NaTech accidents are a class of cascading events that occur when natural and technological hazards collide. In the process industry, where multi-hazard substances are used in large quantities, failures due to natural events can bring simultaneously or sequentially events of acute toxicity, fire, and explosion, which might impact the population and the environment, also provoking economical losses.
The risk analysis methodology used by the Seveso industry often resulted in scenarios related to NaTech events being excluded due to their low probability. However, the increasing impacts of climate change may lead to variations in the recurrence of severe unexpected natural events that will greatly alter the projected frequency of NaTech events. For this reason, it is critical that decision-makers be adequately informed about potential NaTech risks and consider them not only in industrial safety reports but also in the provisions of emergency and city plans. In this paper, a planning tool is used to assess NaTech risk at a Seveso facility that manufactures lubricating oil additives.
A validated method was used to cross the information among the vulnerable industrial items, the typical damage modes triggered by the natural hazards, and the hazardous substances involved in the plant. The information was extracted from the public inventory of establishments at risk of major accidents connected with dangerous substances, and the safety report that the plant draws up.
The results provide an early warning system to the decision-makers about the NaTech vulnerabilities that threaten both, human health, and the environment, contributing to increasing their awareness and preparedness. Further research is required to integrate this kind of analysis with diverse current methodologies for characterizing NaTech events within territorial and multi-risk approaches.