As specialist couriers of dangerous and secure goods, we have procedures in place to cover all contingencies, including emergencies.
The carriage of Radioactive consignments requires a higher level of regulatory control and is subject to careful scrutiny and highly stringent processes.
This point was enforced earlier this year during an Office of Nuclear Regulation site visit where the new legal requirement to regularly test our emergency response plans was discussed.
So we recently asked one of our major clients to conduct a joint desk-top exercise based on a scenario developed by them.
To replicate a real event (and without any knowledge of the scenario) our driver was isolated in an office with just his mobile phone and the documents relating to a dummy consignment.
The exercise started when he was given information about the emergency as if he was actually at the roadside. He then used his training to react as if it was happening for real, even calling the ‘emergency services’ – actually another member of staff acting as the responder – and the Topspeed Ops team – represented by two managers sat in another office, and the client.
As the scenario played out, and to give the exercise more depth, the driver was given prompts in the form of extra problems relating to the unfolding incident that only added to the pressure as the parties worked on their response.
The exercise was monitored by both the client and our DGSA and was followed afterwards by a debrief of all those involved. Several learning and improvement opportunities were identified which will result in modifications to procedures, however, it was felt that, despite working in a high-pressure situation the driver responded well, as did all those involved in the recovery.
Steve Clegg, CEO and Topspeed DGSA commented “having comprehensive written procedures is one thing, it’s another following them for real. All members of our team and those of our client worked well together to ensure that these were adhered too, and even though we identified some changes, this was only possible by undertaking this exercise and will strengthen our response processes.”