The COMAH Competent Authority
COMAH 2015 is enforced in Great Britain by the COMAH competent authority (CA). This comprises five public bodies working in partnership;
- the Environment Agency (EA);
- the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA);
- Natural Resources Wales (NRW);
- the Health & Safety Executive (HSE); and
- the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR).
For each COMAH 2015 establishment the CA is represented by the relevant safety body (HSE – or ONR at nuclear establishments), working jointly with the appropriate agency for the locality.
How the CA is managed
The CA is overseen and co-ordinated by the Competent Authority Strategic Management Group (CASMG). This looks across the CA and industry as whole, setting clear direction and priorities based on sound evidence. Where threats to safety or the environment are identified or opportunities emerge, CASMG sets regulatory priorities, monitors progress and reports results.
CA purpose statement
In regulating COMAH 2015 the CA is part of a modern regulatory framework that seeks to protect people and the environment from, and limit the consequences of, major accidents occurring within establishments covered by COMAH 2015.
The CA’s purpose is to deliver a safety regime aiming to:
- ensure that those responsible for creating risks meet their responsibilities to manage them;
- ensure that suitable emergency arrangements are in place and work;
- assure people living or working near a ‘major hazard’ establishment that the operator takes their safety and that of the surrounding environment into account;
- help industry to conduct its activities safely and recognise that individual failures undermine the sector as a whole;
The CA’s priority objectives for delivering these aims focus on:
- safety management performance;
- leadership, competence and performance measurement;
- effective mitigation and emergency arrangements;
- monitoring standards in existing and emerging technologies;
- improving regulatory performance across the CA.
The CA’s regulatory approach will ensure:
- regulatory decisions are consistent and adopt similar approaches for similar risks;
- regulatory priorities are clear and are delivered in a way that achieves the desired regulatory outcomes;
- policies and methodologies are transparent and take account of our experience;
- regulatory programmes and procedures are open and transparent;
- effective public reporting on industry's safety management performance;
- continued development of partnerships with industry and other regulators;
- the CA's performance is publically and transparently reported.