ILO 80th Session, 2nd June 1993
ILO 80th Session, 2nd June 1993
PART I. SCOPE AND DEFINITIONS
1. The purpose of this Convention is the prevention of major accidents involving hazardous substances and the limitation of the consequences of such accidents.…
For the purposes of this Convention:
(a) the term “hazardous substance” means a substance or mixture of substances which by virtue of chemical, physical or toxicological properties, either singly or in combination, constitutes a hazard;
(b) the term “threshold quantity” means for a given hazardous substance or category of substances that quantity, prescribed in national laws and regulations by reference to specific conditions, which if exceeded identifies a major hazard installation;
(c) the term “major hazard installation” means one which produces, processes, handles, uses, disposes of or stores, either permanently or temporarily, one or more hazardous substances or categories of substances in quantities which exceed the threshold quantity;
(d) the term “major accident” means a sudden occurrence—such as a major emission, fire or explosion—in the course of an activity within a major hazard installation, involving one or more hazardous substances and leading to a serious danger to workers, the public or the environment, whether immediate or delayed;
(e) the term “safety report“ means a written presentation of the technical, management and operational information covering the hazards and risks of a major hazard installation and their control and providing justification for the measures taken for the safety of the installation;
(f) the term “near miss” means any sudden event involving one or more hazardous substances which, but for mitigating effects, actions or systems, could have escalated to a major accident.
PART II. GENERAL PRINCIPLES
1. In the light of national laws and regulations, conditions and practices, and in consultation with the most representative organizations of employers and workers and with other interested parties who may be affected, each Member shall formulate, implement and periodically review a coherent national policy concerning the protection of workers, the public and the environment against the risk of major accidents.
2. This policy shall be implemented through preventive and protective measures for major hazard installations and, where practicable, shall promote the use of the best available safety technologies.
1. The competent authority, or a body approved or recognized by the competent authority, shall, after consulting the most representative organizations of employers and workers and other interested parties who may be affected, establish a system for the identification of major hazard installations as defined in Article 3(c), based on a list of hazardous substances or of categories of hazardous substances or of both, together with their respective threshold quantities, in accordance with national laws and regulations or international standards.
2. The system mentioned in paragraph 1 above shall be regularly reviewed and updated.
The competent authority, after consulting the representative organizations of employers and workers concerned, shall make special provision to protect confidential information transmitted or made available to it in accordance with Articles 8, 12, 13 or 14, whose disclosure would be liable to cause harm to an employer’s business, so long as this provision does not lead to serious risk to the workers, the public or the environment.
PART III. RESPONSIBILITIES OF EMPLOYERS IDENTIFICATION
Employers shall identify any major hazard installation within their control on the basis of the system referred to in Article 5.
1. Employers shall notify the competent authority of any major hazard installation which they have identified:
(a) within a fixed time-frame for an existing installation;
(b) before it is put into operation in the case of a new installation.
2. Employers shall also notify the competent authority before any permanent closure of a major hazard installation.
In respect of each major hazard installation employers shall establish and maintain a documented system of major hazard control which includes provision for:
(a) the identification and analysis of hazards and the assessment of risks including consideration of possible interactions between substances;
(b) technical measures, including design, safety systems, construction, choice of chemicals, operation, maintenance and systematic inspection of the installation;
(c) organizational measures, including training and instruction of personnel, the provision of equipment in order to ensure their safety, staffing levels, hours of work, definition of responsibilities, and controls on outside contractors and temporary workers on the site of the installation;
(d) emergency plans and procedures, including:
(i) the preparation of effective site emergency plans and procedures, including
emergency medical procedures, to be applied in case of major accidents or threat
thereof, with periodic testing and evaluation of their effectiveness and revision as
(ii) the provision of information on potential accidents and site emergency plans to
authorities and bodies responsible for the preparation of emergency plans and
procedures for the protection of the public and the environment outside the site of
(iii) any necessary consultation with such authorities and bodies;
(e) measures to limit the consequences of a major accident;
(f) consultation with workers and their representatives;
(g) improvement of the system, including measures for gathering information and analysing accidents and near misses. The lessons so learnt shall be discussed with the workers and their representatives and shall be recorded in accordance with national law and practice.…
* * *
PART IV. RESPONSIBILITIES OF COMPETENT AUTHORITIES
OFF-SITE EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS
Taking into account the information provided by the employer, the competent authority shall ensure that emergency plans and procedures containing provisions for the protection of the public and the environment outside the site of each major hazard installation are established, updated at appropriate intervals and coordinated with the relevant authorities and bodies.
The competent authority shall ensure that:
(a) information on safety measures and the correct behaviour to adopt in the case of a major accident is disseminated to members of the public liable to be affected by a major accident without their having to request it and that such information is updated and redisseminated at appropriate intervals;
(b) warning is given as soon as possible in the case of a major accident;
(c) where a major accident could have transboundary effects, the information required in (a) and (b) above is provided to the States concerned, to assist in cooperation and coordination arrangements.
The competent authority shall establish a comprehensive siting policy arranging for the appropriate separation of proposed major hazard installations from working and residential areas and public facilities, and appropriate measures for existing installations. Such a policy shall reflect the General Principles set out in Part II of the Convention.
1. The competent authority shall have properly qualified and trained staff with the appropriate skills, and sufficient technical and professional support, to inspect, investigate, assess, and advise on the matters dealt with in this Convention and to ensure compliance with national laws and regulations.
2. Representatives of the employer and representatives of the workers of a major hazard installation shall have the opportunity to accompany inspectors supervising the application of the measures prescribed in pursuance of this Convention, unless the inspectors consider, in the light of the general instructions of the competent authority, that this may be prejudicial to the performance of their duties.
The competent authority shall have the right to suspend any operation which poses an imminent threat of a major accident.
PART V. RIGHTS AND DUTIES OF WORKERS AND THEIR REPRESENTATIVES
The workers and their representatives at a major hazard installation shall be consulted through appropriate cooperative mechanisms in order to ensure a safe system of work. In particular, the workers and their representatives shall:
(a) be adequately and suitably informed of the hazards associated with the major hazard installation and their likely consequences;
(b) be informed of any orders, instructions or recommendations made by the competent authority;
(c) be consulted in the preparation of, and have access to, the following documents:
(i) the safety report;
(ii) emergency plans and procedures;
(iii) accident reports;
(d) be regularly instructed and trained in the practices and procedures for the prevention of major accidents and the control of developments likely to lead to a major accident and in the emergency procedures to be followed in the event of a major accident;
(e) within the scope of their job, and without being placed at any disadvantage, take corrective action and if necessary interrupt the activity where, on the basis of their training and experience, they have reasonable justification to believe that there is an imminent danger of a major accident, and notify their supervisor or raise the alarm, as appropriate, before or as soon as possible after taking such action;
(f) discuss with the employer any potential hazards they consider capable of generating a major accident and have the right to notify the competent authority of those hazards.
Workers employed at the site of a major hazard installation shall:
(a) comply with all practices and procedures relating to the prevention of major accidents and the control of developments likely to lead to a major accident within the major hazard installation;
(b) comply with all emergency procedures should a major accident occur.
PART VI. RESPONSIBILITY OF EXPORTING STATES
When, in an exporting member State, the use of hazardous substances, technologies or processes is prohibited as a potential source of a major accident, the information on this prohibition and the reasons for it shall be made available by the exporting member State to any importing country.
Source: Excerpts, Convention No. 174 (ILO 1993).