UK HSE – RR823 – Plant Ageing Study

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Ageing plant is a significant issue.

Across Europe, between 1980 and 2006, it is estimated that there have been 96 incidents reported in the MARS database relating to major accident potential loss of containment which are estimated to be due to ageing plant. This represents 28% of all reported ‘major accident’ loss of containment events in the MARS database and equates to an overall loss of 11 lives, 183 injuries and over € 170 million of economic loss.

Onshore chemical plant in the UK is ageing. Between 1996 and 2008 there have been 173 loss of containment incidents reported in RIDDOR that can be attributable to ageing plant. This represents 5.5% of all loss of containment events. Health and Safety Executive (HSE) field inspectors often have to consider the Operators’ safety justification for continued use of ageing plant taking account of a variety of issues such as usage, design life, known research, known operational and failure history, maintenance and inspection history, etc.

This report and the work it describes were funded by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

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