Technological hazard

Hazards originating from technological or industrial accidents, dangerous procedures, infrastructure failures or specific human activities that may cause the loss of life or injury, property damage, social and economic disruption or environmental degradation.
Examples of technological hazards include industrial pollution, nuclear radiation, toxic wastes, dam failures, transport, industrial or technological accidents (explosions, fires, chemical spills).  [Source: UNISDR]

Local and National Government

Internal emergency plans should contain names or positions of persons authorized to set emergency procedures in motion and the person in charge of coordinating the on-site activities. People with responsibility for liaising with the authority responsible for the external emergency plan should also be indicated. For foreseeable conditions or events which could be significant in bringing about a major accident, a description of action necessary to control events should be cited. This would include a description of the safety equipment and technical resources available. Arrangements for limiting the risks to people on-site, including how warnings are to be given and the actions which people are expected to take. Arrangements need to be made for providing early warning of the incident to the authority responsible for setting the external emergency plan in motion. Hence, the type of information which should be contained in an initial warning and the arrangements for the provision of more detailed information is essential, as it becomes available. Arrangements for training staff in the duties they will be expected to perform, are essential, should be coordinated with off-site emergency services.
External emergency plans with names or positions of persons authorized to set emergency procedures in motion and of persons authorized to take charge of and coordinate off-site action. Arrangements for receiving early warning of incidents, and alert and call-out procedures. Arrangements for coordinating resources necessary to implement the external emergency plan. Arrangements for providing assistance with on-site mitigatory action. Arrangements for off-site mitigatory action. Arrangements for providing the public with specific information relating to the accident and the behavior which it should adopt. Arrangements for the provision of information to the emergency services of other Member States in the event of a major accident with possible transboundary consequences. The identification of training needs of such personnel and the provision of the training so identified. The involvement of employees and, where appropriate, subcontractors; identification and evaluation of major hazards- adoption and implementation of procedures for systematically identifying major hazards arising from normal and abnormal operation and the assessment of their likelihood and severity.
The following practices are important preparedness measures that should be implicit in any early warning and preparedness strategy:
  • operational control: adoption and implementation of procedures and instructions for safe operation, including maintenance, of plant, processes, equipment and temporary stoppages;
  • management of change: adoption and implementation of procedures for planning modifications to, or the design of new installations, processes or storage facilities;
  • planning for emergencies: adoption and implementation of procedures to identify foreseeable emergencies by systematic analysis and to prepare, test and review emergency plans to respond to such emergencies;
  • monitoring performance: adoption and implementation of procedures for the ongoing assessment of compliance with the objectives set by the operator’s major accident prevention policy and
  • safety management system, and the mechanisms for investigation and taking corrective action in case of non-compliance; and 
  • audit and review: adoption and implementation of procedures for periodic systematic assessment of the major accident prevention policy and the effectiveness and suitability of the safety management system, including the documented review of performance of the policy and safety management system and its updating by senior management.

[Source: UNISDR]




Read section above or consider creating a or revising your current workplace’s Business Continuity Program.

Technological hazards are an increasing source of risk to people and their environment. This is an effect of the globalization of production, an increase of industrialization and a certain level of risk of accidents connected with production, processes, transportation and waste management. These risks are associated with the release of substances in accident condition or with the production of such substances under certain conditions as fire. Substances which could affect human health or the environment by contamination and their effects on animals and plants.
The following list indicates the type of actions which can constitute technological hazards:
  • release of chemicals to the atmosphere by explosion, fire
  • release of chemicals into water (groundwater, rivers etc.) by tank rupture, pipeline rupture, chemicals dissolved in water (fire), oil spills in marine environment
  • satellite crash (radionuclides)
  • radioactive sources in metallurgical processes
  • other sources of releases of radionuclides to the environment
  • contamination by waste management activities
  • soil contamination
  • accidents with groundwater contamination (road, rail)
  • groundwater contamination by waste dumps (slowly moving contamination)
  • aircraft accidents
  • releases and contaminations as a consequence of military actions (e.g. depleted uranium), or destruction of facilities
  • releases as consequence of the industrial use of biological material (e.g. viruses, bacteria, fungi)

[Source: UNISDR]