Encouraging inherently safer production in European firms: a report from the field

J Hazard Mater. 2000 Nov 3;78(1-3):123-44. doi: 10.1016/s0304-3894(00)00220-x.


It is now generally recognized that in order to make significant advances in accident prevention, the focus of industrial firms must shift from assessing the risks of existing production and manufacturing systems to discovering technological alternatives, i.e. from the identification of problems to the identification of solutions. Encouraging the industrial firm to perform (1) an inherent safety opportunity audit (ISOA) to identify where inherently safer technology (IST) is needed, and (2) a technology options analysis (TOA) and to identify specific inherently safer options that will advance the adoption of primary prevention strategies that will alter production systems so that there are less inherent safety risks. Experience gained from a methodology to encourage inherently safer production (ISP) in industrial firms in the Netherlands and Greece is discussed. Successful approaches require both technological and managerial changes. Firms must have the willingness, opportunity, and the capability to change. Implications for the EU Seveso, IPPC, and EMAS Directives are also discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Occupational / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Environmental Health
  • European Union
  • Industry / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Industry / standards*
  • International Cooperation
  • Risk Assessment
  • Safety Management / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Safety Management / standards*
  • Technology