Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


A review of accident case histories relevant to hazardous materials has been performed. From the literature, 1793 accident case histories involving hazardous materials were identified, most of them from the period 1960-1988. Of these, 39% happened during transportation. In 682 accidents the consequences included fatalities, and 27% of these involved the transportation of hazardous materials. The accumulated frequency-fatality curves (so-called fN curves) have been constructed and are close to straight lines with a slope of -1, indicating that the probability of having an accident with, for instance, more than one hundred fatalities is approximately ten times lower than the probability of having an accident with more than ten fatalities. The accidents were grouped according to transportation type, and the difference between the various groups was tested using a standard chi squared approach. No significant difference between fixed installations and transportation was found for accidents having consequences above three fatalities. An accident seems to have more severe effects outside Western Europe and North America. Comparison of fN curves from different time periods did not show significant differences, indicating that once an accident has happened, it has the same probability of escalating now, as it had 20 years ago.

Additional information

Bibliographic Reference: Article: Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries, Vol. 3 (1990) pp. 395-405
Record Number: 199110158 / Last updated on: 1994-12-02
Original language: en
Available languages: en