RIVM Report 2018-0057: Analysis of incidents with hazardous substances at large companies 2017-2018

[Source: RIVM, https://www.rivm.nl/publicaties/analyse-van-incidenten-met-gevaarlijke-stoffen-bij-grote-bedrijven-2017-2018 ]


The RIVM analyses annual incidents involving hazardous substances at large chemical companies. The analysis of 2017-2018 includes twelve incidents, including a fire and two explosions. Dangerous substances were released during the other incidents. Three people were injured. Their injuries were presumably recoverable.

Chemical companies must ensure that installations are in order and that production processes and activities are carried out safely. In the twelve incidents, things went wrong in various areas, for example because materials weakened or chemical reactions were not properly controlled. The deviations that occurred were not detected and repaired in time, due to a lack of control and inspection. In six incidents, an emergency measure could have prevented the incident. However, these emergency measures, such as protecting the installation against overpressure, were not implemented or not adequately maintained.

In nine incidents, underlying work procedures were not in order or not properly implemented. In addition, the competence and alertness of the personnel was sometimes insufficient and there were sometimes insufficient suitable materials to work safely.

This annual report is part of a long-term assignment of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment (SZW) to analyse incidents investigated by the Inspectorate SZW. RIVM examines the similarities and differences between these incidents. The findings can be used for inspection and enforcement strategies. Companies can use the insights to improve their safety policy.


Date of publication:

5 July 2018



Number of pages:




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