Chemical accident prevention, preparedness and response

Risks from Natural Hazards at Hazardous Installations (Natech)


What is Natech

Natural Hazards Triggering Technological Disasters (Natech)Natural hazards such as earthquakes and floods can initiate events which challenge the safety and operation at hazardous installations. Accidents triggered by such events are known as ‘Natech’ - Natural Hazards Triggering Technological Accidents. Many natural disasters have led to major damages to hazardous installations, releases of hazardous substances, fires and explosions, resulting in potential health effects, environmental pollution, and economic losses. These impacts can also have a transboundary dimension. Natural hazards considered minor, such as lightning or freeze, have also been found to cause Natech accidents.

The OECD Programme on Chemical Accidents started work on Natech risk management in 2008 in partnership with the European Commission Joint Research Center, the UNEP/OCHA Joint Environment Unit, UNECE and UNEP. The project goals were to investigate the specifities of Natech for the prevention, preparedness and response to chemical accidents, exchange experience across countries (e.g. good practices, challenges, lessons learnt from Natech accidents), and provide guidance on Natech risk management.


Key events and publications

 A workshop was organised in 2012 in Dresden (Germany), which investigated the specificities of Natech Risk Management. Access the workshop conclusions

The project provides also a forum to follow the development of Natech risk management measures and share good practices and experience in OECD countries and beyond, in cooperation with partner agencies.

The next steps are the development of a brochure to raise awareness of Natech risks (issue expected in early 2021), and a guidance document on Natech Risk Management (planned for release in 2024).


Partner agencies




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