Since 2017 the European Hydrogen Safety Panel set up by the former FCH JU has reviewed over 500 H2 safety related events. The mission of the EHSP is to assist the FCH 2 JU at both programme and project level in assuring that hydrogen safety is adequately managed, and to promote and disseminate hydrogen safety culture within and outside of the FCH 2 JU programme. With the acceleration over this summer in the collection of mainly large scale hydrogen infrastructure projects by, for example DG Growth, to support the implementation of the EU Hydrogen Strategy, and by DG Competition, in collaboration with EU Member States and coordinated by the Germany (dena) for the EU H2 Important Projects of Common European Interest IPCEI, the learnings and independent monitoring of safety incidents becomes increasingly important.

The EHSP latest reports on “Statistics, lessons learnt and recommendations from the analysis of the “Hydrogen Incidents and Accidents Database (HIAD 2.0)” and a “Guidance Document on Safety Planning and Management in EU Hydrogen and Fuel cell Projects” : demonstrated that approximately two thirds of the incidents considered happened during normal operations, while around one third took place outside normal operations, for example during testing, maintenance, starting after maintenance, etc.

An analysis of the incidents provided the following down to earth, but therefor not less important!, recommendations:
Adequate training of personnel is key: this is of utmost importance. 70% of the considered incidents occurred during
normal operation. Insufficient or inadequate training of personnel was detected in 23% of the incidents analyzed.
Both passive and active safety measures should be given a crucial role. At least 19% of the
incidents considered involved lack of sufficient and adequate safety devices or passive measures. Leak detection and ATEX zoning should be applied to
reduce the opportunities for incidents.
It is necessary to keep the equipment and systems up to date and clean with appropriate surveillance and maintenance. 13% of the incidents analyzed showed problems related to lack of maintenance and surveillance.

A final recommendation is to perform a throughout risk/ hazards assessment during the design phase and before any process or equipment change. More than 10% of the incidents analyzed in this exercise have shown that wrong design had a critical role in the event.