The following is an overall commitment to the arrangements. Any of the companies which acts under these will make available such services and assistance to the material of another company as it would have done for bromine for which it is responsible.
Each company will have its own specific response procedures, including the involvement of its customers sites as equipment resource and having trained responders. The principles all procedures will have in common are:
- Notification of the Emergency to the Bromine Manufacturer / Trade
- Recording Emergency Messages
- Provision of Emergency Service by the Manufacturer or Supplier of the Bromine
- Provision of Emergency Service by a Participating Company Other than the Manufacturer of the Bromine
- Types of Assistance
- Relationships at the Scene of the Incident
- Media Relationships
- After Restoration of Safe Working Conditions
- Facilities Available
1. Notification of the Emergency to the Bromine Manufacturer / Trade
The immediate action to be taken in the case of a bromine emergency is known to users and police and fire services in most countries. There are notices on bromine containers and transport vehicles summarising this information. Port authorities and shipping companies receive similar information appropriate to the circumstances in which they may experience bromine incidents.
The immediate action requires the notification of the public authorities of the incident and the company named on the bromine container informed. Dedicated telephone and fax numbers of the participating companies emergency response numbers are given to hauliers, ships, customers and authorities.
2. Recording Emergency Messages
Each of the bromine companies has a system for receiving emergency messages at any hour of the day or night. The person on duty to receive such messages will ask the notifier of the emergency to provide a minimum of information as answers to standard questions using a standard form.
The emergency message is communicated directly to the Bromine Emergency Controller on duty (or on call) in the participating company.
3. Provision of Emergency Service by the Manufacturer or Supplier of the Bromine
The BromAid Emergency Controller will consider the magnitude and nature of the emergency and its location. He will decide on the type of assistance to be provided. In many cases his advice by telephone will be sufficient.
However, the intention is to give a generous level of assistance in recognition of the hazardous nature of the product and, if there is doubt, an expert or a team will be sent to the scene of the incident. Furthermore, reinforcements will be sent rapidly if the first attendance was found to be insufficient to meet the needs of the particular incident.
If it is sensible to do so, through location or particular knowledge, another of the participating companies may be requested provide attendance at the emergency.
4. Provision of Emergency Service by a Participating Company Other than the Manufacturer of the Bromine
A service will be given without delay because of the understanding reached between the companies named in this document.
The company who supplied the bromine involved in an incident will be known as the “material owning company” and the participating company which has not supplied the bromine but is asked to provide the emergency service, is to be known as the “alternate response company”.
An alternate response company receiving an emergency message will respond.
If the message is from the material owning company the Bromine Emergency Controller will establish:
- that his company is requested to provide the service as an alternate response company.
- whether or not the material owning company will attend and then assume control.
Emergency BromAid Responders Personnel will have technical and mechanical skills and relevant equipment to fault diagnose, reduce the spread of spills, seal leaks, and minimise the effect on the environment. All member companies will have sufficient resource for relevant back-up of the initial responders.
5. Types of Assistance
There are many instances, particularly if small packages or transport only problems occur, where the situation can be dealt with over the telephone by question and answer and advice from the BromAid Emergency Controller. It will be his responsibility to decide whether such advice should be followed by a visit to the scene of the incident.
The principle will always be to “err on the side of caution” and it follows that the decision not to respond to the scene of an incident will only be made by persons fully experienced in dealing with such situations.
There maybe circumstances when the presence of a technically competent individual, although not an expert in bromine, can be of assistance in providing liaison, until expert assistance can reach the scene. It is expected that participating companies will provide such competent personnel from their wider emergency resources if the need arises.
The next level of assistance is the attendance at the scene of a small team with limited equipment. This team would either deal with the incident or undertake holding actions until further assistance arrives.
The major service comes in the form of a team fully equipped to deal with a serious emergency led by a technically and managerially capable person able to take the major decisions involved in a significant bromine incident. The incident may be significant due to the amount of bromine involved, other chemicals present, the exact location of the incident, proximity to population etc.
6. Relationships at the Scene of the Incident
Whichever company’s emergency team attends, it will be there to support the occupieror authority in charge of the location. The incident may be at the premises of a customer or bromine user and there may or may not be a public emergency service (eg police or fire brigade) present. On board ship, the Master will have authority.
The emergency team will advise the person in charge of the scene of the incident. That person (occupier, public emergency service officer, ship’s master) will be informed of the role, responsibilities and relationships of the responders to the material owning company.
In the event that the material owning company’s representative arrives later at the scene and decides to take over, there must be a clear handover from one company to the other. The alternate response company will continue to assist for as long as requested until safe conditions are restored.
It is important that the person in overall charge at the scene of a bromine incident and all other parties concerned, know at all times which company is responsible for the bromine emergency team currently at the incident. It is important also that any changeover is notified. This requires clarity between the responding companies when reacting initially to the emergency message. It also requires a clear handover procedure subject to the arrangements between the participating companies as to liability. The alternate response company will be acting as agents for the material owning company and as such all personnel in the emergency team must be trained and competent.
7. After Restoration of Safe Working Conditions
Under these arrangements the obligations and duties of the emergency team at an incident end when safe conditions are restored. Further participation and assistance would then be subject to arrangement and negotiation on the basis that it is not an emergency situation.
An alternate response company will submit a report of the incident and its remedy to the owning company.
8. Facilities Available
The companies retain technically competent and well trained personnel who have the necessary equipment to offer:
- Trained personnel who can give advice and information by telephone, radio and other electronic mechanisms. This includes standard data on bromine properties, information on transport equipment, basic checks and immediate actions.
- Emergency BromAid Responders. Personnel who have technical and mechanical skills and relevant equipment who can fault diagnose, reduce spread of spills, seal leaks and environmentally protect and clean up. The companies have sufficient resources to back-up the initial responders.
The purpose of this document is to provide information and guidance to both bromine users and trained response personnel. The manual contains technical facts, engineering detail, health information and media response data.