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Approach to reduce the accidents or disasters

The District Collector has to divide the following three sectors:

  1. Industries and isolated storages: There are about 1700 Major Accident Hazard (MAH) units in the various districts of the Country, as well as a large numbers of small and medium enterprises who are storing, processing the hazardous chemicals as notified in the MS and IH Chemical Rules. The challenge is to address areas where enforcing of provisions laid out in the Factories Act 1948, Environment (Protection) Act 1986 and Disaster Management Act 2005 for effective on-site as well as off-site emergency management planning for both industry and local/state governments are weak. Isolated storages need also to be reviewed in details for on-site and off-site emergency management.
  2. Transportation of the chemicals by road: Huge quantities of hazardous chemicals are being transported on the various roads of the states. Therefore preparedness for any road chemical accidents is another thrust area.
  3. Pipelines: Petroleum products are being transported by pipelines. Some time the pipeline is underground and some time is over ground.

Prevention and response are the two important components for disaster risk management.

 

Prevention

Who comes under these responsibilities?

  • an industrial activity in which a hazardous chemical, which satisfies any of the criteria laid down in Part-I of Schedule 1 or listed in Column 2 of Part-II of this Schedule is, or may be, involved; and
  • isolated storage of a hazardous chemical listed in Schedule 2 in a quantity equal to or more than the threshold quantity specified in Column 3, thereof.

The two points have been taken from MS and IHC rules.

What occupier has to do as per MS and IHC rules?

An occupier who has control of an industrial activity shall provide evidence to show that he has:

  1. identified the major accident hazards; and
  2. taken adequate steps to -
  • prevent such major accidents and to limit their consequences to persons and the environment;
  • provide to the persons working on the site with the information, training and equipment including antidotes necessary to ensure their safety.
  1. Preparation of on-site emergency plan
  • An occupier shall prepare and keep up-to-date an on-site emergency plan containing details specified in Schedule-11 (appendix 3) and detailing how major accidents will be dealt with on the site on which the industrial activity is carried on an that plan shall include the name of the person who is responsible for safety on the site and the names of those who are authorized to take action in accordance with the plan in case of an emergency.
  • The occupier shall ensure that the emergency plan prepared in accordance with the provisions takes into account any modification made in the industrial activity and that every person on the site who is affected by the plan is informed of its relevant provisions.
  • The occupier shall prepare the emergency plan required (a) in the case of new industrial activity, before that activity is commenced; (b) in the case of an existing industrial activity within 90 days of commencing into operation of these rules.
  • The occupier shall ensure that a mock drill of the on-site emergency plan is conducted every six months;
  • A detailed report of the mock drill conducted under sub-rule (4) shall be made immediately available to the concerned Authority.

For escape routes, assembly points and for further development each industry should have to plot the vulnerability zones for various scenarios like, fire, explosion and toxic releases as shown above.

Points of concern for occupiers:

  • On-site emergency plans as per schedule 11 of MS and IHC rules 1989;
  • Safety reports and audits
  • Regular mock drills and review of findings of the mock drills for the development of better preparedness and response mechanisms.

 

 
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