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
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.