C174 - Prevention of Major Industrial Accidents Convention, 1993 (No. 174)


The General Conference of the International Labour Organization,

Having been convened at Geneva by the Governing Body of the International Labour Office, and having met in its 80th Session on 2 June 1993, and

Noting the relevant international labour Conventions and Recommendations and, in particular, the Occupational Safety and Health Convention and Recommendation, 1981, and the Chemicals Convention and Recommendation, 1990, and stressing the need for a global and coherent approach, and

Noting also the ILO Code of practice on the Prevention of major industrial accidents, published in 1991, and

Having regard to the need to ensure that all appropriate measures are taken to:

  • (a) prevent major accidents;
  • (b) minimize the risks of major accidents;
  • (c) minimize the effects of major accidents, and

Considering the causes of such accidents including organizational errors, the human factor, component failures, deviation from normal operational conditions, outside interference and natural forces, and

Having regard to the need for cooperation, within the International Programme on Chemical Safety, between the International Labour Organization, the United Nations Environment Programme and the World Health Organization, as well as with other relevant intergovernmental organizations, and

Having decided upon the adoption of certain proposals with regard to the prevention of major industrial accidents, which is the fourth item on the agenda of the session, and

Having determined that these proposals shall take the form of an international Convention;

adopts this twenty-second day of June of the year one thousand nine hundred and ninety-three the following Convention, which may be cited as the Prevention of Major Industrial Accidents Convention, 1993.

Article 1
  1. 1. The purpose of this Convention is the prevention of major accidents involving hazardous substances and the limitation of the consequences of such accidents.
  2. 2. This Convention applies to major hazard installations.
  3. 3. This Convention does not apply to
    • (a) nuclear installations and plants processing radioactive substances except for facilities handling non-radioactive substances at these installations;
    • (b) military installations;
    • (c) transport outside the site of an installation other than by pipeline.
  4. 4. A Member ratifying this Convention may, after consulting the representative organizations of employers and workers concerned and other interested parties who may be affected, exclude from the application of the Convention installations or branches of economic activity for which equivalent protection is provided.
Article 2

Where special problems of a substantial nature arise so that it is not immediately possible to implement all the preventive and protective measures provided for in this Convention, a Member shall draw up plans, in consultation with the most representative organizations of employers and workers and with other interested parties who may be affected, for the progressive implementation of the said measures within a fixed time-frame.

Article 3

For the purposes of this Convention:

  • (a) the term hazardous substance means a substance or mixture of substances which by virtue of chemical, physical or toxicological properties, either singly or in combination, constitutes a hazard;
  • (b) the term threshold quantity means for a given hazardous substance or category of substances that quantity, prescribed in national laws and regulations by reference to specific conditions, which if exceeded identifies a major hazard installation;
  • (c) the term major hazard installation means one which produces, processes, handles, uses, disposes of or stores, either permanently or temporarily, one or more hazardous substances or categories of substances in quantities which exceed the threshold quantity;
  • (d) the term major accident means a sudden occurrence - such as a major emission, fire or explosion - in the course of an activity within a major hazard installation, involving one or more hazardous substances and leading to a serious danger to workers, the public or the environment, whether immediate or delayed;
  • (e) the term safety report means a written presentation of the technical, management and operational information covering the hazards and risks of a major hazard installation and their control and providing justification for the measures taken for the safety of the installation;
  • (f) the term near miss means any sudden event involving one or more hazardous substances which, but for mitigating effects, actions or systems, could have escalated to a major accident.
Article 4
  1. 1. In the light of national laws and regulations, conditions and practices, and in consultation with the most representative organizations of employers and workers and with other interested parties who may be affected, each Member...

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