Major Industrial Accidents
There are two Upper Tier COMAH (Control of Major Accident Hazard) sites located within the borough, both on Canvey Island. The two sites are:
The Control of Major Accident Hazards Regulations 2015 (COMAH), first published in 1999, are the enforcing regulations within the United Kingdom to ensure that companies storing or handling large quantities of chemicals or other hazardous materials do so in a safe manner in order to reduce the risk of a potential major accident.
Upper tier COMAH establishments are required to produce a full safety report which demonstrates that all necessary measures have been taken to minimise risks posed by the site with regard to the environment and local populations. They are also required to produce internal (on-site) and external (off-site) emergency plans which detail how the operator, emergency services, local authorities and other agencies will respond to accidents involving the site in question.
In England the COMAH regulations are enforced by the Health and Safety Executive and the Environment Agency, both of whom conduct regular inspections of all facilities.
Internal Emergency Plans are produced and maintained by the site operator, whilst the External Emergency Plans for COMAH sites within the borough are produced and maintained by Essex County Council. The site operators and Essex County Council have decided that these plans are currently not to be made available to the public due to the commercial sensitivity of information and the potential risk to security.
The Council has a very limited role in the production of the External Emergency Plan, and in the response to an accident would be primarily responsible for providing immediate welfare assistance to those who have been evacuated from their properties, should that be deemed necessary by Essex Police.
Information for the Public
If you live within the hazard zones, which are limited to areas within close proximity of either site, you will have received information from the site operator about what to do in the event of an accident. You can also download this information below: