Thankfully, serious industrial or technological accidents are comparatively rare, with the number of major reported incidents in Europe decreasing steadily from 48 in 2010 to just 3 in 2015.
This trend, however, doesn’t mean that industrial and technological companies can become complacent when it comes to training and preparing for a potential emergency incident – far from it. By definition, when a major incident does occur, it will almost inevitably have devastating and long-lasting social, economic and environmental consequences.
Take, for example, the widely publicised explosion at the Buncefield Oil Storage Terminal in the UK in 2005. This injured 43 people, registered 2.4 on the Richter Scale and resulted in a cloud of soot and other contaminants which covered an area of over 200,000m2, rapidly reaching a height of 2,700m; within 24 hours the contamination had extended across France and Spain. The estimated remedial costs of this accident have since been estimated at 1.13 billion Euros.
Given the rarity of these incidents, it is perhaps unsurprising that training is difficult to scope and execute and is often not prioritised by busy employers. However, effective training and sophisticated, real world simulation software can play an invaluable part in helping to prepare industrial facilities and train staff for effective response during major industrial accidents.
To help industrial and process companies, we have produced a white paper on the importance of managing risk, training and training exercises which can be downloaded here. This white paper explores the approach required to ensure compliance with stringent regulations and to make sure that on-site risk is reduced to the absolute minimum. It also provides a brief overview of what effective training should look like and discusses the necessary assets required to prepare not just staff at a specific industrial facility, but also other strategic key stakeholders such as the emergency services and local Government agencies and emergency planning teams for potential incidents.