Title: Analysis of Major Accidents Reported to the MARS Database during the period 1994-2004
Publication Year: 2007
JRC N°: JRC37547
Other Identifiers: EUR 22800 EN
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC37547
Type: EUR - Scientific and Technical Research Reports
Abstract: The analysis of past accidents in process industries is a useful method for identifying common aspects regarding the causes that triggered such accidents. The Major Accident Hazards Bureau of the European Commission Joint Research Centre (JRC) has a long tradition in the analysis of major accident reported to the MARS database in accordance with the Seveso II Directive requirements. This report presents the results of the analysis performed on a series of accidents reported to the MARS database. The analysis is limited to those events reported as major accidents occurred in EU 15 countries during the period 1994-2004. The objective of the present report is to obtain trends in the evolution of the accidents for the period analysed, as well as to establish relations between different aspects regarding the accidents studied. In particular, the aspects on which the present analysis has focused are: • Evolution of the number of major accidents per year. • Consequences of the accidents, in terms of overall fatalities and number of people injured outside the establishment concerned. • Types of industries involved in the accidents as stated in the MARS reports. • Physical consequences resulting from the accidents. • The main chemical substances involved in the accidents. The previous items have been interrelated in an attempt to establish correlations between the different parameters. For instance, for each type of industry studied, the number of accidents involving human fatalities per year will be shown, specifying what were the physical effects and the chemical substances involved. The main parameter of interest selected to highlight the accidents analysed has been the number of fatalities or injuries outside the industrial establishment, but other parameters included in the MARS reports such as economic losses or environmental damage could also be used for similar analyses in the future. The analysis performed shows how that there is a cyclical oscillation in the number of accidents reported to MARS since the implementation of the Seveso II Directive in 1996. Since that date, there appear to be periods of 3 years in which there is a progressive decrease in the number of accidents, with an abrupt increase of reported events at the end of each cycle. The present analysis also proves that accidents involving explosions are the ones that generate the most severe consequences, even though for certain types of industries, fires are of greater concern. On the other hand, accidents creating disturbances for the external population are usually related to toxic releases of general chemical products such as ammonia or hydrogen chloride. This report quantifies the accidents of each type that have been reported to MARS and shows their evolution over the years in the period analysed.
JRC Directorate:Space, Security and Migration

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