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The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has published a further document to enable local authority emergency planning...
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has published a further document to enable local authority emergency planning officers to comply with a statutory duty relating to potential pipeline emergencies.

This is the duty under the Pipelines Safety Regulations 1996 to

prepare emergency plans for pipelines (eg oil, natural gas or chemical pipelines) which have the potential to cause a major accident. Planners have until March 1998 to prepare such plans.

Some guidance has already been published on the interpretation

of the regulations and on how they will be enforced in HSE's A

guide to the Pipelines Safety Regulations 1996.

The document published today considers in more detail the nature

of pipeline hazards, their technical aspects, and the likelihood

and consequences of pipeline failure.

On emergency planning requirements, the document defines the

broad aims and objectives of emergency plans, and emphasises the

importance of early and continuing liaison between local

authority planners and pipeline operators. It goes on to give

guidance on the provision of information to the public in the

event of an emergency, evacuation arrangements, and the testing

of emergency plans and procedures.

The document provides guidance on the adequacy of emergency

plans to cope with pipeline failures, under the headings:

causes of pipeline failure, probability of failure, size and

duration of pipeline leaks, hazards and effects of pipeline

failure (fire and explosion; toxic, blast, and cryogenic

effects; asphyxiation; and noise), hazard range and emergency

plan distance, and 'reference' or 'worst credible' accidents.

Appendices provide further assistance to emergency planners,

including specimen contents and structure for an emergency plan,

and contact points with operational units in HSE's Chemical &

Hazardous Installations Division.

Copies of Further Guidance on Emergency Plans for Major Accident

Pipelines, ISBN 0 7176 1393 3, price£10, are available from

HSE Books, PO Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk, CO10 6FS, tel:

01787-881165 or fax: 01787-313995. Priced publications are also

available from good booksellers.


1. The Pipelines Safety Regulations 1996 (SI 1996 No 825,

available from HMSO) came into effect on 11 April 1996. Among

the aims of the regulations were to provide for the opening up

of the gas market to competition, to take forward reforms

relating to offshore pipelines stemming from the Cullen Report

into the Piper Alpha disaster, and to harmonise existing

legislation on pipelines. The regulations focus on ensuring the

health and safety of people; environmental consequences are

dealt with by other legislation within the remit of environment

departments and agencies.

2. HSE's earlier guidance on the regulations, A guide to the

Pipelines Safety Regulations 1996, ISBN 0 7176 1182 5, price

£9.00, was published on 17 June 1996, and is available from HSE


PUBLIC ENQUIRIES: Call HSE's InfoLine, tel: 0541 545500, or

write to: HSE Information Centre, BroadLane, Sheffield, S3 7HQ.

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