The expert appraisal of risks and the assessment of the impact of industrial activity on the environment and health are rapidly changing and growing sectors. The INERIS conducts research programmes which provide scientific state-of-the art expertise and which take account of work carried out within the national, European and international scientific community.

Accidental risks

Oméga 20 - Approach for evaluating human safety barriers (2009)

The risks generated by the plant – represented by accidental scenarios – are demonstrated upon performing risk assessment. For each of the scenarios, the safety functions are determined. These functions are fulfilled by safety barriers. The probability of an accident in a hazardous installation depends, i.e. on the performances of the safety barriers, i.e. their capability of efficiently fulfilling the safety function which is allotted to them. The development of the approach presented in this document was guided by the requirement of having tools with which the performance of human safety barriers may be evaluated and demonstrated. In present practices evaluation and management of risks are performed by « technicians » (notably engineers). The goal of the approach described in this report is especially to provide to non-specialist “risk technicians” of human factors, an evaluation method in order to characterize and evaluate the performance of human safety barriers.

Oméga 15 - Formalization of knowledge and tools in the area of major risks - Vessel bursts, phenomenology and effect modelling (2012)

This report W-15 presents a synthesis of current knowledge about the phenomenon of vessel bursts, as, for example, the atmospheric or pressurized storage containing a pressurized gaseous phase at the time of rupture. The burst can be due to an increase in pressure in the vessel or to a deterioration of its physical properties.
The environmental effects of a vessel burst considered in this report are first, the release of a pressure wave, and second, the projection of fragments. The pressure wave results froms the brutal release of the gas contained in the vessel or from vapor if the vessel contains an overheated liquid. This report presents four global methods for effects prediction: the Baker's and UFIP's methods and the Shock Tube-TNT PROJEX and DIFREX methods developed by INERIS.

Final report - International Benchmark on regulations and practices as regards managing industrial installation ageing - DRA 71 DRA 73 (2009)

This document constitutes the report relating to the global study on managing ageing. It is based on a comparison between the regulation and standards in France and abroad, as regards ageing management in industrial facilities (testing and inspecting equipment, qualifying bodies to perform these inspections, etc.). The countries included in this study, beyond France, are the United Kingdom, the United States, the Netherlands and Germany.

Explosion of a grain silo (France - Blaye 33) (1998)

On Wednesday August 20th 1997, an accident occurred at the grain storage facilities of the Société d'Exploitation Maritime Blayaise (SEMABLA) at Blaye (Gironde). The accident mainly affected a vertical grain storage silo. The collapse of a major part of this facility, notably on the administrative and technical buildings, caused 12 victims (11 deaths and 1 injury). As part of the administrative inquiry that is held concerning any accident of this type, INERIS (National Institute for Environmental protection and Industrial Risks Management) was requested by the Ministry for National and Regional Development and the Environment to conduct an expert appraisal in support of the DRIRE Aquitaine (Regional Directorate for Industry, Research and the Environment for the region of Aquitaine).

The Rase Project : Explosive Atmosphere : Risk Assessment of Unit Operations and Equipment (2000)

The RASE project objective was to develop a Risk Assessment Methodology for Unit Operations and Equipment to help manufacturers of equipment and protective systems intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres meet the requirements of the EU Directives 89/392/EC (machinery directive) and 94/9/EC (ATEX 100A). It will also be useful to satisfy the requirement in Directive 99/92/EC (ATEX 137A) for users of such equipment to produce an explosion protection document. It is intended that the results of the RASE project be incorporated into this standard by the relevant working group CEN/TC305/WG4. The RASE project is co-ordinated by INBUREX in Germany with the participation of FSA Germany, INERIS France, HSE England, NIRO Denmark and CMR Norway. The project started in Dec 1997 and is due for completion in May 2000.

Perfecting a Tool for Simulating Accident Situations in Underground Networks BCRD (1997)

This project takes aim at the following primary goals: improving the evaluation of accidental effects in complex underground structures, drawing up a computer coupling for a single-dimensional model for networked ventilation systems along with a three-dimensional model for dispersion calculations (CFD model) covering smoke from fires and toxic emissions. performing experimental test cases in order to obtain data for validating the digital development work undertaken, validating the development work undertaken. In this project, therefore saw the implementation of development work based around the numerical coupling of two kinds of calculation: calculating ventilation networks with the aim of forecasting the overall behavior of a construction, calculating fluid dynamics as represented by the Navier-Stokes equations (CFD code) aimed at correctly taking into account the local behavior of an accidental source. To implement this numerical coupling and its validation, the following have been created : a new code for calculation ventilation networks – New-Vendis, an experimental installation dedicated to obtaining validation data and more generally for the small scale simulation of accidental effects.

Comparative performance tests on flame detectors (2011)

In Europe, flame detectors are covered by the Construction Products Directive 89/106/CEE and shall be compliant with the European harmonized standard EN 54-10 “Fire detection and fire alarm systems – Part 10: Flame detectors – Point Detectors”. This standard specifies requirements, tests methods and performance criteria for point-type and resettable flame detectors intended to be used in fire detection systems installed inside buildings. There is no European standard covering outdoor industrial use. The objective of this campaign was therefore to conduct a comparative study of performances and limitations of flame detectors on the market for outdoor industrial use (mainly in oil & gas process industry). The results of this study should be used to inform end users and public institutions about the important aspects to consider to implement flame detectors and not to alter their effectiveness, especially when considered in hazard studies as a component of a technical safety barrier.

Ammonia Large-scale atmospheric dispersion tests (2005)

The report is organised as follows. After a description of main properties of ammonia in chapter 2, a summary of atmospheric dispersion in general and ammonia dispersion in particular is given in chapter 3. Then, the large-scale tests conducted within the scope of this programme are described in chapter 4. Finally, a summary of the analysis of the release conditions measurements and the measurements recorded leeward from the releases is given in chapter 5 and 6, respectively.


Main publications and communications in the area of accidental risks (2006)

The present document establishes a collection of the main publications and communications of INERIS in the field of accidental risks. These communications were listed according to the working subjects dealt with the Division of Accidental Risks within the framework of a global approach of the risks: Risk assessement, Risk reduction, Decision-making, Formalization and transfer of knowledge.

Radical changes - breakthrough and prospective (2007)
Policies for the management of environmental risks (2006)
Survey and comparison of common tools and service platform (2005)
Continuity of risk management from work place accident to major accident (2005)
Public perception and communication on risk (2006)
Improving the efficiency of the organisational management with regard to safety, health and environment (2005)
Integration of IPPC and SEVESO directives (2005)
Industrial installation ageing management - Refinery storage benchmark - DRA71-Operation A4 - DRA73-Operation C2.1 (2010)

Considering the incidents and accidents that have occurred over the past years in French industrial installations, the French Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy (MEDDE) launched, through a memo dated 12 December 2008 (see Annex A in the General Benchmark2), an action plan on managing ageing as part of the prevention of technological hazards.

Industrial installation ageing management - Refinery piping benchmark - DRA71-Operation A4 - DRA73-Operation C2.1 (2010)

Considering the incidents and accidents that have occurred over the past years at French industrial installations, the French Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy (MEDDE) launched, through a memo dated December 12th 2008, an action plan on managing industrial installation ageing as part of the prevention of technological hazards.
This report relates to the specific study of ageing management in refinery piping. It is based on a comparison between the regulation and standards applied in France and abroad, as regards ageing management (testing and inspection of equipment, qualified bodies to perform these inspections, etc.).

Guide to Implement the ALARP Principle for Installations Classified for the Protection of the Environment (ICPE) (2014)

Today, technical-economic studies are sometimes conducted to decide whether a measure should be implemented or not. However, it remains difficult to interpret the results in order to make an informed decision. The method proposed by INERIS seeks to address this difficulty in this guide. It is a decision-making support tool. The guideline document is intended for operators of industrial sites and for inspectors of classified installations, to whom it offers a structured approach to justify the risk reduction. It thus guides the decision on whether to implement an additional risk reduction measure or not.

Omega 13 report - Standard boil-over and thin layer boil-over (2015)

In the case of a tank fire in the presence of a water deposit, 3 situations may be observed at the end of combustion:
- The liquid is not sufficiently viscous and no projection is observed. This is the case of petrol for example. No particular effect besides the tank fire is to be feared and no additional modeling is to be carried out;
- A so-called "thin layer" boil-over with the occurrence of heat gradient over only a few centimeters of hydrocarbon which are susceptible to being suspended. This is what has been observed, for the time being, only with gasoil, domestic fuel oil and JET-AA. The estimation of the consequences may be carried out by means of the model described in this document;
- A so-called "standard" boil-over is observed when the product is sufficiently viscous and when it is capable of forming a heat wave following its distillation into light ends and heavy ends. This is what may be observed with light crude oil for example. The estimation of the radiative consequences may be carried out by means of the model described in this document.

The Guide to Human and Organisational Factors (HOF) Engineering (2015)

This HOF engineering guide has the objective of proposing to industrial safety agents who are non-specialists of HOF reference points for a structured approach in the field of HOF in high-risk industry. Specifically, it indicates precisely what is understood by an HOF approach, lists the most common HOF approaches with simple mapping of them, and provides descriptive sheets. In addition, the guide presents a matrix to analyse the capabilities of HOF engineering: first, to make an evaluation, second, to structure an action plan of HOF engineering. This first version of the HOF engineering guide will be complemented (particularly the descriptive worksheets) and updated from use and associated feedback.