Legal Requirements and Risk Management Best Practice
The UK operates a strict regulatory and licensing regime in respect of ammonium nitrate. Such legislation includes:
- Control of Major Accident Hazards Regulations (COMAH)
- Dangerous Substances (Notification and Marking of Sites) Regulations 1990
- Ammonium Nitrate Materials (High Nitrogen Content) Regulations
- Planning (Hazardous Substances) Regulations
- The Dangerous Goods in Harbour Areas Regulations 2016
Best practice in respect of storing ammonium nitrate includes:
- Using single storey, dedicated, well-ventilated buildings that are constructed from non-combustible materials. Where stores are located near to densely populated areas, it may be preferable to store ammonium nitrate outside.
- Limiting stack sizes and maintaining safe distances between stacks.
- Locating storage away from combustible materials and all possible sources of heat, fire and explosion.
- Prohibiting smoking.
- Avoiding drains, channels or pits where molten ammonium nitrate from a fire could become confined.
- Keeping walls, floors and equipment clean.
- Maintaining handling plant and other equipment.
- Clearing up spillages and contamination promptly.
- Providing suitable fire-fighting equipment.
- Securing the site.
- Training all relevant staff.
Further risk management information is available via the HSE website here.
Those with strong risk management practices that are well communicated to insurers are in the best position to weather this storm.
Organisations also need to fully assess the potential impact of an ammonium nitrate explosion in determining the structure and scope of their insurance programme. This applies not only to those manufacturing, handling and storing ammonium nitrate, but also to those within the potential blast radius of such an operation.
This assessment, commonly termed an estimated maximum loss, should consider material damage, business interruption and liability exposures arising from such an event.
Griffiths & Armour can provide assistance in undertaking estimated maximum loss exercises and advising on appropriate levels of insurance cover in line with your risk appetite.
For further information please contact us by using the enquiry feature below and a member of our risk management team will be in touch promptly to deal with your request.