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Risk analyses or ‘predictive’ aspects of comah safety reports guidance for explosives sites

The COMAH Safety Report Process for Predictive Assessment of Explosives Sites

Step 1: Identify all the Major Accident Scenarios

The key task in this first part of the exercise is to ensure that all the MAS’s are identified and recorded. To illustrate what is meant by a MAS is, consider a car accident. The major accident (MA) is the car accident, however, it could have resulted from a number of causes e.g. human error, slippy road, mechanical failure, burst tyre etc. Each of these initiating causes (or mechanisms) may lead to a similar event, a car accident, but the outcome (or consequence) will be different and some will be more likely than others (likelihood). In the context of the risk analysis approach described here, the MAS includes the initiating mechanism i.e. a car accident as a result of human error is one MAS, a car accident as a result of mechanical failure is another etc.

The safety report’s description of the MAS identification exercise needs to demonstrate to the Competent Authority (CA) that all MAH’s are taken into account. As such it should be extensive, inclusive, and transparent, otherwise doubt is placed on the analysis which follows. To do this, the safety report should:-

Note: the level of descriptive information detailed in the Safety Report (for all process/operations carried out) must be sufficient to give the CA a full appreciation of the nature of the operations and all their associated hazards.