ICL site photos collage

Control of Major Accident Hazard Regulations (COMAH)

The Control of Major Accident Hazard Regulations (1999), referred to as COMAH, is the British enactment of the EU "Soveso" Directive 96/82/EC.  This legislation was designed to reduce the incidence of major industrial accidents, and to limit the consequences to people and the environment of any that do occur.  The only ICL site that falls under these regulations is the West Thurrock site, which stores sufficient quantities of detergent materials that are classed as Dangerous for the Environment.

The West Thurrock site has been recognised to be a "top-tier" site under the COMAH rules, and as a result we have expended much effort to ensure that our processes are as safe as we can make them.  We have drawn up a major accident prevention policy, backed up by a comprehensive safety management system, and generated a safety report for the government agencies (HSE and EA).   Because of the types of materials we have on site we have also enacted a full environmental management system.  To ensure that any potential incident at our site has been considered, we have prepared an emergency response plan for the site, and the local authorities have prepared an off-site emergency response plan for all of the Thurrock-area COMAH sites.

In the case of some unforeseen incident at the site, we do no expect that there will be any adverse effects on our neighbours, beyond that of normal smoke from a fire.  This is because of three factors:

  1. The site is large, and well away from residences and other buildings
  2. The hazards identified are principally to the environment, not to health, and the plant sits on a large concrete base that protects the ground from contamination
  3. We can quickly stop any water runoff (e.g. from rain) from being released to the river.