Title: Natech Risk Reduction in the European Union
Authors: KRAUSMANN ElisabethBARANZINI Daniele
Citation: JOURNAL OF RISK RESEARCH vol. 15 no. 8 p. 1027-1047
Publication Year: 2012
JRC N°: JRC67655
ISSN: 1366-9877
URI: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13669877.2012.666761
DOI: 10.1080/13669877.2012.666761
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: A study was performed on the status of Natech risk reduction in EU Member States by means of a questionnaire survey. The results show that natural hazards are increasingly recognised as a possibly important external risk source for chemical facilities. The management of Natech risk is mainly addressed through the Member States’ legal framework for chemical-accident prevention whose effectiveness appears, however, inconclusive. Guidance on Natech risk reduction to support legislation is scarce and, where existing, did not always prevent Natech accidents from occurring. In fact, in over half the responding countries Natech accidents have resulted in the release of toxic substances, fires or explosions with sometimes fatalities and injuries. The natural events that triggered these accidents were not necessarily the ones believed to be of most concern in the Natech context, indicating an incongruity between accident causes and risk perception. Gaps in Natech risk reduction were recognised and are mostly due to budget constraints and a lack of adequate resources which lead to the prioritisation of tasks deemed more important, a lack of training, and insufficient knowledge of the dynamics of Natech accidents. This has resulted in a lack of specific Natech risk-assessment methodologies and tools. Consequently, industry in almost half of the responding countries is believed to insufficiently consider Natech risk in their facility risk assessment. The development of guidance on Natech risk assessment was indicated as the highest-priority need for effective risk reduction. The study concludes with a number of priority areas for future work to improve the management of Natech risk. The results of a Natech questionnaire survey in OECD Member Countries which was performed in parallel show the same trend.
JRC Directorate:Space, Security and Migration

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