"Permissioning" bombshell for major hazard sites

The new EC Directive on major accident hazards will force the UK to introduce a "permissioning" regime for "top tier" hazardous installations, a senior official from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) announced in February. Operators were also warned to expect their safety reports to receive much more detailed scrutiny from the HSE. But the HSE appears not to have appreciated the full consequences of the Directive's provisions on public access to information and how they will expose its own oversight of hazardous sites to greater public scrutiny.

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