BRZO Legislation

If you work with hazardous substances, you may fall under the major accidents decree (BRZO legislation). For the Netherlands, this legislation is an interpretation of the European Seveso-III directive Directive 2012/18/EU. Seveso is a town in northern Italy that is known for a chemical disaster in July 1976. In this accident, a toxic gas, dioxin, was emitted. The environmental disaster drew the attention of the European Community and action was taken to develop legislation so that people and their environment are better protected against the dangers of industrial accidents.

The BRZO 2015 decree identifies two categories of BRZO establishments: the high threshold establishment and the low threshold establishment. This distinction is made on the basis of the licensed quantities of dangerous substances in relation to the tables of threshold values in Annex I of the Seveso III Directive. Establishments that only exceed the lower threshold are classified as lower-tier establishments. These establishments are obliged to take all measures necessary to prevent major accidents and to limit the consequences thereof for people and the environment, to draw up a major accident prevention policy (PBZO) and to implement and determine a Safety management system

BRZO legislation

Establishments that exceed the high threshold are designated as high threshold establishments and must, in addition to the above-mentioned obligations, submit a full safety report (SR) demonstrating that the prevention and control of major accident hazards are in order. A Quantitative Risk Analysis (QRA) is part of the risk assessment. Here, the risks of the release of hazardous substances during process safety incidents are made transparent in a quantitative manner with risk contours. In addition, the competent authority determines whether BRZO companies can be designated as domino companies. If an accident at one company can be the cause of an accident at another company, the former is a domino company.

If you do not fall under it, you can still choose to take the same safety measures as if you were a BRZO company. You can then be sure that you are complying with the highest safety requirements and the BRZO legislation.


Companies working with hazardous substances in Europe must comply not only with the BRZO legislation, but also, for example, with the ATEX (ATmosphères EXplosibles) directive, which describes explosion safety.

BRZO legislation

"Holding on to a railing has never prevented an explosion"

- – Enrico Lammers