14 November 2013

Cherkassy Azot held large scale emergency response drill

Cherkasy_emergencyCherkassy Azot, part of OSTCHEM holding, held a large scale industrial emergency response drill for its employees on November 12. The purpose of this drill was to practice emergency response skills and coordination in emergency situations.


“We pay a great deal of attention to security, because it affects the life and health of our employees and Cherkassy residents in the first place. That is why we have developed a special training program and systematically run trainings based on real-life scenarios,” explained Vitaliy Sklyarov, Chairman of the Board of Cherkassy Azot JSC. “The simulated emergency at the plant was localized quickly and properly. This was due to the fact that the drill was well organized and effectively conducted, and the participants had necessary knowledge, experience and skills, and also due to the fact that the regularity of such trainings allows working out various scenarios quite thoroughly. The performance of all those who took part in this special drill have been rated as ‘good’.”


According to the scenario, the emergency situation occurred at the warehouse which stored some 8,000 tons of liquid ammonia. In this simulated accident, six workers were poisoned by ammonia vapour and fainted, and 112 employees located in the neighbouring blocks found themselves in the contaminated area. The contaminating chemical cloud was allegedly moving northwards toward Cherkassy at the speed of 1 meter per second.


In the conditions close to real, Vitaliy Sklyarov set up the emergency response headquarters which included the chiefs of all emergency services at Cherkassy Azot. The emergency response units arrived to the simulated accident site and conducted chemical reconnaissance and evacuated simulated casualties. The company’s medical unit immediately provided first aid to them.


At the same time, the militarized gas rescue team and security guards surrounded the simulated emergency area while the members of the industrial sanitary lab measured the ammonia concentration along the toxic cloud dispersal line. Then the fire and rescue units, plant security guards, and members of the Cherkassy Oblast Department of the State Emergency Service made a water curtain to bring down the ‘hazardous’ cloud and suppressed the ammonia evaporation in the environment by a foam attack in the area of simulated ammonia spill.


During the drill, Cherkassy Azot paid special attention to the interaction and coordinated response to a potential emergency by the company’s top management and civil protection forces of Cherkassy Oblast. Units of the Cherkassy Oblast Department of the State Emergency Service and specialized civil protection services of the city and Azot PJSC were directly involved in the drill. 75 rescuers, 14 special vehicles and pieces of fire-fighting equipment, 143 specialists, 22 various pieces of machinery, and other specialized civil protection services of the oblast were involved in the simulated emergency response.


As the result of the drill, the civil protection forces of the city and the oblast, rapid response units and employees of the company have demonstrated their readiness to take an appropriate action in emergency situations and accidents. “We have accomplished the key objective of this exercise which was to improve the skills of the management and civil protection forces in coordinating their response on the chemically hazardous sites in the oblast, and to test the readiness of specialized civil protection services to appropriate response,” said the Chief of Cherkassy Oblast Department of the State Emergency Service Major General Victor Gvozd.