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The COMAH Competent Authority

Regulating COMAH

COMAH 2015 is enforced in Great Britain by the COMAH competent authority (CA). This comprises five public bodies working in partnership;

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:

The CA’s priority objectives for delivering these aims focus on:

The CA’s regulatory approach will ensure:

The CA working with industry - COMAH Strategic Forum and CDOIF

The CA works in partnership with stakeholders to improve major accident hazard management and raise standards across industry. The COMAH Strategic Forum (CSF) and the Chemical and Downstream Oil Industries Forum (CDOIF) are two such partnerships and comprise high level representatives from the COMAH Competent Authority (CA) and industry. CSF was initially established (2013) to serve as a steering group to support the CA's response to the Better Regulation Executive (BRE) Review of Enforcement in the Chemicals Industry.

The CSF provides industry and the CA with a means for strategic discussion on how they can work together to provide leadership and encourage continuous improvement in the inspection, management and control (including emergency preparedness and response) of major accident hazards across the onshore industries. More information on CSF (and CDOIF) is available at the CSF web community website. The community’s primary audience will be those who operate establishments covered by the Control of Major Accident Hazards Regulations 2015 (COMAH), but the information provided will be of interest and use to all those involved in the processing and storage of chemicals.