Health and Safety News

Occupational health and safety news and guidance

Seveso II Directive Update

The new Seveso Directive proposal is under negotiation; a report outlining the likely impact on COMAH (Control of Major Accident Hazards) sites of possible changes is now available.

Chemical accidents often have serious, even devastating, consequences. Some well known major accidents like Seveso, Bhopal, Schweizerhalle, Enschede, Toulouse and Buncefield have taken many lives and cost up to billions of euro. The Seveso legislation addresses accident prevention and preparedness and lessons learned from such accidents.

The current Seveso II Directive 96/82/EC was adopted in 1996 and amended by Directive 2003/105/EC. Its main objective is to prevent major accidents involving large quantities of dangerous substances (or mixtures thereof) as listed in its Annex I and to limit the consequences of such accidents for human health and the environment.

The Directive has to be amended due to changes in the EU system of classification of dangerous substances to which the Directive refers. In the light of this, it was decided in 2008 to launch a wider review since the basic structure of the Directive and its main requirements have remained essentially unchanged since its adoption.

Although the review has shown that that overall the existing provisions are fit for purpose and that no major changes are required, a number of areas were identified where limited amendments would be appropriate in order to clarify and update certain provisions and to improve implementation and enforceability while maintaining or slightly increasing the level of protection for health and environment.

To find out more about the existing Directive, click here.

To find out about the proposed new Directive, click here.

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