2003

Health and Safety Executive Research Report RR092

Co-author P Waite

Concerns the 'softer' issues of COMAH such as the impact of writing a safety report and the views and perceptions of duty holders. A group of new entrants to COMAH were identified as the ideal 'target' group, with two counterfactual groups chosen. Questionnaires were sent to 303 establishments, the response rate was 50%, with 66% for the target group. 43 interviews were also carried out. 90% of establishments had made some changes to their arrangements for major accident hazards as a result of COMAH. 55% commented that without COMAH these changes would not have happened, or would have taken much longer. Suggests that although writing a safety report helps to systematically identify where changes are needed and target changes it can conversely lead to delays in implementing changes to the way safety is managed. The financial impact of COMAH on industry has been significant, , and the judgement as to whether this represents value for money is finely balanced.