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RR1055 Modelling the economic impacts of an accident at major hazard sites

This report documents the development, implementation and results of a model to estimate the economic costs of accidents at major hazard sites in Great Britain, focusing on the impacts of the accident, and taking into consideration a broad spectrum of losses. A catastrophe-modelling type approach was used to structure the work, based around model components for hazard, vulnerability and economic cost. The model was developed by the Health and Safety Laboratory in Buxton (HSL) with further input from the Welsh Economic Research Unit at Cardiff Business School and HSE, and used the COCO-2 model developed by Public Health England for nuclear site accidents as a starting point of reference.

Hazard models were developed to take advantage of existing information regarding the risk around major hazard sites that is used to inform HSE’s land-use planning advice. The model also took advantage of national geographic datasets on the types and locations of buildings and population, including HSE’s National Population Database. The costs considered included casualty impact costs, business disruptions, business temporary locations, building damage and evacuation costs.

The model was applied to all major hazard sites in Great Britain, with average costs estimated across all sites, and for subsets based on the expected hazard, type of site, Control Of Major Accident Hazards (COMAH) classification and geographical administrative regions.

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Updated 2019-09-20