The general requirements on the design and dimensioning of a production plant are set forth in the applicable statutes. Their basic principle is that the measures for preventing accidents are dimensioned in accordance with the risks arising from the handling or storage of chemicals. The starting point is always that the operators assess the risks related to their operations.
The selection of processes and chemicals lays the foundation for the plant's risk level. Where possible, the economic operator must select the less dangerous among alternative chemicals and processes.
The principles of designing the production plant area include the sufficient separation of dangerous operations from other operations, and the limitation of possible accidents to an area as small as possible. Furthermore, the operational requirements of the emergency rescue services must be ensured during accidents. Correspondingly, structural engineering solutions aim to prevent accidents from happening or spreading (for example, fire compartments). In addition to the building code, the plants must fulfil the special requirements of the chemical safety legislation concerning surface materials, pressure relief and ventilation, for example.
The equipment and pipelines must be selected to suit the processed chemicals and the operating conditions. Safety measures and systems, for example gas monitoring or safety automation systems, must be dimensioned in relation to the risks caused by the operations. There are various technical regulations or standards for flammable liquids, LPG and explosives, for example. Compliance with these standards ensures compliance with the regulations (link to lists of standards, in Finnish). Detailed technical requirements have not been specified for all chemicals; for these, the selections must be made in accordance with the risks and the general requirements laid down in the statutes. An inspection body approved by Tukes will carry out inspections related to the design and manufacture of chemical tanks and pipelines.
The design must ensure the operation of the systems also during disruptions. Process disruptions that can be anticipated are determined by means of identification and assessment of risks. The design must take into consideration prior hazardous situations and accidents. The operator must provide the designer with sufficiently detailed information on the characteristics of the chemicals and any special requirements related to them.