Industrial accidents involving dangerous substances often have serious consequences on life or human health, their property and cause irreversibly damages to the environment for a long time, as evidenced by major accidents in the towns of Seveso, Bhopal, Enschede, Toulouse, Buncefield and other. In most cases, inappropriate handling of dangerous substances in establishments, neglecting of technological procedures, or the failure of the human factor were the main causes.
The most important "mission"of the prevention is to avoid such accidents and to limit consequences for human health, the environment, and property. At present, the prevention of major industrial accidents (hereinafter referred to as “MIA”) in the European Union is regulated by Directive 2012/18/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 July 2012 on the control of majoraccidents hazards involving dangerous substances, amending and subsequently repealing Council Directive 96/82/EC (hereinafter referred to as "SEVESO III Directive"). Main changes are associated with the classification of chemicals in the European Union (Regulation No. 1272/2008 on classification, labeling and packaging of substances and mixtures – so called "CLP Regulation").
In the Slovak republic, fully transposition of the Seveso III Directive has been implemented by approving the Act No. 128/2015 Coll. on the prevention of major industrial accidents and on amending andsupplementing of certain acts as amended (hereinafter referred to as "Act on Accidents") and subsequently by its implementing regulation – Decree of MoE SR No. 198/2015 Coll. implementing certain provisions of the Act No. 128/2015 Coll. on the prevention of major industrial accidents and on amending and supplementing of certain actsas amended(hereinafter referred to as "the Decree").
The Act on Accidents that came into force on 1 August 2015 lays down rules for prevention of MIA in establishments, where significant quantities of dangerous substances are present in order to ensure the prevention and minimize consequences of MIA in the event of its occurrence. It establishes obligations for operators of such establishments and competences for state authorities. In line with SEVESO III Directive it strengthens the provisions on access to information to the public particularly persons likely to be affected by accident, public participation in the decision-making process and access to justice and system of inspections.
The decree establishes details on essentials and the form of the notification of the establishment classification; on risk evaluation – its form, scope, proceeding, and the use of results; on the content and elaboration of the Major accidents prevention policy and the safety management system; on the content of safety report; on essentials of internal emergency plan – its revision and testing; on collecting data on MIA; on the content of professionally qualified person preparation.
The Act on Accidents and the Decree are in line with existing policies and objectives oriented on protecting human health and the environment. The application of its provisions clearly contributes to improving the environment by minimizing industrial accidents and their consequences.
Another of the main international documents in this area concluded under the auspices of the UN Economic Commission for Europe is Convention on the Transboundary Effects of Industrial Accidents which was opened for signature on 17 and 18 March 1992 in Helsinki. It´s goal is to ensure the conceptual and systematic activity of the Parties in the MIA prevention which may have transboundary effects, preparedness for such accidents, coping with these accidents including limiting their effects on human, environment and property. In the Slovak Republic, this Convention came into force on 8 December 2003.
Geographical location of Seveso enterprises in the Slovak Republic