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Published: 21st September 2022

Understanding COMAH: The Performance And Recognition Framework

1 The COMAH Regulations place duties on Operators of COMAH establishments
to take all measures necessary to prevent major accidents and limit their
consequences to people and the environment. The regulations also place duties on
regulators to organise an adequate system of inspection. There is a specific duty on
the Competent Authority (CA) for COMAH to draw up plans for routine inspections
of all COMAH establishments. This must be done on a regular basis. The CA fulfils
this responsibility by developing annually reviewed and revised Intervention Plans.
2 This Framework describes how the CA takes account of businesses’ performance
in controlling major accident risks when planning its inspections and discusses how this
may influence the scope and level of each anticipated ‘intervention’.
3 COMAH Operators have the opportunity to discuss their draft Intervention Plan
prior to the CA finalising the plan. Although these discussions are unlikely to lead to
regulatory priorities identified on the plan being removed, Operators can influence
the scope of their Intervention Plan by sharing suitable evidence about their
performance in controlling major accident risk.
4 The Framework will enable Operators to identify relevant evidence that may
enable the CA to reshape the scope or depth of the planned intervention. In
addition, where Operators participate in voluntary, Trade Association or other
schemes or initiatives that improve their control of major accident risks, these are
similarly taken into account.
5 Importantly, the Framework does not affect the CA’s responsibilities to
develop COMAH Intervention Plans, which will continue to reflect Inspectors’
judgements on how they have arrived at the intervention agenda. Where they are
unclear, Operators are encouraged to discuss with CA inspection teams how their
performance has influenced their Intervention Plan.

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