Assistance with safety and environment in small process plants

Yngve Malmen, Jari Schabel

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference abstract in proceedingsScientific


    Most schemes for safety, health and environment (SHE) management have been developed by - or with the assistance of - representatives from large enterprises. Consequently, many small companies feel that the current management systems are too complex to suit their needs and the need for a new approach is often mentioned. The objective of the work reported in this paper was to develop a methodology for SHE assurance with respect to accidents in small plants handling, processing or storing hazardous chemicals. Based on a survey of small process plants and interviews with competent authorities in several European countries, key issues for the development of the methodology were identified. In addition, European directives and regulations, international standards and codes of practice were reviewed. The resulting methodology has been implemented as a Guidebook containing background information as to why and when certain measures should be taken by the management of small process plants, and as a Workbook containing detailed instructions to several self-assessment procedures. The methodology is tailored to the needs and abilities of small plants. It is simple to use - without being simplistic - and covers basic SHE principles. The methodology has been developed in English by a European group of experts. The Guidebook describes the basic steps in risk management: hazard identification, risk analysis, risk reduction, and internal auditing and review based on existing European legislation, standards and codes of practice. The work is subdivided into tens of individual tasks designed to enable work with the methodology even with the limited resources available in small plants. Based on the level of ambition of the company, the methods used can usually be selected from a suggested couple of options. The individual methods provided in the Workbook are presented separately. A set of forms are provided to allow the systematic documentation of the work. The Workbook also contains, for instance, a scheduler and a presentation kit to assist the plant manager in planning and executing the work associated with the methodology. So far, the methodology has only been tested in a few companies within Europe and more time is required to allow for more extensive exploitation. Only then can the effectiveness of the methodology to reduce accidents in small plants be assessed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationFrom Protection to Promotion
    Subtitle of host publicationInternational Symposium on Occupational Health and Safety in Small-scale Enterprises, Helsinki, Finland, 4-6 May 1998. Abstracts.
    Place of PublicationHelsinki
    PublisherFinnish Institute of Occupational Health
    ISBN (Print)951-802-230-5
    Publication statusPublished - 1998
    MoE publication typeNot Eligible


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