A strong need exists; within Europe; for the adoption of a harmonized approach for assessing the potential damage from major accidents involving explosives. This article illustrates a methodology suitable for use as the basis of achieving a consistent approach within Europe. The procedure presented here is a development of a method first used for undertaking the explosion and fire hazard assessments for mass detonating explosives; which was published in the March/April 2003 issue of the ‚ÄúJournal of Explosives Engineering‚ÄĚ. The original method has been further refined; by experience from the consideration of ammunition and oxidising agents; and also extended to include not only the maximum possible impact of an accident but also the maximum probable impact. Formulae for the first approximation calculation of the effects induced in the surroundings by impacting factors due to the occurrence of the accident are proposed. Threshold values for each impacting factors are given with reference to damage severity levels.
A graphical representation of the results from the hazard assessment is achieved by the use of iso-damage areas in which boundaries of the severity damage levels are fixed for each given probability of occurrence of the major accident. A list of bibliographic references is included.