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Control of Major Accident Hazards
Control of Major Accident Hazards

A major accident is an uncontrolled scenario in the handling or processing of substances such as a large leak, fire or explosion that poses a serious risk to humans and the environment.

Control of Major Accident Hazards Involving Dangerous Substances

A major accident is an uncontrolled scenario in the handling or processing of substances such as a large leak, fire or explosion that poses a serious risk to human health and/or the environment both inside and outside the establishment where the substances are kept or processed. Large amounts of flammable substances can cause fires that can spread outside the establishments. Explosive substances can destroy large areas and damage even larger ones, as well as causing casualties. Toxic substances that escape from their storage place can cause damage to people and the environment even long after the leak.

According to the Regulation on the Control of Major Accident Hazards Involving Dangerous Substances, which is the Icelandic implementation of directive 2012/18/EU often referred to as SEVESO III, companies that store and/or use large or very large quantities of dangerous substances are required to operate a safety management system that continuously and systematically monitors the risks and dangerous substances contained in the establishment.

Establishments that are classified as upper tier according to the regulation need to set up emergency plans for the area surrounding the establishment  in cooperation with local civil protection authorities. The companies should also hold inform the residents around the establishment and relevant information, which states, among other things, what measures the general public in the neighborhood needs to take in the event of a major accident involving the dangerous substances in the establishment.

The AOSH displays a list on its website of companies and establishments that are subject to the regulation. In addition, the AOSH is responsible for inspection of establishments in accordance with the Regulation.

What Kind of Companies are Subject to the Regulation on Control of Major Accident Hazards?

Companies that store and/or use large or very large quantities of dangerous substances in their operations. Establishments are classified as either lower tier or upper tier depending on the amount of substances in question. The amount depends on the nature of the substances and the amount is specified in Annex I of the Regulation on the Control of Major Accident Hazards Involving Dangerous Substances.

Example:

Establishment that stores liquefied propane gas (LPG). If the quantity is more than 50 tonnes but less than 200 tonnes, the establishment is classified as lower tier. If the quantity exceeds 200 tonnes, it is classified as a higher tier. Lower limits can be as low as 200 kg if the materials are of that nature.

If there are several substances, each of which is below the lower limit, the quantity is added according to a specific rule. If the total quantity reaches a certain limit, the establishment is subject to the regulation. This is further defined in Annex I of the Regulation on the Control of Major Accident Hazards Involving Dangerous Substances.

Naturally, stronger requirements are made on supervision and distribution of information to upper tier establishments.

Establishments covered by the Regulation on the Control of Major Accident Hazards Involving Dangerous Substances:

 Upper tier establishments:

  • Alcoa Fjarðaál, Reyðarfjörður
  • Gasfélagið, Straumsvík
  • Norðurál, Grundartangi
  • Olíudreifing, Helguvík
  • Olíudreifing, Hvalfjörður
  • Olíudreifing, Örfirisey
  • Rio Tinto, Straumsvík
  • Skeljungur, Örfirisey

 Lower tier establishments

  • Atlantsolía, Hafnarfjörður
  • EAK fuel east, Keflavík Airport
  • HS orka, Svartsengi
  • Ísaga, Vogar
  • Kemís, Reykjavík
  • Landsbjörg fireworks storage, Hafnarfjörður
  • Olíudreifing, Akureyri
  • Olíudreifing, Ísafjörður
  • Olíudreifing, Neskaupstaður
  • Olíudreifing, Reyðarfjörður
  • Olíudreifing, Westman Islands
  • Ólafur Gíslason & Co., Reykjavík
  • PCC Bakki Silicon, Húsavík
  • Skeljungur, Akureyri
  • Skeljungur, Eskifjörður

Information on Establishments Subject to the Regulation on the Control of Major Accident Hazards Involving Dangerous Substances:

Pursuant to Article 26 of the Regulation on the Control of Major Accident Hazards Involving Dangerous Substances, the AOSH provides, upon request, further information on the establishments, such as submitted safety reports, a list of dangerous substances and emergency plans.

Some information may be confidential due to public interest. Information is provided with regard to the provisions of the Information Act and the Act on the Right to Information on Environmental Issues.

What Information do Establishments Need to Provide?

All companies that are subject to the Regulation on the Control of Major Accident Hazards Involving Dangerous Substances must make a plan for major accident prevention and provide certain information to the public. In addition, upper tier establishments must submit safety reports along with both internal and external emergency plans.

Further information regarding requirements on data and content can be found in the document “Instructions on what data, names and content companies need to submit” below.

Guidelines for Hearing Notification Procedures

An upper tier establishment must ensure that individuals and legal entities that can be affected by a major accident receive unsolicited information on safety measures and how to respond in the event of an accident.

See guidelines for conducting hearing notification procedures.

Guidelines

Articles and Reports