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Industrial accidents caused by unintended emissions of large quantities of hazardous substances may pollute the environment and have an adverse effect on the health of people. In order to protect people and the environment, we are implementing measures to prevent such accidents, and to reduce the harmful consequences in the event of an accident.

Possible consequences of polluting the environment

Industrial accidents caused by unintended emissions of large quantities of hazardous substances may pollute the environment and have an adverse effect on the health of people.

Due to the properties of hazardous substances (such as flammability, explosiveness, and toxicity), failure to safely store such substances may have adverse effects on the health of people, may damage and destroy buildings, and industrial and infrastructure facilities, and pollute the environment - the ground, surface water, and groundwater.

Analyses of major accidents involving hazardous substances that occurred in the past have shown that these were mostly caused by human, technical, and organisational errors in industrial facilities; most frequently, the accident was caused by a combination of the employees’ incorrect actions, or lack thereof, and the failure of the correct operation of the processing or safety equipment. Major accidents involving hazardous substances may also be caused by natural phenomena, such as earthquakes, floods, or lightning strikes, or they may be the consequence of malicious and criminal actions.

Responsible preventive actions

Unsupervised and unintentional emissions of hazardous substances and major accidents can be prevented in practice with a responsible course of action taken by facility managers who recognise the dangers that are typical for the main activity of the facility.

The reality, however, is different. History shows that major industrial accidents rarely happen, but when they do happen, they can have severe consequences for people and the environment.

This is why we implement measures to prevent major industrial accidents involving hazardous substances, and measures with which we are prepared to take action in the event of an accident, in order to limit the harmful consequences for people and the environment.

The measures concern industrial facilities that contain larger quantities of hazardous substances, which meet the requirements for being classified as risk for the environment, in line with the regulation on preventing major accidents and reducing their consequences.

Measures

All stakeholders, managers of facilities at risk, and administrative authorities contribute to the responsible planning and implementation of these measures at systemic and operational level.

Compared to the dangers of other accidents, the systemic level assesses the state risk, which is represented in Slovenia by the hazards of accidents with hazardous substances, where the effectiveness of preventive and preparatory measures is assessed, we pursue the advancements of the profession and science, the know-how from analyses of causes of accidents, and the appropriateness of responses to them.

At operational level, we monitor and supervise the operations of facilities at risk by reviewing the documentation of the controller, and issuing an environmental permit. Controllers of facilities at risk, and local communities in the area where they operate, draft protection and rescue plans and implement preparatory measures in line with these plans.

Even the awareness of citizens, regarding the dangers of major industrial accidents involving hazardous substances, and knowing the correct intervention processes, is an important element of protection against disasters. The controllers of industrial facilities and local communities are the ones who prepare information on the dangers of major accidents in facilities at risk, and on taking action in such events.