Seismic safety assessment chemical facilities

Seismic Safety Assessment for Industrial Facilities

Evaluate exposure to external threats and develop effective mitigation strategies

Evaluate exposure to external threats and develop effective mitigation strategies

What is seismic safety assessment for industrial facilities?

A seismic safety assessment for an industrial facility contains an analysis of the seismic design of structures, non-load bearing elements, components, pipes and stored goods of a particular site to discover the potential earthquake risk. The analysis for chemical facilities is based on the German VCI-Guideline for seismic risk assessment of chemical facilities. For other industrial facilities, we use a similar procedure.

Why is assessing seismic safety of industrial facilities important?

Earthquakes cause tens of thousands of deaths per year and result in billions of dollars in losses for the economy. For industrial facilities not only structural and environmental damage but also production interruption time is costly.

Seismic design assessment of industrial facilities is important for mitigating earthquake risk to structures, components and systems as well as subsequent economic loss. For industrial facilities, a site- and facility-specific earthquake vulnerability assessment leads to higher safety and can reduce costs for new constructions significantly. For existing constructions, it can help to reduce retrofitting costs.

TÜV SÜD performs seismic safety assessments of industrial facilities

As a capable third-party partner with interdisciplinary teams, your business can benefit from our years of experience and specialist expertise in the earthquake risk field. Our team’s international activities and participation in regulatory working groups and committees means we are able to transfer state-of-the-art methods into practical applications. A partnership with TÜV SÜD not only helps you to meet national and international requirements but also ensures your business meets relevant safety-related aspects and protects its investments as a result of seismic impact.

Through our seismic risk analysis of industrial facilities, your business will see benefits such as:

  • Minimisation of earthquake vulnerability risks – due to our experience, we are able to recognize possible issues from the early planning stages.
  • Partnership with experts – we offer international knowledge, comprehensive experience and up-to-the-minute understanding of standards and regulations.
  • Employ detailed solutions – with a single source for technical services in line with regulatory requirements.
  • Worldwide support – we have over 24,000 experts across numerous international markets, delivering unique local knowledge and best practices.

TÜV SÜD’s seismic risk assessment of industrial facilities services

Based on the German VCI-Guideline and your experience, the seismic risk assessment is conducted in two levels.

Level one

Firstly, a walk down of the plant occurs to identify weak points of construction and estimate the seismic safety of the facility. A checklist of questions considers the following categories:

  • Structures (without or low seismic design)
  • Non-load bearing elements and components
  • Pipes
  • Stored goods

This stage results in two outcomes: positive – meaning the category has a sufficient seismic resistance – or negative – meaning a weakness has been identified and, therefore, measures for improvement will be given.

The work for a Level 1 assessment usually contains the following steps:

  • Preparation: clarifies what will be evaluated, examination of documents and site drawings and plant walk down agenda
  • Definition/assignment of hazard indices for chemical materials and impact potential
  • Plant walk down with photo documentation
  • Evaluation of walk down documentation, seismic safety report with recommendations and proposal for follow up actions if required

Level 2

If a seismic weakness of a structure or component is identified that needs a more detailed calculation to assess the seismic safety, the seismic resistance will be calculated by a computer model.


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