. Task 4.2 Approve final assessment plan Action by Band 2 within 15 weeks of receipt of report

76 Approve the final assessment plan if the contents are reasonable bearing in mind your knowledge of the operator and the resources available. Return approved final plan to AM. 77 Discuss issues with the AM (or team members or their line managers) if the plan has to be adjusted to gain your approval. 78 Refer to Band 1 any plan which you are unable to approve after discussion with all relevant parties. Task 4.3 Approve final assessment plan after resolving outstanding issues Action by Band 1 within 16 weeks of receipt of rep 79 Approve any plan referred by the Band 2 after resolving outstanding issues. Task 4.4 Distribute final assessment plan Action by AM within 17 weeks of receipt of report 80 Distribute the final plan to assessors. Task 4.5 Organise date and venue for assessment outcome meeting, to be within 10 months of receipt of report. 81 Figure 3 summarises the "final assessment plan" procedures. Action by AM

ELEMENT 5. IMPLEMENT ASSESSMENT PLAN Purpose To instruct staff on how to organise, communicate, operate and record in line with the approved final assessment plan. Task 5.1 Work the plan. Action by AM

82 Monitor progress by team members against the plan timetable. 83 As a result of monitoring, discuss with line management any significant adjustments needed to the plan and record those. Inform the assessment team of any significant adjustments to the plan which will affect the proposed date for sending conclusions 84 Communicate with team members regularly at set points in the plan concerning their emerging conclusions. 85 Communicate with the operator on behalf of team members in respect of any and all issues. 86 Contact the operator for any further information requested, and adjust the plan timetables if the information is delayed beyond reasonable time limits. Any written requests to the operator for further information should be modelled on the appropriate standard framework letter given in Appendix 5. 87 Manage any contacts with the operator in respect of the assessment or requests for more information. Decide the most efficient and effective way to obtain the additional information needed to come to a conclusion. For example, some information may be best obtained from inspecting paperwork on site and interviewing managers, whilst other information may be obtained by phone or in writing. Visits to site should be for the purpose of obtaining more information in order to come to a conclusion, not for systematically verifying information already stated in the report. Site visits should be the exception rather than the rule and only if the AM in consultation with the relevant assessor considers this to be the best means of obtaining information. Issues (if any) should be included in the inspection plan. 88 When site visits have been made, request the operator to provide written confirmation of the information provided during this visit. When the content of the visit is agreed by the relevant assessor, this constitutes additional information to be used in coming to assessment conclusions. 89 Enforce (if necessary) to obtain any information requested. 90 Discuss with team members and line management, any potential serious deficiencies in on-site conditions signposted from assessing the report. Arrange with the operator any visits to inquire into potential serious deficiencies, and draft prohibition under Regulation 18 if serious deficiencies are confirmed. Obtain authorisation from line management for draft prohibition and (if authorised) issue the prohibition, and subsequently administer any monitoring, enforcement or appeal in respect of the prohibition. 91 Arrange the assessment outcome meeting; 92 Record progress against the plan. Task 5.1 Work the Plan Action by all team members (including the 93 Assess the information in the safety report allocated to them in the plan, and in accordance with the plan. 94 Assess against the assessment criteria and in line with Part 2 Chapter 1 (How to use the Criteria) using their professional judgement. 95 Decide whether more information is needed to come to a conclusion and arrange to obtain that from the operator via the AM [refer to Part 1 Chapter 2 for clarification of the purposes of assessment]. Do this as assessment proceeds: do not wait for the assessment outcome meeting. Ensure that current versions of documents are referenced in the safety report. 96 Where the operator has sent information directly to assessors, the assessors should send this information to the AM for filing in the local office. If this information is used to help assessors come to a conclusion [in making any of the demonstrations required of a safety report or that there are serious deficiencies in the measures to prevent a major accident or in limiting the consequences of a major accident], then it must be allocated a unique number linking it with the number allocated to the original safety report. The Band 2s Units 1-5 should devise local arrangements in each CHID Unit office for retention of this information and also, where the information has been used to help assessors come to a conclusion, for allocation of unique numbers linking the information to the corresponding safety report. 97 Disclosure to the public of this further information will only be on request. Such requests from the public should be considered by the AM against the requirements of the Environmental Information Regulations 1992. Guidance on this matter is provided in the COMAH Manual and in HSE General Administrative Procedure 1 (GAP 1) Open Government: disclosure of information to the public (August 1995). Further advice is available from the CHID OSU Open Government Topic Lead.

98 Decide whether the report suggests that there are serious deficiencies in conditions on site and (if so) act on those without delay. Discuss with team members and line management. The AM will provide the focus for liaising with the operator to inquire into potential serious deficiencies using expertise from the assessment team as appropriate. 99 Make recommendations concerning certain installations, parts of installations or activities at an establishment which relate to preventing or controlling a major accident, for inclusion in the CA's inspection programme. 100 Communicate with the operator via the AM. 101 Communicate with other team members, as appropriate, about cross-team issues (for example, conclusions about management systems can be drawn whilst assessing technical issues or major accident scenarios). 102 Record conclusions about the parts of the report assessed. Records should be kept of: a. parts of the safety report assessed; b. what the conclusions were with respect to the safety report fulfilling the purposes specified in Schedule 4 Part 1; c. what standards, assessment criteria and intelligence (beyond that given in the report) were used in coming to conclusions; d. matters for consideration in inspection programme; e. any serious deficiencies signposted; f. any serious deficiencies actioned during assessment. 103 Standard forms given in Appendix 4 should be used by individual assessors for recording assessment conclusions. Also, individual assessors should produce a summary of points covered in items (b), (d), (e) and (f) in a form which can form part of the AM's communication of assessment conclusions to the operator (Appendix 5 gives framework conclusions letter). 104 Copy individual conclusions to all assessment team members. Task 5.2: Management of External Consultant Technical Resources Action by: Band 2 Discipline Specialist in 105 Manage any external consultant resource that has been engaged in the assessment. ELEMENT 6. ASSESSMENT OUTCOME MEETING Purpose To give instructions to staff on assessment outcome meetings; and define meeting purposes, membership, decisions, records, outputs, authority, and disputes resolution. Task 6.1 The meeting purpose Action by : All team members

106 The prime purpose of an assessment outcome meeting is to produce agreed conclusions about the assessment and to send them to the operator. A second purpose is to give guidance on issues to be included in the inspection plan by both parts of the CA. 107 Conclusions are drawn by the team, using their professional judgement, from testing the information they examined against the assessment criteria. 108 Conclusions should be drawn on: a. whether or not serious deficiencies on-site are signposted. If serious deficiencies in on-site conditions have been signposted from the report prior to the outcome meeting, then these should have been actioned already. However, if the team agrees at the meeting that further serious deficiencies on-site are signposted, such as accumulated evidence from more than one assessor, then the AM should arrange to visit the establishment to make inquiries with a view to prohibition under Reg 18; b. whether the report (taking into account any additional intelligence obtained during the assessment process) is sufficient to meet the purposes (ie whether the demonstrations have been made). 109 Normally, the demonstrations should have been made by this stage. 110 If the assessment team believe they have not been made, they should decide whether this is because: a) there is still insufficient information, in which case further information should be sought, or b) the totality of measures described to prevent or limit the consequences of a major accident are seriously deficient. In either case appropriate action should be taken. 111 The conclusions letter to the operator should be modelled on the standard framework letter given in Appendix 5. Although information may have been gathered from outside the safety report e.g. by letter or interviews, the operator should be advised to include this information in the safety report at the next update. The procedure for placing the assessment conclusions of a safety report onto the public register can be found in Part 1 Chapter 6, para 48 onwards.

112 For deficiencies in safety on site, signposted by the safety report, the team should decide their relative importance and recommend in their assessment record how they should be addressed. Task 6.2: Meeting Arrangements Action by: Band 2 of the AM . 113 Decide if a meeting is needed, in consultation with the AM. A meeting should have been set up provisionally by the AM as part of the assessment plan. The AM will decide who should attend the meeting. Chair any meeting. 114 Seek consensus from team members on conclusions and the priority for any remedial action by the operator. 115 Refer (if necessary) any issues in disagreement to the resolution arrangements. 116 Agree the contents of a letter to the operator giving conclusions (see Appendix 5). 117 Consider the issues recommended for inclusion in the inspection plan for the establishment. The Assessment Team should recommend issues, listed in the categories defined in Appendix 7, arising from their consideration of the safety report, to be taken into account in the preparation of inspection plans and subsequently followed up during routine (post-assessment) inspection. The identification of such issues is at the discretion of the Assessment Team. 118 Draft assessment conclusions must be sent to the operator prior to finalising them in writing. Decide whether to present the assessment conclusions to the operator at a meeting in addition to sending written draft conclusions. When sending/presenting draft conclusions, the operator should be reminded that the conclusions will go on the public register and of the need for him to consider any personal/commercial and national security issues related to the conclusions. Task 6.2 Meeting Arrangements Action by : AM 119 Arrange any meeting, including the agenda, in consultation with the Band 2; 120 Send the letter to the operator giving conclusions etc, copying to employee representatives, having arranged for it to be signed at the appropriate level (this will be at Band 2 level for CHID 1-4; it may be Band 3 in CHID 5). This letter should be sent within 2 weeks of the Assessment Outcome Meeting. 121 For multi-establishment operators, send a copy of the letter to the Lead Unit/Co-ordinating Inspector. Wherever possible, this action should be undertaken at the same time as presenting the conclusions to the operator and, in any event, sufficiently early to allow input of relevant central knowledge of the company to the final version of the conclusions letter. 122 Operators should be asked to notify the AM, within 28 days, whether or not there are any commercial/personal confidentiality issues they are applying to the CA for determination of, and if any applications are being made to the Secretary of State regarding issues of national security. Further information can be found in Part 1 Chapter 6, para 51 onwards. 123 Record the date of the meeting (if one was held), its membership and conclusions. If an issue was subject to disagreements resolution, then it should be recorded, together with the person it was referred to and the outcome. Inspection issues agreed should be recorded. The final conclusions letters to the operator should be copied and kept. Any conclusions that are for follow up by the Environment Agencies should be noted. Task 6.2 Meeting Arrangements Action by: All team members 124 Send preliminary conclusions to others on the team prior to the meeting, unless these have been sent out previously. For efficiency, these should be in a form suitable for sending to the operator (paragraphs 102 and 103 refer). 125 Attend the meeting. 126 Present conclusions and (if necessary) justify them. 127 Agree the letter to the operator detailing conclusions etc. 128 Agree the issues recommended for consideration in the inspection plan. 129 Get involved in the disagreements resolution procedure, if necessary. Task 6.3 Disagreements Resolution Procedure Action by: Band 2 of AM 130 The aim of the meeting is to achieve consensus within the team on the conclusions of assessment. Occasionally, consensus may not be reached, and the issues have to be referred for resolution. 131 For a health and safety issue, refer it to the Band 1 of the Field Unit responsible for regulation of the operator; this Field Band 1 should resolve the matter in discussion with the Band 1 of the assessor involved in the disagreement. 132 If the issue in dispute relates to an environmental issue, then the Memorandum of Understanding should be consulted to identify the HSE contact for discussions with the environment agencies. That contact should arrange for resolution within the environment agencies. 133 The Band 1 of the Field Unit responsible for regulation of the operator has authority to decide the outcome. 134 The letter of conclusion to the operator cannot be sent until the issue(s) sent for resolution are settled. Therefore, the CA should give some urgency to resolution of such disputes so that the CA can meet its target timescale of 12

months for communicating its assessment conclusions to the operator. When the result of the resolution procedure is received, ask the AM to send the conclusions letter to the operator. 135 The Band 2 line manager of the AM is responsible for signing the conclusions letter. ELEMENT 7. ASSESSMENT FOLLOW UP Purpose To give instructions to staff on how to follow up assessment. Task 7.1 Follow Up Action by AM

136 Place any letter to the operator giving conclusions onto the public register (Agencies to provide details) following the procedure set out in Part 1 Chapter 6. 137 Deal with any queries and correspondence from the operator in respect of the assessment conclusions. 138 Refer any issues to the appropriate team member for advice. The team member is responsible for giving a reply to the AM. 139 Record any correspondence and replies relating to the assessment. 140 Deal with any correspondence received from members of the public concerning the assessment, taking advice from team members as necessary. Task 7.2 Follow Up Action by Band 1 of AM 141 Report back to Band 1 CHID 6 on a quarterly basis on the number of conclusions letters that were sent out late (that is, more than 12 months from receipt of the safety report) together with reasons why they were late, for example: a. pressure of work; b. member of Assessment Team not completing assessment within agreed timescales; c. operator not providing further required information within agreed timescales. Task 7.3 Follow Up Action by Band 1 CHID 6 142 Review information from Band 1s of AMs in relation to the number of conclusions letter sent out late and the reasons why they were late. Task 7.4 Land Use Planning Action by AM 143 Information given in a COMAH safety report cannot by itself change the basis on which HSE gives land use planning advice around sites that have Planning (Hazardous Substances) consent or are licensed under the Explosives Act 1875 or the Nuclear Installations Act 1965. HSE advice relates to the consent entitlement or licensed quantity. If the safety report says that the substance has been reduced in quantity from the consent level/licensed quantity to a lower one, the consent level/licensed quantity will be used. However, the AM should check from the information in the safety report that the consent entitlement or licensed quantity has not been exceeded. If it has, then the hazardous substances consent issuing authority or, in the case of a licensed explosive site, CHID 5 should be informed. 144 For the few top tier establishments which do not need Planning (Hazardous Substances) consent or a licence under the Explosives Act or the Nuclear Installations Act, the AM should confirm that the information in the safety report is consistent with the records held for land use planning purposes in HSE. If not, then the records should be amended and any appropriate people informed. Task 7.5 Emergency Planning Action by AM 145 The safety report should identify what information has been supplied to the emergency planning authority to enable it to prepare an off-site emergency plan (COMAH Reg 10(3) & Schedule 4 Part 1 para 4.

Assessment Procedures for Modified Safety Reports


Introduction Purpose of the Assessment Procedures for Modification Reports Element 1. Pre-Planning Element 2: Safety Report Received Element 3: Draft Assessment Plan Element 4: Final Assessment Plan

Element 5: Implement assessment Plan Element 6: Assessment Outcome Meeting Element 7: Assessment Follow up INTRODUCTION 146 Reg 8(4) requires an operator who has already submitted a safety report under COMAH, to review and revise that report, and send it to the CA, in advance of modifications. Submission of a modified safety report does not restart the 5 year mandatory period for review of the entire safety report unless the operator confirms that the entire safety report has been reviewed at the time of the modification or is required to do so by the CA. 147 Modifications may be to the establishment, an installation on it, a process carried on there or the nature and quantity of dangerous substances present there, if the modification could have significant repercussions with respect to the prevention of major accidents or the limitation of their consequences. 148 Modifications to the safety management system also trigger a review or revision of the safety report by virtue of Regulation 8(1(c) where they could also have significant repercussions with respect to the prevention of major accidents or the limitation of their consequences. 149 The wording of the regulations requires the operator to evaluate every modification within scope of Reg 8(4) to determine whether it could have significant repercussions with respect to the prevention of major accidents. Only if a modification does have significant repercussions should the safety report be reviewed and (even then) it need only be sent to the CA if there is a revision to the text. 150 Operators will need a management system to consider all modifications and classify them depending on whether they could have significant repercussions. Many operators are well versed in the assessment of the safety implications of modifications, and will have 'management of change' procedures in place that will deal with the Reg 8 review requirements. However, companies may need to review their change control procedures to ensure that suitable prompts and questions are asked. There will be requests from operators for the CA's opinion on whether a particular modification will require a review of the safety report and submission of any revision. 151 The classification process may be difficult for operators, because the Guidance on the COMAH Regulations (ref: L111), gives only a few examples of modifications which the CA considers will always have significant repercussions. There will be a wide range of situations which could give rise to a modification report. Further examples include: a. construction of a new installation on an existing site; b. a change to the way in which a dangerous substance is delivered to site, eg from rail to road; c. a change in inventory of an existing dangerous substance; d. a small modification which could have large consequences, such as change to the valve type used in a particular line. 152 It is important that operators are encouraged to discuss their modification plans as early as possible so that the CA can organise and plan its assessment. This is also important for operators thinking of constructing a new installation, who should be referred to the assessment criteria for safety reports issued prior to commencement of construction or operation. Nevertheless, legally the operator can submit a modification report the day before the modification is brought into use, and the operator is not obliged to await the CA's assessment conclusions before adopting the modification. PURPOSE OF THE ASSESSMENT PROCEDURES FOR MODIFICATION REPORTS 153 Submission of a modified report should not be taken as an opportunity for the whole report to be assessed again. The purpose is to assess the modification alone, and the existing safety report need only be re-assessed to the extent necessary to ensure that the modification has been properly integrated into the establishment as a whole. For example, a modification describing an increase in inventory may create a new major accident scenario; but it may also have a consequent effect on the major accident scenarios previously given in the existing report. 154 For all modification safety reports, the purpose of the assessment is to examine the modification in the same way, and broadly using the same procedures, as for all other reports. In summary, the purpose of assessment of a modification report by the CA is to: a. examine the INFORMATION in the modification safety report and see whether it is SUFFICIENT to meet the purposes of such a report; and b. assess whether the PURPOSES have been achieved eg whether the required DEMONSTRATIONS have been MADE in respect of the modification; and c. inform the operator of the CAs CONCLUSIONS from doing (a) and (b). During reading of the report the information will be used by the CA to: a. take prohibition action where certain MEASURES related to the modification appear to be SERIOUSLY DEFICIENT in preventing a major accident or limiting the consequences of one (and this is confirmed by a site visit),

make recommendations concerning certain installations, parts of installations or activities on the modified part of the establishment, which relate to preventing or controlling a major accident, for consideration in the CA's INSPECTION PROGRAMME. 155 The procedures for assessment of modification safety reports will be similar to those described for standard COMAH reports for establishments, which are initial or update safety reports required under Regulation 7(7) (initial) or 8(1) (update). The 7 elements will be the same, although a number of tasks will be different. This section describes the differences in relation to each element. ELEMENT 1. PRE-PLANNING 156 Undertake the tasks set out in Element 1 for standard COMAH reports, modifying as set out below. Task 1.3: Amend Annual Plan to take account of any expected Action by: Band 2, Units 1-5 modification report. 157 Modifications requiring a report may be notified by operators in advance, although others may be received without warning. In either case, the annual plan must be amended. 158 Provide an indication to operators of when assessment work may start. During routine contacts, encourage operators to discuss modifications in advance so that planning is easier. 159 For any modification report, allocate an Assessment Manager. This should normally be the AM who was involved in assessment of the previous standard COMAH report. 160 Integrate any information about anticipated modification report submission dates into the annual plan, if necessary using the contingency provided in the plan for that purpose. 161 Predict the likely resource allocation required and its timing. To inform predictions, obtain as much information as possible about the anticipated modification from the operator. 162 Inform others likely to be involved in assessment of their predicted commitment. 163 Record [on a central database] the decisions that are made locally about whether a modified report is required. Over time, Band 2s will be able to consult the record to discover if there has been a decision taken about whether a modified report is required in similar circumstances to those confronting them. In this way, a consistent approach to decisions on modification reports will evolve. 164 Review the inspection plan for the operator. We might want to stop an inspection of something that was about to change or add an inspection of the operator's change control systems. ELEMENT 2: SAFETY REPORT RECEIVED 165 Undertake the tasks set out in Element 2 for standard COMAH reports, as appropriate. There are no tasks unique to modified reports. ELEMENT 3: DRAFT ASSESSMENT PLAN 166 Undertake the tasks set out in Element 3 for standard COMAH reports, as appropriate. There are no tasks unique to modification reports, although deadlines for the assessment process will be shortened to: a. judgement on whether the report appears to contain enough information. Action by AM, within 2 weeks of receipt b. first draft of assessment plan: Initial contents Action by AM, within 2 weeks of receipt c. draft Assessment Plan - Feedback from team Action by: team members sent copies of the assessment plan, within 4 weeks of receipt of the report . d. convert draft assessment plan into final assessment plan Action by AM within 4 weeks of receipt of report e. approve final assessment plan Action by Band 2 within 5 weeks of receipt of report f. referral to Band 1 of any plan which Band 2 unable to approve after discussion with all relevant parties. Action by Band 1 to approve within 5 weeks of receipt of report g. distribute final assessment plan Action by AM within 5 weeks of receipt of report h. organise date and venue for assessment outcome meeting, to be held within 10 weeks of receipt of report. Action by AM i. send the letter to the operator giving draft conclusions etc, copying to employee representatives, having arranged for the Band 2 to sign it. Action by AM within 11 weeks from receipt of report. j. send the letter to the operator giving conclusions etc, copying to employee representatives, having arranged for the Band 2 to sign it. Action by AM within 12 weeks from receipt of report. 167 The timescales are from receipt of the report and include allowance, within reasonable limits, for additional information which may have to be provided by the operator to allow the CA to come to a conclusion. Timescales considered reasonable for the operator's reply to CA requests will depend on the type of information requested. In the event that the operator does not supply information within a reasonable period, timescales may be increased by the CA on a case by case basis.

b.

ELEMENT 4: FINAL ASSESSMENT PLAN 168 Undertake the tasks set out in Element 4 for standard COMAH reports, as appropriate. There are no tasks unique to modified reports. ELEMENT 5: IMPLEMENT ASSESSMENT PLAN 169 Undertake the tasks set out in Element 5 for standard COMAH reports, as appropriate. There are no tasks unique to modified reports. ELEMENT 6: ASSESSMENT OUTCOME MEETING 170 Undertake the tasks set out in Element 6 for standard COMAH reports, as appropriate. There are no tasks unique to modified reports, except that the inspection plan should be reviewed to cover both the new plant, processes and substances and changed priorities resulting from altered major hazard scenarios. ELEMENT 7: ASSESSMENT FOLLOW UP 171 Undertake the tasks set out in Element 7 for standard COMAH reports, as appropriate. There are no tasks unique to modified reports. However, when reporting back to Band 1 CHID 6 on conclusions letters sent out late are those sent out more than 6 months from receipt of the report.

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Assessment Procedures for Safety Reports Issued Prior to Commencement of Construction


Introduction Purpose of the Assessment Procedures for Pre-Construction Parts of Safety Reports Element 1. Pre-Planning Element 2. Safety Report Received Element 3. Draft Assessment Plan Element 4. Final Assessment Plan Element 5. Implement Assessment Plan Element 6. Assessment Outcome Meeting Element 7. Assessment Follow Up INTRODUCTION 172 Operators of new establishments will be required under COMAH to submit information to the CA and receive the CAs conclusions prior to construction of the establishment (PCSR) and also prior to operation (POSR). The PSCR and the POSR together make up the complete safety report for the establishment. The Regulations allow the operator to submit the PCSR as a rolling submission of documents or as a single report. 172a Operating of premises which were not subject to COMAH on 1 April 1999 who are required to prepare a safety report because of a change of classification to a dangerous substance (Reg 3(4) or because of an increase in inventory (Reg 2(6)) would not be required to prepare a PCSR but would need to prepare a POSR. 173 Part 2 Chapter 7 covers in detail the requirements of the Regulations in relation to PCSRs and specifies situations in which PCSRs will be required. Part 2 Chapter 7 also provides guidance on the approach to be taken when applying the assessment criteria given in Part 2 Chapters 2 to 6, namely the shift in emphasis to conceptual design matters such as selection of process options, dangerous substances etc. 174 New establishments could in principle range from being relatively straight forward and simple to complex and operators will have significant flexibility over how and when to make submissions. 175 Assessment of a PCSR allows the CA to communicate early conclusions about the key hazard issues and intended measures to control them such that the operator can take appropriate remedial action before it becomes too difficult or costly to implement. Operators are encouraged in the Guidance on the Regulations (ref: L111) to provide the CA with a plan setting out timescales for the stages of the project such as conceptual design, finalisation of design, construction, procurement, commissioning etc. Operators are also encouraged to begin discussions with the CA as early as possible; this should speed up the formal assessment prior to construction and provide confidence to both the operator and the CA on the progress of each stage of the project. To make the most of this rolling

opportunity for comment, it will be important for the CA to offer rapid conclusions on its assessment of each part of the submission. 176 The CA will assess information in a hazardous substances consent as part of a rolling submission PCSR if the operator confirms that this information is to be used in this way. 177 The procedures for handling PCSRs require the CA, and in particular the Assessment Manager, to be proactive in liaising with the operator to determine plans for submissions prior to their receipt and in co-ordinating preliminary discussions where appropriate. 178 The Regulations do not allow the operator to start construction until he has received the CAs conclusions on examination of his PCSR. PURPOSE OF THE ASSESSMENT PROCEDURES FOR PRE-CONSTRUCTION PARTS OF SAFETY REPORTS 179 A PCSR should be examined following the approach given in Part 2 Chapter 7. This involves applying the same criteria as for other reports, taking note of matters particularly relevant at the pre-construction stage. Broadly the same procedures as those for all other reports can be used when assessing a PCSR. 180 The information provided in a PCSR has to be sufficient for the purpose specified in Schedule 4 Part 1 para 3(a) which is to demonstrate that adequate safety and reliability have been incorporated into the design and construction of any installation (and equipment and infrastructure connected with its operation) and this is linked to major accident hazards within the establishment. 181 In summary, the purpose of assessment for a PCSR is to: a. examine the INFORMATION in the PCSR and see whether it is SUFFICIENT to meet the purpose (Schedule 4 Part 1 para 3(a)) of such a report ; b. assess whether the PURPOSE of the report has been achieved, i.e. whether the required DEMONSTRATION (Schedule 4 Part 1 para 3(a) ) has been MADE; c. inform the operator of the CAs CONCLUSIONS from doing (a) and (b). 182 For a PCSR comprising a rolling submission of component parts, the CA will communicate interim conclusions on each stage of the submission, recognising that the purpose of a PCSR is unlikely to be satisfied until the final part is submitted. For each part of the submission, the CA will only expect the level of detail that is appropriate to the stage of development of the design. Also, following assessment of the final part of a rolling submission, the CA will send the operator a composite set of conclusions for the complete PCSR. The reason for this being that there may be changes to previously advised interim conclusions where information submitted earlier in a rolling submission is affected by later information making up the final PCSR report. During reading of the PCSR, or its component parts where the operator makes a rolling submission, the information will be used by the CA to: a. communicate interim conclusions at the earliest possible stage relating to potential SERIOUS DEFICIENCIES in proposed MEASURES for preventing a major accident or limiting the consequences of one, b. identify issues to be taken forward to assessment of the pre-operation part of the safety report, c. make recommendations, for the intervening period before receipt of the pre-operation part of the safety report, concerning installations, parts of installations or activities for consideration in the CAs INSPECTION PROGRAMME. 183 The procedures for assessment of PCSR submissions will be similar to those described for standard COMAH reports, which are initial or update safety reports required under Regulation 7(7) (initial) and 8(1) (update). The 7 elements will be the same, although a number of tasks will be different. The period for assessment and communicating the CAs conclusions will normally be 3 months from receipt of the PCSR for a single submission document. For rolling submissions, timescales will depend on the operators planned programme for the submission and cannot be subjected to a specific time frame for assessment. However, for documents submitted under a rolling programme, the CA will adopt the principle of completing interim assessments and communicating interim conclusions to the operator as speedily as possible to afford the best opportunity for the operator to take remedial action. ELEMENT 1. PRE-PLANNING 184 Undertake the tasks set out in Element 1 for standard COMAH reports, modifying as set out below. Task 1.2: 5 Year Plan Action by: Band 2, Units 1-5 185 Where the PCSR is to be sent to the CA as a rolling submission, the operator should discuss and agree the schedule of submissions with the CA in advance of the first submission. If the operator subsequently needs to amend this agreed schedule, he should discuss and agree this with the CA as soon as possible.

186 Where appropriate, include expected PCSR submissions in 5 year assessment plan. Task 1.3 Include Assessment of Expected PCSR Submissions in Annual Action by: Band 2, Units 1-5 Plan 187 Communicate with line managers of assigned assessors and, for multi-establishment operators, Lead Unit/Coordinating Inspectors in relation to expected scope and timing of staged submissions. 188 Integrate any information about anticipated PCSR submission dates into the annual plan. 189 All other parts of Task 1.3 for standard COMAH reports should be carried out for PCSR submissions. ELEMENT 2. SAFETY REPORT RECEIVED 190 Undertake the tasks set out in Element 2 for standard COMAH reports, as appropriate, modifying as set out below. Task 2.1: Safety report processing arrangements Action by: Band 2, Units 1-5

191 Part 1 Chapter 6 (Information for the Public Register) sets out the procedure for placing safety reports on the Public Register. This procedure specifies that a rolling submission PCSR comprising of a number of documents sent over a period of time will not, for the purposes of the Register, be deemed to be complete until the final document of the PCSR has been received by the CA. This means that for rolling submissions, the procedure in Part 1 Chapter 6 for providing safety reports for the Public Register does not need to be followed until the final document of the submission is received. 192 As mentioned previously, the schedule of submissions for a rolling submission PCSR should have been agreed with the operator at the pre-planning stage. It should therefore be apparent when the PCSR is complete. 193 Arrange for all copies of individual parts of a rolling submission to be tagged with a unique identifier prior to distribution (Appendix 6 gives details). ELEMENT 3. DRAFT ASSESSMENT PLAN 194 Undertake the tasks set out in Element 3 for standard COMAH reports, modifying as set out below. 195 The procedure will depend on whether the PCSR is a single document or comprises a number of documents submitted over a period of time. Task 3.1 Judgement on whether the safety report appears to contain Action by AM, within 2 weeks of recei grossly insufficient information (for single PCSR) 196 The AMs judgement of grossly insufficient information should be undertaken quickly. For rolling PCSR submissions, timescales for this judgement will be decided on a case by case basis but it is expected that this will be completed no later than 2 weeks from receipt of the report. 197 If the PCSR is a single document, the AM should read the PCSR to determine whether the operator has provided appropriate information against the main headings in Schedule 4 Part 2 as is reasonable to expect at the pre-construction stage to satisfy the purpose of the PCSR (Schedule 4 Part 1 para 3(a)). 198 If the PCSR is submitted as a rolling submission of documents, the AMs judgement should be against Schedule 4 Part 2 headings for information which it is reasonable to expect at the particular stage in development of the design. Task 3.2: First draft of assessment plan: Initial Contents Action by AM, within 2 weeks of recei (for single PCSR) 199 For a rolling submission PCSR, a draft assessment plan will be needed for each document of the submission. In such cases, the AM may, as appropriate, call on different members of the assigned assessment team to assess individual documents in the submission. However, all parts of the rolling submission and the draft assessment plan are to be copied to all members of the assessment team; this practice will allow all members to keep abreast of any relevant developments. 200 All the information provided in a PCSR should normally be assessed. Sampling is to be on an exceptional basis. 201 In particular for a rolling submission, the AM should ensure that the draft assessment plan is developed rapidly. 202 Communication with Lead Unit/Co-ordinating Inspectors for multi-establishment operators for input to the draft assessment plan should be by direct contact (e.g. telephone, cc mail, video conferencing) wherever possible to ensure the plan is developed quickly. Task 3.3 Draft Assessment Plan - Feedback from team Action by: team members, within 4 we report (for single PCSR) 203 For a rolling submission, relevant assessors should give immediate feedback to the AM by direct contact. 204 Other parts of Task 3.3 will be as for standard COMAH reports. ELEMENT 4. FINAL ASSESSMENT PLAN 205 Undertake the tasks set out in Element 4 for standard COMAH reports, modifying as set out below. Task 4.1 Convert draft assessment plan into final assessment plan Action by AM, within 4 weeks of recei single PCSR)

206 As mentioned earlier, for a PCSR, whether it is submitted as a single document or as a rolling submission, the Target Agenda is likely to comprise all the information in the report. 207 There are no other tasks in Element 4 ,which are unique to PCSRs. However, timescales for these tasks given for standard COMAH reports should be compressed. Appendix 9 shows timescales associated with assessment of PCSRs. Thus, for a single document PCSR, a. approval of final assessment plan Action by Band 2 within 5 weeks of receipt of report b. referral to Band 1 of any plan which Band 2 unable to approve after discussion with all relevant parties. Action by Band 1 to approve within 5 weeks of receipt of report c. distribute final assessment plan Action by AM within 5 weeks of receipt of report d. organise date and venue for assessment outcome meeting, to be held within 10 weeks of receipt of report. Action by AM e. send the letter to the operator giving draft conclusions etc, copying to employee representatives, having arranged for the Band 2 to sign it. Action by AM within 11 weeks from receipt of report f. send the letter to the operator giving conclusions etc, copying to employee representatives, having arranged for the Band 2 to sign it. Action by AM within 12 weeks from receipt of report. 208 For a rolling submission, assessment timescales should be agreed in advance with the operator. There may be a requirement for interim assessment outcomes meetings where significant issues are arising, for example, those relating to potential serious deficiencies or to major topics for the operator to address. Otherwise, a single assessment outcome meeting for the complete PCSR should be sufficient. 209 For rolling submission PCSRs, it is expected that the CA will normally communicate final collated conclusions 4-6 weeks from receipt of the final document of the submission. However, these timescales should be agreed between the CA and the operator on a case by case basis. ELEMENT 5. IMPLEMENT ASSESSMENT PLAN 210 Undertake the tasks set out in Element 5 as appropriate for standard COMAH reports, modifying as set out below. Task 5.1 Work the Plan Action by AM

211 Arrange priority meetings with relevant members of the assessment team to discuss significant findings or potential serious deficiencies. Prohibition under Regulation 18 is not an option at the PCSR stage, however, significant findings (especially potential serious deficiencies) should be discussed with the operator as soon as they are discovered to allow maximum opportunity for efficient remedial action. 212 For a rolling submission PCSR, where significant issues are arising (see para 208 above), arrange interim assessment outcomes meetings if necessary for each part of the submission. For such cases, arrange a final assessment outcome meeting if necessary to compile composite conclusions for the complete PCSR made up of all staged submissions. This allows for consideration that subsequent staged documents may lead to amended conclusions of earlier submissions. 213 All other parts of task 5.1 are as for standard COMAH reports. Task 5.1 Work the Plan Action by all team members (including AM) 214 Complete parts of task 5.1 as appropriate, modifying as set out below. 215 Assess against such parts of the assessment criteria (Part 2 Chapters 2-6) as are appropriate to a single document PCSR or staged submission, taking account of guidance in Part 2 Chapter 7 on the shift in emphasis at the preconstruction stage to conceptual design matters. 216 At the request of the AM, attend priority meetings with the assessment team and operator on significant issues or serious deficiencies. 217 Record interim assessment conclusions for relevant parts of a staged submission. Composite assessment conclusions will need to be kept for the complete PCSR. Records should be kept of: a. whether the document assessed is part of a rolling submission or a single document PCSR; b. parts of the document assessed; c. for the complete PCSR, what the conclusions were with respect to fulfilling purpose 3(a) of Schedule 4 Part 1; d. what standards, assessment criteria and intelligence (beyond that given in the document being assessed) were used in coming to conclusions. For a rolling submission PCSR, this could include information from earlier parts of submission; e. for the complete PCSR, matters for consideration in assessment of the pre-operation part of the safety report;

for the complete PCSR, matters for consideration in the inspection programme during construction and commissioning using non dangerous substances; g. significant matters or potential serious deficiencies (Part 2 Chapter 1 provides guidance on what constitutes serious deficiency at the pre-construction stage). 218 The same forms as for standard COMAH reports should be used for recording individual assessor conclusions for PCSRs. For a rolling submission PCSR, individual assessors conclusions for parts of the submission may be affected by consideration of subsequent parts of the submission. Therefore, assessors should produce a composite report confirming their assessment conclusions for the complete PCSR. 219 As for standard COMAH reports, individual assessors should produce a summary of points which the AM can use to draft a conclusions letter to the operator which should be modelled on the appropriate framework letter in Appendix 5. For a rolling submission PCSR, there are likely to be a number of interim assessment conclusions letters, the number dependent on the number of parts of the submission. A final conclusions letter should be sent which confirms or amends the status of previous interim letters. ELEMENT 6. ASSESSMENT OUTCOME MEETING 220 Undertake the tasks set out in Element 6 for standard COMAH reports as appropriate, modifying as set out below. Task 6.1 The meeting purpose Action by: All team members 221 Complete parts of task 6.1 as appropriate, modifying as set out below. 222 For a rolling submission, there may be a need for interim assessment outcomes meetings if significant issues are arising. The primary purposes of the final meeting, if one is required, are: a. to agree composite conclusions about the assessment and to send them to the operator, b. to agree issues for consideration during assessment of the pre-operation part of the safety report; c. to give guidance on issues recommended for inclusion in the inspection plan. 223 For a single document PCSR or for the complete PCSR (if it is comprises a rolling submission), conclusions should be drawn on: a. whether or not serious deficiencies are signposted by the PCSR which have the potential to lead to prohibition at pre-operation stage if they are not adequately addressed or remedied prior to submission of the POSR. As mentioned earlier, potential serious deficiencies should be communicated as soon as they are discovered; however, additional serious deficiencies may be identified at the assessment outcome meeting; b. whether the PCSR, together with additional information gained as part of the assessment, makes the required demonstration that adequate safety and reliability have been incorporated into the design and construction of any installation (and equipment and infrastructure connected with its operation) and this is linked to the major accident hazards within the establishment. 224 A rolling submission PCSR is unlikely to make the required demonstration until the final document of the submission has been assessed. Task 6.2 Meeting Arrangements Action by: Band 2 of the AM 225 In addition to the parts of task 6.2 for standard COMAH reports, for a single PCSR or the complete PCSR (for a rolling submission), consideration should be given to issues to go forward to assessment at the pre-operation stage. Task 6.2 Meeting Arrangements Action by AM 226 In addition to the parts of task 6.2 for standard COMAH reports, for a single PCSR or the complete PCSR (for a rolling submission), record issues for consideration at the pre-operation stage. 227 For a single document PCSR, send the letter to the operator giving conclusions etc, within 12 weeks of receipt of the report. For a rolling submission, agree with the operator on a case by case basis, timescales for communicating interim conclusions for parts of the submission. 228 Interim conclusions letters for assessment of parts of a rolling submission PCSR are likely to impact on assessment of subsequent parts. Assessment of individual parts of the submission may have only involved individual members of the assessment team, therefore, copy intermediate conclusions letters to all members. 229 For multi-establishment operators, copy intermediate conclusions letters to the Lead Unit/Co-ordinating Inspector. Task 6.2 Meeting Arrangements Action by: All team members 230 Agree the issues to be covered during assessment of the pre-operation part of the safety report. ELEMENT 7. ASSESSMENT FOLLOW UP

f.

231 Undertake the tasks set out in Element 7 for standard COMAH reports as appropriate, modifying as set out below. Task 7.1 Follow Up Action by AM 232 AM to follow the procedure given in Part 1 Chapter 6 for placing onto the public register conclusions from assessment of a single document PCSR or composite conclusions from assessment of a rolling submission. Since a rolling submission PCSR is not complete until receipt of the final document of the submission, it is not appropriate to put interim conclusions for assessment of parts of a rolling submission onto the public register since they may be amended as a result of assessment of subsequent parts of the submission. 233 Carry forward outstanding issues to assessment of the pre-operation part of the safety report. Task 7.3 Emergency Planning 234 This task is not relevant at the pre-construction stage.

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Assessment Procedures for Safety Reports Issued Prior to Commencement of Operation


Introduction Purpose of assessment Procedures for POSRs Element 1. Pre-Planning Element 2. Safety Report Received Element 3. Draft Assessment Plan Element 4. Final Assessment Plan Element 5. Implement Assessment Plan Element 6. Assessment Outcome Meeting Element 7. Assessment Follow Up INTRODUCTION 235 Operators of new establishments will be required to submit a safety report prior to the start of operation (the POSR). Following on from the PCSR, the POSR provides the balance of information to complete the safety report for the establishment. The POSR is not required to include information which is already contained in a PCSR if that information is still valid. However, the POSR should confirm that previously submitted information is still valid. 235a Operating of premises which were not subject to COMAH on 1 April 1999 who are required to prepare a safety report because of a change of classification to a dangerous substance (Reg3(4)) or because of an increase in inventory (Reg 2(6)) would not be required to prepare a PCSR but would need to prepare a POSR. 236 Part 2 Chapter 7 covers the requirements of the Regulations with respect to POSRs and provides guidance on application at the pre-operation stage of the assessment criteria given in Part 2 Chapters 2-6. 237 The period when the most effective influencing input can be made on the design by the CA passes once the PCSR has been assessed. The key issues at the pre-operation stage relate to monitoring changes made to the design and construction since submission of the PCSR and ensuring that information required to complete the safety report which was missing from the PCSR, or required further development, is included in the POSR. 238 The Regulations do not allow the operator to start operation until he has received the CAs conclusions on its examination of the POSR. 239 As for PCSRs, the procedures for handling POSRs require the CA to be proactive in liaising with the operator to determine plans for submissions prior to their receipt and in co-ordinating preliminary discussions where appropriate. PURPOSE OF ASSESSMENT PROCEDURES FOR POSRS 240 The purpose of assessment of POSRs is the same as that for assessment of standard COMAH reports. 241 The procedures for assessment of POSRs closely follow those for standard COMAH reports. The 7 elements will be the same. This section describes differences in relation to each element. ELEMENT 1. PRE-PLANNING 242 Undertake the tasks in Element 1 for standard COMAH reports, modifying as set out below.

243 The 5 year and annual plans should be amended if necessary to include assessment of POSRs. Since the operator should have, at the PCSR stage, indicated his intended programme for the remaining stages of the project, it is likely that this task will be concerned with confirming previously supplied information. 244 It is desirable that assessors allocated for assessment of the POSR are those who assessed the PCSR. However, it is recognised that this may not always be possible. ELEMENT 2. SAFETY REPORT RECEIVED 245 Undertake the tasks set out in Element 2 for standard COMAH reports, as appropriate. ELEMENT 3 . DRAFT ASSESSMENT PLAN 246 Undertake the tasks set out in Element 3 for standard COMAH reports, modifying as set out below. 247 The PCSR and POSR together make up the complete safety report. Therefore, when judging whether the report contains insufficient information, the AM needs to consider the information provided by the operator in both the PCSR and the POSR; the exception is where the operator specifies that his POSR is a revised and fully comprehensive report, i.e., the POSR replaces all previously supplied information. 248 The draft assessment plan should include a review of the conclusions of assessment of the PCSR. 249 The pre-operation hold point is the CAs final assessment opportunity before dangerous substances are introduced into the plant to identify significant issues, in particular in relation to serious deficiencies in measures to prevent major accidents or limiting their consequences. Therefore, as for the PCSR, all the information in a POSR should be assessed, with sampling only being undertaken on an exceptional basis. 250 Deadlines for the assessment process will be: a. judgement on whether the report appears to contain enough information. Action by AM, within 3 weeks of receipt b. first draft of assessment plan: Initial contents Action by AM, within 3 weeks of receipt c. draft Assessment Plan - Feedback from team Action by: team members sent copies of the assessment plan, within 5 weeks of receipt of the report . d. convert draft assessment plan into final assessment plan Action by AM within 6 weeks of receipt of report e. approve final assessment plan Action by Band 2 within 7 weeks of receipt of report f. referral to Band 1 of any plan which Band 2 unable to approve after discussion with all relevant parties. Action by Band 1 to approve within 8 weeks of receipt of report g. distribute final assessment plan Action by AM within 9 weeks of receipt of report h. organise date and venue for assessment outcome meeting, to be held within 16 weeks of receipt of report. Action by AM i. send the draft letter to the operator giving conclusions etc 2 weeks after the assessment outcome meeting, copying to employee representatives, having arranged for the Band 2 to sign it. Action by AM within 22 weeks from receipt of report. j. send the letter to the operator giving conclusions etc 2 weeks after sending the draft conclusions letter, copying to employee representatives, having arranged for the Band 2 to sign it. Action by AM within 24 weeks from receipt of report. 251 Timescales may be compressed where the PCSR submission was comprehensive or where there has been substantial discussion with the CA prior to the formal submission. Any timescale reductions should be by agreement with assessment team members and their line managers ELEMENT 4. FINAL ASSESSMENT PLAN 252 Undertake the tasks set out in Element 4 for standard COMAH reports as appropriate. ELEMENT 5. IMPLEMENT ASSESSMENT PLAN 253 Undertake the tasks set out in Element 5 for standard COMAH reports. However, the conclusions should be in relation to the complete report comprising the PCSR and the POSR. Also, the conclusions should make clear how any outstanding issues from the PCSR assessment have been resolved. ELEMENT 6. ASSESSMENT OUTCOME MEETING 254 Undertake the tasks set out in Element 6 for standard COMAH reports. However, as mentioned above, conclusions should be drawn on the combined PCSR/POSR safety report. ELEMENT 7. ASSESSMENT FOLLOW UP 255 Undertake the tasks set out in Element 7 for standard COMAH reports as appropriate.

Appendix 1: Types of COMAH Safety Report that could be Received from Establishments

Appendix 2: Protective Markings Appendix 3: Proformas for Draft and Final Assessment Plans Appendix 4: Assessment Recording Forms Appendix 5: Framework Letters for Communication with Operator Appendix 6: Identifying Safety Reports Received Appendix 7 - Outputs from Assessment Recommended for Inclusion in Inspection Plans Appendix 8 - Guidance on Target Agenda Appendix 9 - Timescales for Safety Report Assessment Figure 1 - Safety Report Assessment Procedures (view or print) Figure 2 - Procedure Covering Element 2: Safety Report Received (view or print) Figure 3 - Final Assessment Plan Procedures (view or print)
Part 1 Chapter 5

Applications Made Under COMAH Regulation 7(12) for Limiting Information in Safety Reports
Contents

INTRODUCTION PURPOSE OF PROCEDURES OVERVIEW OF PROCEDURES DESCRIPTION OF EACH ELEMENT IN THE PROCEDURES FOR ASSESSMENT OF APPLICATIONS FOR DISPENSATION Element 1: Pre-Planning Element 2: Application for Dispensation Received Element 3: Draft Assessment Plan for Application for Dispensation Element 4: Final Assessment Plan Element 5: Implement Assessment Plan Element 6: Assessment Outcome Element 7: Dispensation Assessment Follow Up

APPENDIX 1 - EUROPEAN COMMISSION CRITERIA FOR ASSESSING APPLICATIONS FOR LIMITING INFORMATION IN SAFETY REPORTS APPENDIX 2 - CONTENTS OF APPLICATION FOR DISPENSATION APPENDIX 3 - ASSESSMENT RECORDING FORM APPENDIX 4 - STANDARD LETTERS FROM COMPETENT AUTHORITY TO OPERATOR APPENDIX 5: TIMESCALES FOR PROCESSING APPLICATIONS FOR DISPENSATION FIGURE 1 - OVERVIEW OF PROCESS OF HANDLING OPERATOR APPLICATIONS FOR LIMITING INFORMATION PROVIDED IN SAFETY REPORTS (DISPENSATION) (View or Print)
INTRODUCTION 1. Under Regulation 7(12) of the COMAH Regulations, where an operator considers he can demonstrate that particular dangerous substances present at his establishment are in a state incapable of creating a major accident hazard, he may submit a dispensation application to the Competent Authority (CA) requesting that information required in the safety report for the establishment be limited to those matters relevant to prevention and mitigation of residual major accident hazards to people and the environment. 2. The Guidance on the Regulations (GoR) - ref: L111 - states that operator applications for dispensation must be specific to one or more substances at a specific establishment. Industry wide applications are not appropriate, although some material may well be generic across a particular industry. The GoR defines the details which the operator should include in his application for dispensation; these details are given in Appendix 2. 3. Regulation 7(12) requires the CA to assess whether operator applications for dispensation demonstrate that at least one of the criteria established by the European Commission (EC) for application of the dispensation rule of Article 9, paragraph 6 of the Seveso II Directive is fulfilled. The GoR gives details of these criteria (reproduced in Appendix 1) and also defines the duties of the CA when granting a dispensation. In summary, the criteria relate to i. physical form of the substance; j. containment and quantities; k. location and quantities; l. classification. A dispensation may be granted by the CA if at least one of the criteria is fulfilled. Demonstration by the operator of compliance with any of the criteria will be primarily a risk assessment. 4. A dispensation granted by the CA will not release the operator from the obligation to submit a safety report. Even where an operator can demonstrate that all dangerous substances present at his establishment are in a state incapable of creating a major accident hazard, COMAH will apply and a safety report will be required under Regulation 7. A granted dispensation will, however, allow the operator to limit the information provided in the safety report. A major accident prevention policy (MAPP) will always need to be included in a safety report. 5. In accordance with guidelines presented in the GoR, an operator must submit any application for dispensation to the CA sufficiently in advance of his COMAH safety report due date to allow the CA to examine the application and, following the CAs decision, to allow the operator to take account of this decision, i.e. to complete his safety report in the case of a negative decision or to make reference in the safety report to any granted dispensation. 6. As stated in the GoR, the operator may, if he wishes, submit with his application for dispensation, the safety report containing only that information which may be required if his application is successful. A report from which information is limited as a result of a dispensation granted by the CA is hereafter referred to as a limited safety report. 7. Procedures for assessment of safety reports are given in Part 1 Chapter 4; these procedures have been adapted for assessment of applications for dispensation. This chapter (Part 1 Chapter 5) identifies changes needed to the procedures in Part 1 Chapter 4 for assessing safety reports to make them appropriate for assessing applications for dispensation. Therefore, the procedures in Part 1 Chapter 4 should be followed for assessing applications for

dispensation except where Part 1 Chapter 5 specifies modifications. Part 1 Chapter 5 must therefore be read in conjunction with Part 1 Chapter 4. 8. Figure 1 gives an overview of the process for dealing with applications for dispensation. 9. Assessment of any limited safety report submitted voluntarily with an application for dispensation will not begin until the CA has decided whether or not to grant a dispensation. PURPOSE OF PROCEDURES 10. The procedures provide a framework for the CAs assessment of applications for dispensation. 11. The purpose of assessment by the CA of applications for dispensation is to: f. examine the information in the application for dispensation and see whether it is sufficient to allow assessment against the relevant EC criteria given in Appendix 1; g. assess the information in the application for dispensation against the EC criteria to establish whether at least one of the criteria is fulfilled, thereby allowing a dispensation to be granted; h. inform the operator of the CAs conclusions from actions (a) and (b). If a dispensation is granted, specify, in accordance with the GoR, to which substance(s) the dispensation applies, what part of the establishment is concerned, conditions of the dispensations continuing validity, and what information is not required in the safety report; i. inform HSE Safety Policy Division E1 (SPD E1), who will inform DETR and Agency Policy Sections, and who will on behalf of the CA inform the EC of any dispensations granted. 12. In line with procedures for standard COMAH reports, information in an application for dispensation will be used by the CA to make recommendations for inclusion in the CAs INSPECTION PROGRAMME. 13. For the purposes of this chapter, standard COMAH reports are initial or update COMAH safety reports which operators of existing establishments are required to submit to the CA under Regulations 7(7) (initial) and 8(1) (update). OVERVIEW OF PROCEDURES 14. The procedures follow the assessment team approach specified for assessment of standard COMAH reports. 15. Applications for dispensation are to be assessed against the EC criteria given in Appendix 1; the criteria are concerned with risk assessment and technical matters. Unlike standard COMAH reports, the assessment does not involve consideration of MAPP, safety management system or emergency response aspects. 16. The procedures for assessment of applications for dispensation therefore require: h. a team of competent technical and predictive assessors drawn from both HSE and the Environment Agencies; i. an Assessment Manager (AM) and plan for each dispensation application under assessment. 17. The elements for assessment of applications for dispensation are the same as those for assessment of standard COMAH reports. Each element includes tasks with indicative timescales which should not be exceeded. 18. As for the assessment procedures for standard COMAH reports, unless otherwise specified, any HSE posts mentioned refer to Regulatory Inspectors as opposed to Discipline Specialists. For CHID 5, a Regulatory Inspector means a Specialist Explosives Inspector. DESCRIPTION OF EACH ELEMENT IN THE PROCEDURES FOR ASSESSMENT OF APPLICATIONS FOR DISPENSATION Element 1: Pre-Planning Element 2: Application for Dispensation Received Element 3: Draft Assessment Plan for Application for Dispensation Element 4: Final Assessment Plan Element 5: Implement Assessment Plan Element 6: Assessment Outcome Element 7: Dispensation Assessment Follow Up ELEMENT 1: PRE-PLANNING Purpos To plan work to be done on assessment of applications for dispensation into work plans for safety report e assessment. 19. Undertake the tasks in Element 1 for standard COMAH reports, modifying as set out below. 20. 3 months is considered a reasonable period to allow the CAs assessment of an application for dispensation. 21. The GoR expects operators to submit applications for dispensation at a reasonable period before the complete safety report due date to allow: f. a complete report to be produced by its due date if the CA does not grant a dispensation, or g. to reference the dispensation in his safety report if one is granted by the CA.

22. As part of the standard COMAH report assessment pre-planning, due dates of COMAH safety reports will have been established by Regulatory Band 2s Units 1-5 for establishments covered by COMAH top tier requirements. Also, five year and annual plans for safety report assessment will have been drawn up by Regulatory Band 2s as source plans for Discipline Specialist Teams CHID 1-4, for CHID 7, for CHID 8 and the RSGs. Assessment planning for environmental matters is by the EA and SEPA as appropriate. Task Amend Annual Safety Report Assessment Plan to take account of any Action by: Band 2, 1.3 expected application for dispensation Unit 1-5 23. In line with the GoR, the CA would expect any application for dispensation to arrive at least a few months prior to the due date of the associated full safety report. The annual plan for assessment of safety reports may need amendment. 24. For an application for dispensation, allocate an AM in agreement with the Environment Agencies following arrangements specified in Part 1 Chapter 4. The AM should normally be the same AM who has been/will be allocated to assessment of the safety report. 25. Integrate any information about anticipated submission dates for applications for dispensation into annual safety report assessment plan. 26. Consult the central data base for details of dispensation applications received and the CAs decisions on these applications. 27. For multi-establishment operators, consult with Lead Unit/Co-ordinating Inspector with respect to any previous dispensation applications received from the operator and the CAs conclusions in relation to these applications [detailed procedures are being developed]. This will allow a consistent CA approach with the operator and also input to estimating resource requirements for the assessment. 28. Predict the likely resource allocation in consultation with Band 2 Discipline Specialists in their Unit and with CHID 7. Task 1.4 Technical Assessment - Amend Annual Plan Action by: Band 2 Specialist Teams Units 1-4 29. Amend annual safety report assessment plan to take account of additional resource requirements for assessment of expected applications for dispensation. 30. In line with assessment procedures for safety reports, additional resource requirements for technical support in relation to applications for dispensation should be communicated to and agreed with each RSG Band 1 and each CHID 8 Band 2. CHID 7, CHID 8 and RSGs - Amend Annual Plan Action by: Band 2s CHID 7, CHID 8 and RSGs 31. Amend annual safety report assessment plan if necessary to take account of any additional resource requirements for assessment of expected applications for dispensation. ELEMENT 2: APPLICATION FOR DISPENSATION RECEIVED Purpose To describe the actions to be taken following receipt of an application for dispensation. 32. The tasks given for Element 2: Safety Report Received section of the procedures for safety reports should be followed as appropriate on receipt of operator applications for dispensation, modifying as set out below. Task 2.1: Safety report processing arrangements Action by: Band 2, Units 1-5 33. The operator may voluntarily submit a limited safety report together with his application for dispensation. The local arrangements devised should require both the application and limited safety report (where submitted) to be given unique but related identifiers in accordance with the numbering system defined in Part 1 Chapter 4, Appendix 6. 34. As for standard COMAH reports, the operator will be requested to submit nine copies (plus the original) of the application for dispensation and limited safety reports (where the operator chooses to submit these) unless the AM has agreed a different number of copies in advance. 35. Unlike standard COMAH reports, applications for dispensations are not required by the Regulations to be placed on the public register. However, as stated in the GoR, since the safety report is made available to the public, the public should also have access to the information that leads to permitting an operator to limit the information contained in the safety report, subject to restrictions concerning confidentiality. 36. Disclosure of applications for dispensation to the public will only be on request. Such requests from the public should be considered by the AM against the requirements of the Environmental Information Regulations 1992. Guidance on this matter is provided in the COMAH Manual and in HSE General Administrative Procedure 1 (GAP 1) Open Government: disclosure of information to the public (August 1995). Further advice is available from the CHID OSU Open Government Topic Lead. 37. The content of an operators safety report is dependent on the CAs assessment of his application for dispensation. Therefore, consideration should not be given to placing limited safety reports on the public register until the CA has completed its assessment of the associated application for dispensation. Task 2.3 Failure to Submit Timely Application for Dispensation

38. As mentioned earlier, the CA considers 3 months a reasonable period to allow assessment of an application for dispensation. Following this assessment, the operator must allow sufficient time to produce a complete safety report by its due date in the event that the CA does not grant the requested dispensation. 39. If an operator submits an application for dispensation giving the CA unreasonable assessment timescales (that is, less than 3 months for assessment), the operator should be asked to submit a complete report by its due date. The CA may as a result of its assessment grant a dispensation following which the operator may replace his complete safety report with a limited safety report in line with any conditions communicated by the CA in its conclusions of assessment of the application for dispensation. [The Regulations permit a later submission date for initial reports due in the transitional period 1 April 1999 to 3 February 2001, if agreed in writing by the CA - exemption criteria for agreeing later submissions are in preparation] ELEMENT 3: DRAFT ASSESSMENT PLAN FOR APPLICATION FOR DISPENSATION Purpose To prepare first draft of assessment plan for application for dispensation. 40. The tasks specified in Element 3: Draft Assessment Plan for assessment of standard COMAH reports should be followed as appropriate, modifying as follows. Task 3.1 Judgement on whether the application for dispensation appears to contain grossly insufficient information. 41. The AM should determine whether the operator has provided appropriate information against the main headings for the contents of an application for dispensation, as listed in the GoR (and reproduced in Appendix 2 of this chapter). 42. In cases where the application for dispensation contains grossly insufficient information, communication to the operator should be modelled on the appropriate standard framework letter given in Appendix 4. Task 3.2 First draft of assessment plan: Initial contents 43. The purpose of the assessment plan is to record: h. who is working on the assessment; i. the time they intend to spend; j. what deadlines they will aim for; k. any local background information available to the AM which is relevant to assessment of the application for dispensation; l. any information provided by the Lead Unit/Co-ordinating Inspector about a multi-establishment operator. 44. As specified by the GoR, an operators application for dispensation should include details of g. the substances for which the dispensation is requested; h. the criterion or criteria under which the dispensation is sought; i. for each criterion concerned, the operators demonstration that the criterion is applicable; j. the information which is requested to be omitted from the safety report. 45. The scope of the required assessment should be therefore be apparent from the application for dispensation. As a matter of policy, the whole application for dispensation should be assessed against the specified criteria; sampling is not appropriate. 46. For multi-establishment operators, the AM should consult the Lead Unit/Co-ordinating Inspector for guidance on the content of the assessment plan. 47. The draft plan should detail assessment responsibilities. Assessment will be concerned with risk assessment and technical matters backed up by local background knowledge provided by the AM. The assessment team will comprise of: f. a predictive assessor from CHID 7, or CHID 5 for explosives sites; g. relevant technical assessors from CHID Units 1-4, CHID 8, RSGs, external resources, CHID 5; h. one or more environmental assessors from EA or SEPA as appropriate; i. an AM for providing any local knowledge and for managing the assessment process. Task 3.3 Draft Assessment Plan - Feedback from team 48. To provide feedback to the AM on (and input to) the draft Assessment Plan in relation to: m. details of what each thinks they should assess; n. resource required for assessment; o. team membership; p. timetables for assessment for each team member. 49. The content of the application for dispensation together with the AMs background knowledge should be sufficient for team members to commence assessment on receipt of the draft assessment plan. ELEMENT 4: FINAL ASSESSMENT PLAN Purpose To devise a final assessment plan for each application for dispensation that (amongst other things):

confirms the assessment team finalises the resources likely to be expended identifies aspects of report to be assessed, including the target agenda, and the reasons for selection d. lays down milestones and timing for particular stages of the assessment. 50. The tasks specified in Element 4: Final Assessment Plan for assessment of standard COMAH reports should be followed as appropriate, modifying as follows. Task 4.1 Convert draft assessment plan into final assessment plan Action by AM 51. The AM should convert the draft assessment plan to the final assessment plan within 4 weeks of receipt of application for dispensation. Task 4.2 Approve final assessment plan Action by Band 2 52. The Band 2 should approve the final assessment plan within 5 weeks of receiving application for dispensation. Task 4.3 Approve final assessment plan after resolving outstanding issues 53. Within 5 weeks of receipt of application for dispensation, the Band 1 should approve any plan referred by Band 2 after resolving any outstanding issues. Task 4.4 Task Distribute final assessment plan Action by AM 54. The AM should distribute the final assessment plan within 5 weeks of receiving the application for dispensation. Task 4.5 Organise date and venue for assessment outcome meeting Action by AM 55. The assessment outcomes meeting should be scheduled for no later than 10 weeks after receipt of application for dispensation. ELEMENT 5: IMPLEMENT ASSESSMENT PLAN 56. The tasks specified in Element 5: Implement Assessment Plan for assessment of standard COMAH reports should be followed as appropriate, modifying as follows. Purpos To instruct staff on how to organise, communicate, operate and record in line with the approved final e assessment plan. Task 5.1 Work the plan. Action by AM 57. Any written requests to the operator for further information in support of the application for dispensation should be modelled on the appropriate standard letter given in Appendix 4. Task 5.1 Work the plan. Action by all team members (including the AM) 58. Where a limited safety report has been submitted with the application for dispensation, it may be used, where appropriate, as a source of information for assessors in arriving at conclusions. 59. As for standard COMAH reports, visits to site should be for the purpose of obtaining more information to come to a conclusion, not for systematically verifying information given in the application for dispensation. Site visits should be on an exception basis, for example, where the CA has limited prior knowledge of the establishment in question. 60. Assessors should assess information in the application for dispensation against the criteria given in Appendix 1 using their professional judgement. 61. Assessors should record: d. parts of the application for dispensation each assessed; e. conclusions against the criteria listed in Appendix 1, making it clear whether a criterion has been fulfilled such that a dispensation may be granted; f. any conditions attached to a dispensations continuing validity (if any of the criteria in Appendix 1 have been fulfilled); g. (if a dispensation may be granted) the information which is not required in the safety report. 62. Standard forms given in Appendix 3 should be used by individual assessors for recording assessment conclusions. ELEMENT 6: ASSESSMENT OUTCOME 63. The tasks specified in Element 6: Assessment Outcome Meeting should be followed as appropriate, modifying as follows. Purp To give instructions to staff on assessment outcome meetings; and define meeting purposes, membership, ose decisions, records, outputs, authority, and disputes resolution. Task 6.1 The meeting purpose Action by : All team members

a. b. c.

64. The conclusions will be on whether the application for dispensation together with any further information gathered during the assessment process fulfills at least one of the criteria listed in Appendix 1. 65. The conclusions letter to the operator should be modelled on the appropriate standard letter given in Appendix 4. Task 6.2 Meeting Arrangements Action by: Band 2 of the AM 66. Draft conclusions of assessment of the application for dispensation must be sent to the operator prior to finalising them in writing. Decide whether to present the conclusions to the operator at a meeting in addition to sending written draft conclusions. Task 6.2 Meeting Arrangements Action by : AM 67. For multi-establishment operators, send a copy of the draft conclusions letter to the Lead Unit/Co-ordinating Inspector. Wherever possible, this action should be undertaken at the same time as sending the draft conclusions to the operator 68. The draft conclusions letter should be sent/presented to the operator within 11 weeks of receipt of the application for dispensation, with the final conclusions letter to be sent within 12 weeks of receipt of the application. ELEMENT 7: DISPENSATION ASSESSMENT FOLLOW UP Purpose To give instructions to staff on how to follow up assessment. Task 7.1 Follow Up Action by: AM 69. Unlike conclusions letters for standard COMAH reports, letters giving conclusions on dispensation applications are not required by the Regulations to be placed on the public register. However, as for the applications for dispensation, the public should have access to letters giving conclusions on these applications. The route for making letters giving conclusions available to the public will be the same as that for applications for dispensation (see paragraphs 35 and 36 above). 70. Send a copy of the conclusions letter to HSE SPD E1 who will be responsible for notifying DETR and Agency policy sections. On behalf of the CA, SPD E1 will notify the European Commission of any dispensations granted. 71. Record details of dispensations granted on a central data base; over time, this will allow a consistent approach to be taken regarding similar requests for dispensation. Records should be kept of: c. the date on which the CA communicates its conclusions; d. whether or not the CA has granted a dispensation; e. whether the safety report following a dispensation application will be a complete safety report or a limited safety report. 72. If a dispensation has been granted, initiate assessment of any limited safety report submitted with the application for dispensation in line with the procedures for assessment of safety reports (Part 1 Chapter 4). The date on which the CA sends the letter giving conclusions on the application for dispensation to the operator will be the date from which the CAs 12 months target timescale for assessment of the report begins. 73. A limited safety report should exclude only that information specified in the relevant dispensation(s) granted by the CA. If the information in a limited safety report is incompatible with the relevant dispensation(s), the report should be considered to contain grossly insufficient information and returned to the operator for re-submission by an agreed deadline (Part 1 Chapter 4 Element 3 Task 3.1 covers actions for re-submission of grossly insufficient standard COMAH reports). If the due date for the safety report has elapsed, enforcement action, e.g. issue of an Improvement, is appropriate to obtain a re-submission within a suitable time frame. 74. In relation to safety reports for new establishments, target timescales for assessment of pre-construction (single document submission) and pre-operation parts of these reports are 3 and 6 months respectively. For rolling submission pre-construction parts of safety reports, assessment timescales are agreed by the CA and the operator on a case by case basis. Part 1 Chapter 4 and Part 2 Chapter 7 provide further details on dealing with safety reports for new establishments. 75. Where a safety report has not been submitted with the application for dispensation, agree with the operator timescales for submission of a limited safety report or full safety report, if the requested dispensation has not been granted. This agreed date should be no later than its due date unless agreed in writing by the CA in accordance with CA criteria for extending due dates for initial COMAH reports (in preparation). APPENDIX 1 - EUROPEAN COMMISSION CRITERIA FOR ASSESSING APPLICATIONS FOR LIMITING INFORMATION IN SAFETY REPORTS 76. COMAH Regulation 7(12): Where it is demonstrated by the operator of the establishment to the satisfaction of the competent authority that particular dangerous substances present at an establishment, or any part thereof, are in a state incapable of creating a major accident hazard, the competent authority may in writing and in accordance with criteria established by the European Commission pursuant to Article 9.6(b) of the Directive, limit the information required to be included in the safety report for that establishment to those matters which are relevant to

the prevention of residual major accident hazards and the limitation of their consequences for persons and the environment. 77. A Regulation 7(12) dispensation may be granted by the CA if at least one of the following criteria is fulfilled. Physical form of substance Substances in solid form, such that, under both normal conditions and any abnormal conditions which Criterio can reasonably be foreseen, a release of matter or energy which could create a major accident hazard n1 is not possible. Explanation 78. The fact that the physical form of certain substances influences their major accident is recognised in the COMAH Regulations. For example, the entry for nickel compounds only in inhalable powder form in the list of named substances in Schedule 1 Part 2 of the Regulations reflects the fact that solid nickel is incapable of creating a major accident hazard, yet it is classified as being toxic. Containment and Quantities Criterio Substances packaged or contained in such a fashion and in such quantities that the maximum release n2 possible under any circumstances cannot create a major accident hazard. Explanation 79. This criterion can only be applied if the quantities taken out of containment at any one time are insufficient to create a major accident hazard. 80. This criterion could be applied to a store of containers of such size, construction, and contents that the release from a small number of containers would not in itself represent a major accident hazard nor could it have any knock on effects on other containers, provided that no reasonably foreseeable external aggression could release the contents of a large number of containers. Location and Quantities Substances present in such quantities and such distances from other dangerous substances (at the Criterio establishment or elsewhere) that they can neither create a major accident by themselves nor initiate a n3 major accident involving other dangerous substances. Explanation 81. A large establishment consisting of several installations may have dangerous substances in small and isolated quantities at installations distant from those which represent the major accident hazard potential, and also from any other hazardous establishments. 82. The inability to cause a major accident, directly or indirectly, must apply to the substances concerned at all moments that they are present at the establishment. It should also be borne in mind that substances will have to be transported within the establishment, and during transport this criterion may not apply. Classification Substances which are defined as dangerous substances by virtue of their generic classification in Criterio Schedule 1 Part 3, but which cannot create a major accident hazard, and for which therefore the n4 generic classification is inappropriate for this purpose. Explanation 83. Since the generic classifications of Schedule 1 Part 3 are based on the intrinsic hazard associated with a substance, there may be cases where this is not relevant in the context of a major accident. 84. The criterion could apply to a substance which is classified as toxic, but for which the only hazard is toxicity by ingestion, provided that route of exposure can reasonably be excluded in the event of a major accident. 85. This criterion cannot apply to substances which are listed in Schedule 1 Part 2. APPENDIX 2 CONTENTS OF APPLICATION FOR A DISPENSATION 86. As listed in the GoR, an application for dispensation should include the following details: d. the name or trade name of the operator and the full address of the establishment concerned; e. the registered place of business of the operator, with the full address; f. the name or position of the person in charge of the establishment, if different from (a); g. a general description of the activities of the establishment, and specific information concerning the installation for which a dispensation is being sought; h. the immediate environment of the establishment, to the extent relevant to the application; i. description of the dangerous substance(s) for which a dispensation is requested: i) inventory of dangerous substances including: - the identification of dangerous substances: chemical name, CAS number, name according to IUPAC nomenclature, classification;

- the maximum quantity of dangerous substances present or likely to be present; ii) physical, chemical, toxicological and ecotoxogical characteristics; iii) physical and chemical behaviour under normal conditions of use and under foreseeable accident conditions;

g. the criterion or criteria under which a dispensation is being sought; h. the operators demonstration that the criterion is applicable (for each criterion concerned); i. the limitation of information in the safety report which is being required.

APPENDIX 3: ASSESSMENT RECORDING FORM APPENDIX 4 STANDARD LETTERS FROM COMPETENT AUTHORITY TO OPERATOR

APPENDIX 5: TIMESCALES FOR PROCESSING APPLICATIONS FOR DISPENSATION ELEMENT 3: DRAFT ASSESSMENT PLAN 1.AM judges whether Report contains grossly insufficient information 2.AM first draft of assessment plan 3.Draft AP - feedback from team ELEMENT 4: FINAL ASSESSMENT PLAN 4.AM converts draft AP into final AP 5.B2 approves final AP 6.B1 approves any plan referred by B2

7.AM distributes final AP ELEMENT 5: IIMPLEMENT ASSESSMENT PLAN 8.Assessment (approx. 3 week period assumed) ELEMENT 6: ASSESSMENT OUTCOME MEETING 9.Assessment outcome meeting 10. Draft conclusions letter sent out 11.Conclusions letter sent out WEEK

10

11

12

Earliest task can be completed Possible period in which task can be completed KEY MILESTONES WHICH SHOULD NOT BE EXCEEDED (Latest task can be completed) P720_40904P720_40904TopOfPageTopOfPage FIGURE 1 - OVERVIEW OF PROCESS OF HANDLING OPERATOR APPLICATIONS FOR LIMITING INFORMATION PROVIDED IN SAFETY REPORTS (DISPENSATION) (View or Print) Issue No. 2 (February 2000) TopOfPageTopOfPage index.htm index.htm COMAH SAFETY REPORT ASSESSMENT MANUAL Part 1 Chapter 9

Training and Competences


Contents

INTRODUCTION ACTION DURING 1999/2000 SKILLS AND KNOWLEDGE TO UNDERTAKE ASSESSMENT OF SAFETY REPORTS CONTRIBUTE TO THE ASSESSMENT OF SAFETY REPORTS - UNIT 1 Key Words and Concepts Knowledge and Understanding Personal Competences Knowledge and understanding and personal competences MANAGE THE ASSESSMENT PROCESS - UNIT 2 Key Words and Concepts Knowledge and Understanding

Personal competences ADMINISTRATIVE TRAINING REQUIREMENTS COMAH training identification: Administrative training requirements

TopOfPageTopOfPage INTRODUCTION 1. Identification of the training required by CHID and RSG staff has been completed by a team from CHID Operational and HQ units. 2. This Chapter sets out the skills and knowledge required by COMAH safety report assessors, and identifies particular training needs. 3. The guidance within this Chapter is intended to serve as a resource for skills training associated with assessment, and for administrative work associated with the handling of safety reports. It will assist for DCT purposes, especially for new recruits to CHID. The guidance may also be of benefit to RSGs in identifying relevant training requirements, when working as part of an assessment team dealing with COMAH safety reports. P10_92P10_92TopOfPageTopOfPageP37_3314P37_3314 ACTION DURING 1999/2000 4. Assessors have now received formal training, which set safety report assessment in the wider context of all the COMAH Regulations and included relevant aspects of CHIDs inspection/enforcement strategy, together with training on the new charging arrangements. 5. Further training to meet the needs of technical assessors (in CHID and RSGs) and predictive assessors will be needed once safety report assessment experience grows, to ensure consistency in interpretation of the criteria. This should be developed by relevant CHID Units and FOD Regions. 6. Further training, specifically for assessment managers, will be given in the second half of work year 99/00. This training will build on practical experience from handling the limited number of safety reports submitted in the first months of the COMAH regime. 7. Linked to the above, a particular set of skills has been identified, related to managing the assessment process including work programming, team working, negotiating, progress monitoring, leading meetings, decision making etc. These are set out, in CHID NVQ style, in paras. 10 to 31. Elements of these skills are found in a range of HSE run courses. However, in the short term, it was not felt appropriate to recommend that all assessment managers attend these courses. Skills training aimed at assessment managers is recommended, but should be identified through the DCT procedures. The training gaps analysis table at para 33 can also be used to help identify current training needs. 8. Administrative staff will receive training, in locally based briefings, supported by an information pack, in the 2nd quarter of work year 99/00, based on the training needs identified and set out in the table following para 34. 9. Longer term:

a) CHID should make use of HSEs centrally contracted suite of training courses which should fill the gaps for personal skills training. These courses should be carefully evaluated by line managers to ensure that they are suitable for that purpose. This Chapter, particularly the competences and training gaps analysis will be useful in this process. b) For other new staff coaching/shadowing plus supervised targeted assessment will be important. It is envisaged that formal training will be given, covering the background to major hazards legislation, requirements of COMAH assessment and inspection under COMAH. Options for delivery include a seminar or inclusion into a standing course covering inspection of hazardous installations
. P19_801P19_801TopOfPageTopOfPageP319_17797P319_17797 SKILLS AND KNOWLEDGE TO UNDERTAKE ASSESSMENT OF SAFETY REPORTS

CONTRIBUTE TO THE ASSESSMENT OF SAFETY REPORTS - UNIT 1 10. This Unit is about taking part in and contributing to the assessment of safety reports as required by the COMAH regulations. 11. The unit covers the competences1 needed for assessing all or parts of safety reports submitted by operators in accordance with the COMAH regulations. The competences apply to:

a) the regulatory, discipline and predictive specialists within the assessment team; b) the assessment manager when undertaking a role as an assessor - for example, in respect of the assessment of Safety Management Systems.
12. Competences needed by the assessment manager to steer and finalise the processes and procedures of safety report assessment are contained in an additional unit - Unit 2 - Manage the assessment process. 13. This unit (1) contains three elements:

a) Contribute to the development, implementation and completion of the assessment plan; b) Evaluate the safety report in accordance with the requirements of the assessment plan for your contribution; defined as outcomes which need to be achieved for the successful performance of work activities c) Communicate your evaluation of the safety report to the assessment manager.
14. In contributing to the development, implementation and completion of the assessment plan, you will need to understand your role within the assessment team, and understand the role of the assessment manager. You need to understand in detail the principles and processes of the assessment of safety reports as contained in the COMAH regulations and the COMAH assessment manual. You will need to be able to attend meetings and contribute to discussions and decision making within the team. 15. You must be able to complete your assessment of the relevant parts of the safety report to the time scale agreed, and to report effectively to the assessment manager in the agreed format. 16. In evaluating the safety report in accordance with the requirements of the assessment plan for your contribution, you need to make sure that there is enough information in the report to continue with your evaluation. You will need to be able to bring your professional expertise and knowledge to bear in the evaluation, as well as being able to use standard reference material. Depending on your area of specialism, you may also need to use testing, sampling and modelling techniques to interrogate the information in the report and to judge the extent to which the report meets the requirements. 17. In communicating your evaluation of the safety report to the assessment manager, you need to ensure that you use the agreed format to explain your assessment to the assessment manager. You need to ensure that what you recommend is in line with policy. P37_3314P37_3314TopOfPageTopOfPageP104_8633P104_8633 Key Words and Concepts 18. These definitions are provided to explain how key words and concepts are used in this unit. Definitions in italic are taken from the COMAH Safety Report Assessment Manual. additional specialist expertise this will usually be drawn from the assessors work team, rather than the assessment team assessment in this context, the process of reading a safety report and reaching a conclusion as to the adequacy of the demonstration that all necessary measures have been taken to prevent major accidents or to minimise their effects assessment manager the field inspector responsible for co-ordinating the various assessment tasks and ensuring that the conclusions are communicated to the operator assessment outcome meeting a meeting of the assessment team to produce agreed conclusions about the assessment for communication to the operator and to give guidance on issues to be included in the post-assessment inspection COMAH assessment manual the COMAH Safety Report Assessment Manual, which consists of the required organisational arrangements and assessment guidance for the assessment of safety reports

operator

post-assessment inspections reference - material techniques safety report sampling, analysis and testing serious deficiency suitable

a person who is in control of the establishment or installation (or, in relation to an establishment or installation which is to be constructed or operated, the person who proposes to control its operation or, if that person is not known the person who in the course of a trade, business or other undertaking carried on by him has commissioned its design or construction). A person may be an individual corporate body or a partnership. Reg 2(2) refers recommended by the assessment team to be taken into account in the preparation of inspection plans and subsequent follow-up during the postassessment inspection this will include permanent background notes, HS(G)65, and recognised references, methods, sampling techniques and modelling a document sent by an operator to the Competent Authority under Regulation 7, Safety Reports (or Regulation 8, Review and Revisions of Safety Reports) methods of probing the content of the safety report whether the operator has provided the demonstration required when the measures for the prevention or mitigation of a major accident are sufficiently lacking to require prohibition of the use of an establishment as described in Regulation 18 this means that something is valid for a particular situation and set of circumstances

P71_6112P71_6112TopOfPageTopOfPageP117_9001P117_9001 Knowledge and Understanding 19. To perform effectively in this unit, you need to have knowledge and understanding in the areas of:

a) Analytical techniques b) COMAH safety report handling processes and assessment criteria c) Communication d) Current legislative requirements, guidance and references e) Information handling f) Meetings g) Organisational context h) Working relationships
P104_8633P104_8633TopOfPageTopOfPageP172_10459P172_10459 Personal Competences 20. In performing effectively in this Unit, you will show you can: Communicate w listen actively, ask questions, clarify points and rephrase others statement to check mutual understanding w adopt communication styles appropriate to listeners and situations Influence others w encourage listeners to ask questions w present yourself positively to others w create and prepare strategies for influencing others w use a variety of means to influence others Search for information w understand the culture of your organisation and how to work within it w establish information networks to search for and gather relevant information w make best use of existing sources of information w seek information from multiple sources

Think and take decisions

w challenge the validity and reliability of sources of information w push for concrete information in an ambiguous situation w break processes down into tasks and activities w identify implications, consequences or causal relationships in a situation w identify patterns or meanings from events and data which are not obviously related w build a total and valid picture from restricted or incomplete data w produce a variety of solutions before taking a decision w balance intuition with logic in decision making w reconcile and make use of a variety of perspectives when making sense of a situation w produce own ideas from experience and practice w take decisions in uncertain situations or based on restricted information when necessary

P117_9001P117_9001TopOfPageTopOfPageP324_18116P324_18116 Knowledge and understanding and personal competences 21. Inspectors responsible for the assessment of safety reports need knowledge and understanding in two broad areas - that which underpins the process of the assessment (which is described in some detail against each of the competences), and, secondly, that which underpins their area of specialist expertise. The detail of that specialist knowledge will vary from inspector to inspector but will broadly fall into the following categories:

- understanding and application of risk assessment - understanding and assessment of safety management systems - understanding and evaluating site operations, materials and processes - understanding and evaluating the application of the principles of process safety in the storage, handling, process and transporting of hazardous substances.
22. Those inspectors responsible for the predictive aspects of the safety report will need to be able to use mathematical models and use associated software when appropriate in evaluating the effectiveness of the operators predictions as compared with the predictions which result from HSE CHID preferred modelling methods and techniques. 23. In using reference materials and guidance, inspectors will need to access the wide range of HSE generated information and guidance, information and data which arises from research and industry guidelines. 24. The personal competences identify the interpersonal and analytical skills and capabilities which are needed for the assessment of safety reports. The critical areas which apply in the assessment of safety reports are information handling; and thinking and taking decisions. 25. Element 1.1 Contribute to the development, implementation and completion of the assessment plan. Performance criteria: Knowledge requirements: You must ensure that You need to know and understand a) you respond to the assessment managers communications Analytical techniques: in respect of assessment planning b) you confirm your understanding of your role and input to how to judge the accuracy, relevance and sufficiency the assessment of the safety report of information required to support decision making in c) you attend the assessment planning meeting and take part different contexts in the discussion and planning of the assessment process Communication: how to communicate effectively d) you provide the required input to the assessment process both in speaking and writing in accordance with the assessment plan, and balancing your other responsibilities Meetings: the importance of making clear, concise e) you complete your evaluation on time and communication and relevant contributions to meeting and how to promptly to the assessment manager in the format and depth ensure that your contributions meet these criteria agreed Working relationships: the importance of f) you attend the assessment outcome meeting and contribute constructively acknowledging the contributions and to the decision making process to determine the response to viewpoints of others and how to do so be sent to the operator and to determine priorities for the COMAH Safety report handling processes and post- assessment inspection assessment criteria: guiding principles GP1 to GP9

assessment principles AP1 to AP8 26. Element 1.2 Evaluate the safety report in accordance with the requirements of the assessment plan for your contribution. Performance criteria: Knowledge requirements: You must ensure that: You need to know and understand: a) the need for any additional information from the operator is Analytical techniques: established and the effect of obtaining it on the assessment different approaches to, and methods of, analysing information and process is clarified with the assessment manager to select method appropriate to the decisions which you have to mak b) your assessment is conducted in accordance with the how to judge the accuracy, relevance and sufficiency of information requirements of the COMAH assessment manual required to support decision making in the assessment of safety repo c) you assess those aspects of the report for which you are how to identify information which may be inadequate, contradictory responsible ambiguous and how to deal with these in the context of the assessm d) you use methods of sampling, analysis and testing of the process reports contents which are reliable and suitable Information handling: e) you use reference material and additional specialist how to select information relevant to the decisions to be made; expertise to ensure the accuracy and relevance of your the importance of record keeping to the analysis of the information, evaluation how such records should be kept for the assessment of safety report f) your evaluation of the report correctly identifies any serious note: for the next category of knowledge and understanding only tho deficiencies and priorities for their remedy relevant to the aspects of the report for which the inspector is respon apply COMAH safety report handling processes and assessment criteria: Descriptive criteria 2.1 to 2.11; applying the guidance on serious deficiencies to descriptive aspe Predictive criteria 3.1 to 3.6; the risk assessment process; applying the guidance on serious deficiencies to predictive aspec MAPP and SMS criteria 4.1 to 4.29; applying the guidance on seriously deficient (re Reg. 18(1)) to MAPP and SMS; Technical criteria 5.1 to 5.2 (including all sub-criteria) applying the guidance on serious deficiencies to technical aspect Current legislative requirements, guidance and references - includin example: COMAH Regulations; L111 Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974; Industry based guidance; MHAU technical policy and information; HS(G)65; FOD Guide to the Inspection of Safety Management Systems 27. Element 1.3. Communicate your evaluation of the safety report to the assessment manager. Performance criteria: Knowledge requirements You must ensure that: You need to know and understand: a) your evaluation is completed in accordance with the Analytical techniques: assessment plan requirements, and is timely, accurate how to judge the accuracy, relevance and sufficiency of information sufficient and relevant required to support the assessment of safety reports; how to identify b) your recommendations are consistent with COMAH information which may be contradictory, ambiguous or inadequate, requirements and HSE policy deal with this in the context of the assessment plan c) your recommendations reflect the requirements of the COMAH safety report handling processes and assessment criteria: COMAH regulations organisational arrangements and assessment guidance d) your recommendations are supported by reasoned argument Communication: and appropriate evidence how to communicate information and advice effectively both orally e) your evaluation is presented to the assessment manager in in writing; different formats for presenting qualitative and quantitati the format and depth agreed information; the importance of seeking feedback on the quality and relevance of advice and information provided Information handling: how to ensure that information is organised in a way which makes i readily accessible;

the principles of confidentiality and how such information should be handled Organisational context: the vision, mission, objectives, values, policies and strategies of HS P39_3376P39_3376TopOfPageTopOfPageP767_25525P767_25525 MANAGE THE ASSESSMENT PROCESS - UNIT 2 28. This Unit is about managing the assessment of safety reports under COMAH in accordance with procedures set out in the Safety Report Assessment Manual. 29. This Unit, comprising one element, covers the competences needed for managing the process and applies to assessment managers. P172_10459P172_10459TopOfPageTopOfPageP328_18203P328_18203 Key Words and Concepts 30. As for Unit 1 (Contribute to the Assessment of Safety Reports) P324_18116P324_18116TopOfPageTopOfPageP362_18917P362_18917 Knowledge and Understanding 31. To perform effectively in this unit you need to have knowledge and understanding in the areas of:

a) Relevant Legislation, including COMAH and HSWA b) Duties of the Competent Authority c) Functions and joint working methods of CA (under MoU) d) The purpose of safety report assessment e) The separate but linked aspects of safety report assessment and inspection f) COMAH safety report handling procedures g) Planning h) Effective management of the assessment task (POPMAR principles) i) Effective Communication j) Rapid, proportionate, response serious deficiencies in the measures taken are suspected k) Consistency of approach l) Lead Unit arrangements m) Meetings n) Working Relationships o) Leadership styles
P328_18203P328_18203TopOfPageTopOfPageP771_25647P771_25647 Personal competences 32. To perform effectively in this unit you need to have knowledge and understanding in the areas of: Communicating

listen actively, ask questions, clarify points and rephrase others statement to check mutual understanding adopt communication styles appropriate to listeners and situations use a variety of media and communication aids to reinforce points/ monitor and maintain interest
Influencing others

present yourself positively to others use a variety of means to influence others understand the culture of your organisation, and the other elements of the CA, and how to work within it
Focusing on results

maintain a focus on objectives prioritise objectives and schedule work to make the best available use of time and resources
Thinking and taking decisions

reconcile and make use of a variety of perspectives when reaching a decision produce ideas from experience and practice take decisions which are realistic for the situation
Leadership

bear in mind need for an agreed, single outcome from CA take resource issues into account ensure effective, prioritised communication with operator
Performance criteria: You must ensure that: a) You manage the assessment process in line with the standards and targets set out in the assessment procedures b) You manage confidentiality requests in accordance with agreed procedures responding to commercial/personal confidentiality applications received c) You judge whether the report contains grossly insufficient information and take appropriate action d) You monitor progress by team members with the assessment plan, adjust resources where possible and bring to the attention of line management any significant disagreement, failure or difficulty in meeting stated milestones in the assessment process e) Provide a balanced view of safety report assessment based on all the views of the assessment team members in written conclusions from the competent authority. Further training to be considered on this. f) You lead on enforcement including prohibition activity (having first recorded concerns and arranged a site visit to confirm whether on site conditions reflect assessment outcomes (regarding potential serious deficiencies). 33. The following table sets out a complete training list for each Assessor, as identified below:

Knowledge requirements: You need to know and understand: Analytical techniques how to judge whether the report co Communication: how to communicate effectively bo the importance of keeping team me Meetings the importance of recognising cont agreed actions. how to reconcile or deal with confl Working relationships the importance of contributions fro negotiate adjustments to plans to th Time management the importance of securing contribut plans and outcomes to time

M S S M M M S M M S M S S M M S S S S S S S M M M M S M M M S M S M M M M M

M S S M M M S M M S M S S M M S S S S S S S M M M M S M M M S M S M M M M M

M S S M M M M M M S M S S M M S S S S S S S M M M M S M M M S M S M M M M S

M M M M M M S M M M M M M M M M S M M M M M S M M M M M M M M M M M M S M S

TOPIC COMAH FRAMEWORK w Knowledge Requirements The Requirements of COMAH How the Agencies Operate Philosophy of Assessment Purpose of Assessment Principles of Assessment Quality (taken to mean consistency) HS(G)65 Successful H&S Management Requirements of the Assessment Manual HSE/CHID Policy incl. Assessment Manual Process of Assessment Roles/responsibilities POPMAR for our own assessment process w Skill Requirements Planning (of the Assessment) Prioritising Work timing and scheduling Objective setting Change management

CURRENT SOURCE OF TRAINING

GAP (COMAH specific) GAP (COMAH specific) GAP (COMAH specific) GAP (COMAH specific) GAP (COMAH specific) GAP (COMAH specific) Reading. ASSMAN course GAP (COMAH specific) GAP (COMAH specific) GAP (COMAH specific) GAP (COMAH specific) GAP (COMAH specific) GAP (COMAH specific) Time management course Time management course GAP some information on Time Management course GAP - Project management covers this aspect GAP - Influencing skills course relevant GAP - Time management course Leading meetings course GAP (ASSMAN Course) GAP (COMAH SPECIFIC) GAP (COMAH SPECIFIC) GAP (COMAH SPECIFIC) GAP (COMAH SPECIFIC) GAP (COMAH SPECIFIC) GAP (COMAH SPECIFIC)

M S

M S

M S

S S

Resources management Time management/work scheduling Leading meetings Audit trails Monitor progress of assessment teams Criteria for Assessment Demonstration Sufficient information Depth agreed for the assessment When and how to get more information from the operator and seeing the consequences Individual decision making (assessment outcomes) GAP (COMAH SPECIFIC) Interpretation of the regulations and judgements of GAP (COMAH SPECIFIC) assessment conclusions against them Policy on enforcement GAP (COMAH SPECIFIC) Format of the feedback letter GAP (COMAH SPECIFIC) Actions from assessment (esp. serious deficiency) GAP (COMAH SPECIFIC) Benchmarks for actions from assessment GAP (COMAH SPECIFIC) Topics for post assessment and the inspection plan GAP (COMAH SPECIFIC) Peer discussion/Review of conclusions Further training -tailored to assessors role Testing, sampling and modelling of information so that it Part of ongoing T&D is valid, reliable and suitable General principles of chemical plants, operations, Technical training such as Chemical Appreciation materials, processes and process safety course, CUI course, unit based training. Other technical courses. See Units 1-5 competences. Deeper understanding of principles of chemical plants, Refer to Unit 5, 7 and 8 competences and training operations materials processes and process safety documents w Skill based How to use the criteria GAP (COMAH SPECIFIC) Report writing Ongoing T&D. Also Effective Writing and Writing

M S M M M S

M S M M M S

M S M M M S

M M S S S M

Reasoned arguments (in reports) Meetings: attendance, effective participation and decision making Use of standards and reference material Analytical skills Evidence gathering Group decision making

for impact Part of ongoing T&D - see above courses Leading meetings course also covers attendance. Also part of T&D Part of ongoing T&D of inspectors Part of ongoing T&D " Leading meetings course

P319_17797P319_17797TopOfPageTopOfPageP771_25647P771_25647 ADMINISTRATIVE TRAINING REQUIREMENTS 34. The table below sets out the issues to be covered in the training for admin. staff. P362_18917P362_18917TopOfPageTopOfPage COMAH training identification: Administrative training requirements TOPIC CURRENT SOURCE OF TRAINING COMAH - background COMAH specific Competent Authority role COMAH specific CHID role - incl. Admin. lead COMAH specific COMAH - assessments COMAH specific COMAH SR Manual COMAH specific Receipt of reports COMAH specific Receipt of Notifications COMAH specific Confidentiality requirements COMAH specific Public Register arrangements COMAH specific Charging regime COMAH specific Database arrangements COMAH specific Limiting of information COMAH specific Routine enquiries COMAH specific FAQs COMAH specific TopOfPageTopOfPage