Chemicals firms have won a temporary reprieve from new laws which will impose a £750 per day compulsory check on their safety management systems.
The assessments, under Comah, the new Control of Major Accident Harzard legislation, could take more than two months to complete for a process plant with 1,600 staff, the Health and Safety Executive estimates. The bill for such an assessment over 41 working days would be over £30,000.
But industry complaints have succeeded in postponing the assessment timetable for sites whose licences under the old accident hazard legislation run out after August. These firms now have until February 2000 to have their sites reassessed.
Delays in printing guidance notes have also forced the HSE to postpone implementation from 3 February to 1 April.
The Chemical Industries Association said firms also face the cost of time spent preparing safety reports, plant modifications and procedural changes associated with the new legislation.