So summer is here, and there’s more than whiff of safety issues in the air.
The big change came into effect at the start of this month, when the Control of Major Accident Hazards (COMAH) Regulations 2015 came into force, replacing the existing COMAH regulations.
Many new sites could be dragged in to the regulations
As the feature from our June issue explains, the regulations are now much more specific about the substances that are covered by regulations, and commentators claim that many new sites could be dragged in to the regulations.
However, before you start panicking that your site could be affected, it’s important to remember that there is a 12-month transition period to allow all COMAH site operators to get used to the new registration system, which is being delivered completely digitally via the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) website.
It’s a good job that there is a 12-month grace period because, as Process Engineering went to press at the end of May, there was still no indication from the HSE as to what the system would look like or how long the registration process will take to complete (in the last few days the HSE has subsequently updated its website with details of how to submit new COMAH notifcations under the 2015 regulations).
Speaking of safety and technology (smooth segue, huh?), from major disasters like the BP Deepwater Horizon explosion through to concerns over fugitive emissions from shale gas development, gas detection technology is enjoying something of a boom at the moment thanks to a combination of market forces and ever-more stringent environmental and safety legislation.
In our June issue cover feature, Louisa Hearn explores how rapid advances in technology are affording process operators not only the ability to more accurately detect when a safety incident may occur, but also a better understanding of the nature of the gases in their facility, and the capability to understand all of this remotely thanks to wireless devices.
It is with a heavy heart that I also have to inform you that the June 2015 issue will be Louisa’s last as our features editor.
During her time at the magazine Louisa has transformed our back of magazine section into one that provides solid content across a range of sectors, technologies and disciplines.
Process Engineering’s headquarters just won’t be the same without her antipodean twang ringing out across the office. Good luck, Louisa.