Emergency Response Equipment Sustainability

Inspections and maintenance may seem like an afterthought, but they are critical component in any emergency response plan.

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An emergency situation is not the time to discover insufficient or defective emergency response equipment. On site emergency equipment, safety systems, and supplies should be inspected at regular intervals and maintained to remain in good working order in the event of an emergency.

For industrial facilities, emergency equipment should be properly identified and stored throughout the facility. Each location should maintain a detailed checklist of their assigned fire and safety equipment, emergency equipment locations, and maintenance schedule. This equipment may include, but is not limited to:

  • First aid kit(s)
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Fire hoses
  • Eye wash stations
  • Fire hydrants
  • SCBA,
  • 5-minute and/or 10-minute escape packs

Additionally, facility equipment inspections and deployment exercises should be documented and maintained at the facility. Equipment and supply inventories should be replenished as necessary to maintain necessary response capabilities.

If additional off site equipment and resources are necessary to respond to a worst case discharge, or the substantial threat of such discharge, management must contract private response personnel and equipment prior to an incident.

Certain industrial facilities that store oil, contracts must be established with Oil Spill Removal Organizations (OSROs) to provide the personnel and equipment necessary in the event of an oil spill. The OSRO classification process was developed by the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) to provide guidelines to evaluate an OSROs potential to respond to oil spills. Plan holders that utilize USCG classified OSRO services are not required to list OSRO equipment in their emergency plans, however applicable contracts and response capabilities should be addressed. The OSRO classification, response capabilities, and equipment should be kept on file at the facility.

Whether utilizing on-site equipment or outside emergency contracted assistance, facility management should ensure that the health and safety program includes equipment to address a worst-case scenario.

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