As part of our commitment to continuous improvement to our Health & Safety Management Systems, our Spill Response Team received valuable training from the Huntingdon Fire Brigade.

The Huntingdon Fire Brigade are part of the Cambridgeshire Fire & Rescue Service and offer regular training sessions to help businesses best understand and conform to fire safety legislation relevant to their trade and the premises in which they operate. The Health & Safety team invited the Fire Brigade in to hold a training session for the Spill Response team and to discuss the chemicals stored onsite.

Fire Brigade take overDuring the exercise the Spill Response team carried out their internal procedures, with a volunteer playing the role of a contaminated employee, who had come into contact with Hydrofluoric acid. In a real incident he would immediately be taken to be showered at the outside chemical shower, while the emergency services are called; the Fire Brigade and an ambulance would be requested. To simulate this, the Spill Response Team changed into their PPE (Personal protective equipment) and breathing apparatus and other employees in the vicinity removed their footwear to prevent further contamination.

Incident controllerOn arrival of the Fire Brigade, the Spill Response Team would hand over to the Incident Controller, who then takes charge of the situation. Fire Officers, dressed in their protective clothing and breathing apparatus and demonstrated their procedures, (they would remove the victim’s clothing and give him a robe to wear); another team member acting as a First Aider, filling in an incident board. After the exercise, the Incident Controller offered advice on how internal improvements could be made, but overall, he was very impressed with the Spill Team’s performance.

Incident Controller advisesThis was also an opportunity for the Fire Services to understand the range of chemicals kept on site, as we are classed as ‘high risk’, ensuring that they are stored safely we are well prepared for an emergency.

The Health & Safety team felt that the training was very worthwhile.