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Incidents / Accidents

2Declaration obligation2 The operator must report accidents and incidents to the Inspectorate of classified installations as soon as possible. 2Role of the operator in case of incident or accident2 In case of an incident or accident, the operator must, under the authority of the administration, implement appropriate measures. The corresponding resources and provisions are described in the risk assessment report and the facility’s POI.

The operator should:

  • keep public authorities informed
  • implement appropriate mitigation and intervention measures
  • liaise with the emergency services and provide them with the information required to resolve the accident
  • adopt prevention measures in order to reduce the probability of reoccurrence and the seriousness of this type of event

The operator must send an accident report to the Inspectorate of classified installations and, upon request of the Inspectorate, an incident report. 2Role of the inspectorate in case of incident or accident2 The inspectorate:

  • investigates to control the enforcement of the legislation,
  • reports potential infringements and communicates its reports to the Public Prosecutor along with the required background information,
  • proposes, when necessary, the appropriate sanction procedure to the Prefect,
  • assesses the adequacy of the requirements already imposed upon the operator with regard to the occurrence,
  • if necessary, proposes appropriate requirements and sometimes emergency measures to the Prefect.

Furthermore, the Inspectorate is at the disposal of the Prefect or emergency services to provide them with any information available likely to be of assistance to people in danger or facilitate accident control. 2Informing the public in case of incident or accident2 In the spirit of the law of 30 July 2003 on technological and natural risks and in order to enhance the shared culture of industrial risks, the Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Spatial Planning, beyond the compulsory disclosure of accidents and incidents, aims at encouraging high-risk companies subject to the “Seveso” directive to inform the public “in real time” in the case of a notable incident.

The Union of Chemical Industries (UIC), the French Union of Petroleum Industries (UFIP) and the Study Group for the Safety of Petrochemical Industries (GESIP) are the first organisations to adhere to this communication approach to the public.

This information, which relates to the chronology, circumstances and consequences of the incident, as well as the measures taken, is mostly designed for local residents, salaried employees, elected officials, local authorities, associations and the local media. To facilitate everyone’s comprehension of certain types of technical data relative to the products involved, the “discharged hazardous materials” index of the European accident scale is used to provide a simplified reference on the source term of the incident.

The objective of this localised communication is to inform and make the population aware of the reality and difficulty of industrial risk prevention so that this population can help manage the risks to which it is exposed. In addition, it is an opportunity for the operator to make known the incidents observed as well as the corrective measures taken to improve risk prevention.

Based on the voluntary participation of companies, this approach, whose principle is to inform the general public in case of incidents occurring in Seveso sites, has been effective since the beginning of 2007.

Local Information and Dialogue Committees (CLIC) are kept informed of any incident and accident affecting the safety of the installations. Provided during committee meetings, often following the analysis of the events, this information allows the operator to indicate the preventative measures adopted and maintain in-depth dialogue with local residents.

In addition to the CLIC, media, local authorities and residents have a right to be informed by other channels: press releases, website information, direct meetings etc.

2Provision of information to the public in case the PPI is triggered2 This provision of information to the Public is carried out under the authority of the Prefect. 2Restoring service following an accident2 Restoring service in an installation temporarily out of order following an accident may be subject to a new prefectural permit.


Environmental code – Articles L 125-2, L 512-7, L 512-12, L 514-1 to L 514-18
Articles R512-31, R512-69, R512-70, R514-4 of the environmental code