Testing Topspeed Emergency Procedures

Testing Emergency Procedures

As specialist carriers of Dangerous Goods including Radioactive consignments, we have stringent procedures in place to comply with the high level of regulatory control and to cover all contingencies, including emergencies.

Consignors too must also have such arrangements in place, and it’s critical that both procedures will work together in the event of an incident.

The only way to be sure that the consignor’s and carrier’s emergency response plans work together is to put them to the test. At Topspeed we often work with our clients to carry out simulated exercises that replicate real events to make sure we can work together to bring an incident to a successful close.

Recently we were asked to do exactly this by one of our clients and, together, we came up with an emergency scenario that we could carry out at their site.

To make it seem as real as possible we made sure we kept the scenario a secret so that only those people running the exercise knew the details and the members of staff acting as responders would feel like it could be an actual incident – even though everyone knew it was an exercise.

We only used three props – a Topspeed van, a mock-up radioactive package, and a forklift truck.

The exercise started when we pretended that the forklift truck had hit the side of the stationary van which had just been loaded with a drum. Our van driver and the forklift driver were the first responders who ‘reported’ the incident, using their training to react.
The next people on the scene were the on-site incident response team who had to deal with a potentially ‘damaged’ package. Again, reacting as if it was happening for real, this team used their training to deal with the incident, even calling the ‘emergency services’ – another staff member acting as the 999 responder.

As the scenario played out, and to give the exercise more depth, the team were given more problems relating to the unfolding incident that only added to the pressure as the parties worked on their response. At one point a passing ‘member-of-the-public’ tried to get involved as they had seen the commotion!

Dealing with the actual ‘incident’ lasted only a few minutes and was monitored by the Dangerous Goods Safety Advisors and Radiation Protection Supervisors for both companies. We then spent some time afterwards carrying out a debrief of all those involved.

It was good to see that people identified some learning and improvement opportunities and it was felt that, despite working in a high-pressure situation, everyone worked well together to bring the incident to a successful close.

Steve Clegg, CEO and Topspeed DGSA commented “having a detailed plan is one thing, it’s quite another for people to follow for real in an emergency. Everyone worked well together to ensure that these were adhered to. Typically, in this type of exercise, there are always areas in which the procedures can be improved to further strengthen the response processes.”

To discuss how Topspeed could help your business, contact us on 01565 631840

Posted in Dangerous Goods (ADR), Radioactive, Topspeed Courier News, Topspeed Couriers and tagged , , , , .