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External Safety

The quantities of hazardous chemicals present at a number of SABIC sites in Europe mean that we must operate under special regulations designed to protect external safety.

External safety concerns the risks to “the surrounding area” in handling hazardous materials; specifically, in the use, storage and transport of these materials. The European Seveso II Directive obliges companies to provide information on the risks that their operations pose to the local population.

Quantitative Risk Assessment (QRA) is a valuable tool for determining the risks to individuals and society at large. QRA provides information that facilitates decision-making on the acceptability of risks related to developments on or near the site and along transport routes. Hazard sources are systematically identified for all phases of operation (start-up, normal operation, shut-down, loading/unloading, etc.) as well as those that are related to the management of the whole life cycle of the establishment and its plants (i.e. design, construction, installation, commissioning, decommissioning, equipment or process modifications, work permit system, maintenance, etc.).

Hazards are avoided or reduced at source through the application of inherently safe practices. When risk remains, then risk evaluation principles such as ALARA (As Low As Reasonably Achievable) or Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA) may be used to determine the level of measures required to effectively control the identified risks. Assessment of the prevention, control, and mitigation measures, both technical and/or organizational, is made in conjunction with the overall risk assessment of the establishment or activity.