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Emergency Management and Methods of Handling Sudden or Unexpected Situations

This article covers the following learning outcome: outline the principles, procedures and resources for effective emergency response (plan, principles, training and drills etc).

Emergency plan

In An Organization’s Documented Evidence to Provide a Convincing and Valid Argument that a System is Adequately Safethis article we covered safety cases and safety reports and how these provide a convincing and valid argument that a system is adequately safe for a given application. A fundamental element of that safety case/report is having an emergency plan in place.

We are now going to look at the on-site emergency plan which, to be effective, must be based on a full appreciation of the potential for major incidents which will be unique to that particular site or installation.

On-site emergency plan

Operators of both onshore and offshore installations should undertake the following actions as part of the procedure of writing a comprehensive emergency plan:

  • Identify all the major hazards associated with the operations together with their source, type, scale and consequences. This should include malicious acts.
  • From these hazards, identify all the conceivable scenarios that could arise which will need an emergency response, including those which involve evacuation, escape and rescue.
  • From these scenarios, produce a well-defined plan of action which establishes the appropriate response for an emergency situation and which takes into account the varying demands of different scenarios.
  • Establish the procedures and frequencies required to test and practise the emergency response to be followed in each of the different scenarios identified.
  • Establish the formal command structure. The person in overall charge in an emergency will be, in the case of an offshore installation, the Offshore Installation Manager (OIM). Onshore it will be a nominated and named competent person until such time as the emergency services take command of the situation.
  • Establish that those people who will be expected to take an active part in any emergency response, including those in overall command, are competent to do so (competent being defined as having sufficient training and experience and any other relevant qualities).
  • Establish that there are enough people to respond to any emergency.
  • Establish the roles and responsibilities of all individuals on the installation.
  • Establish that there are enough resources to respond to any emergency.
  • For onshore sites, establish that there are plans for both onsite and offsite should the emergency not be contained within the site.
  • For onshore sites, establish that a Major Accident Prevention Policy (MAPP) has been prepared and is current.
  • Establish what measures will be necessary to facilitate a site clean-up and remediation following an incident.

Once all the information listed above has been gathered, the plan itself can be composed.

Contents of an emergency plan

An emergency plan should contain the following information:

1 Responsibilities and authority of those overseeing an emergency

The command structure for managing the on-site response to an emergency situation in accordance with the planned scheme.

This will include:

  • The names and positions of persons authorized to set emergency procedures in motion;
  • The name and position of the person in charge of, and co-ordinating, the on-site mitigatory action;
  • The name and position of the person responsible for liaising with external agencies and/or local authorities;
  • Details of what arrangements have been made for occasions when senior managers are not available;
  • The contact details of all authorized personnel.

2 Types of events planned for and extent of responses planned

This is the principle aspect of an emergency plan. It should include details of the following issues:

  • The types of emergency situations which have been regarded as reasonably conceivable;
  • The response strategy for each of these situations;
  • The details of personnel who have been allocated roles to play in an emergency situation, and their responsibilities;
  • The details and location of any special equipment, such as fire-fighting equipment and damage control facilities.

3 Alarm systems and responses to alarms

This should include what alarm systems and arrangements have been made for early detection of a potential emergency situation. This will include what arrangements have been made and responsibilities for ensuring an appropriate response is made by personnel, such as:

  • evacuating the area or facility,
  • taking shelter,
  • using protective equipment, etc.

4 Arrangements for triggering any off-site emergency plan

Where an off-site plan is applicable, details of what arrangements have been made for alerting off-site emergency services and other agencies such as water companies, environmental agency, etc. Also, under what circumstances these alerts should be made, what information will be required by each service or agency, and their contact details.

5 Training and instructions

This section covers the arrangements made for training staff in their roles and responsibilities in an emergency situation. It also covers the arrangements for, and frequency of, conducting exercises based on all the identified emergency scenarios.

Finally, details of how contractors and visitors will be given instructions of how they should respond in an emergency situation.

6 Off-site communication measures

Establishing who will be responsible for contacting and briefing the media as well as media contact details.

Fire and explosion strategy

Now we have covered the structure of an emergency plan, we should look at how the potential for major events can be reduced or mitigated. This is covered in a document known as a fire and explosion strategy.

A “fire and explosion strategy” is a combination of measures taken to reduce the risk to personnel in the case of fire or explosion, or that reduces the risk of fire and explosion happening in the first place. Some of those measures listed here will apply specifically to offshore installations, others will apply to onshore installations and the rest to either type of installation.

Measures to be considered in formulating a fire and explosion strategy for a specific installation include:

  • Buildings which are occupied should have an assessment made of the risks and hazards they might be vulnerable to if a major incident occurred. From that assessment, appropriate measures should be taken to address those issues. The buildings included in the assessment process should also include temporary and secondary refuges;
  • Escape routes should be clearly marked using high visibility signage along their entire route;
  • Escape routes should be well lit and include a contingency for emergency lighting in case of power loss;
  • All escape routes, where appropriate, should be protected by firewalls or by deluge fire protection systems;
  • Escape routes should be of a size that is adequate to accommodate all personnel;
  • Where appropriate, the installation should be compartmentalized (have firewalls between compartments);
  • Where appropriate, blow out, or explosion panels, should be strategically positioned within the installation to alleviate any overpressure;
  • Where appropriate, escape routes should have heat- activated deluge/sprinklers within them;
  • Each area of the installation should have more than one escape route;
  • Escape routes should be protected against the effects of fire and explosion;
  • There should be internal access to the helideck from any temporary refuge facility;
  • There should be a policy of ensuring the number of overrides and inhibits applied to the Emergency Shutdown (ESD) system and the Fire and Gas (F&G) system is kept to a minimum;
  • At the design stage of an emergency shutdown system, failsafe and fireproof ball valves should be incorporated so their integrity will not be compromised in the case of a fire;
  • At the design stage of a process system, the amount of flanged pipework should be minimized in order to reduce the potential for leaks;
  • At the design stage the inventory of hazardous substances should be reduced to a minimum;
  • Emergency Shutdown Valves (ESDVs) should be enclosed with fireproof casing;
  • Water deluge operating skids should be situated away from the area they are protecting;
  • Access doors to accommodation areas should have automatic door closers fitted to prevent ingress of smoke and flames;
  • All enclosures which house rotating equipment and electric drives should have Very Early Smoke Detection Apparatus (VESDA) fitted;
  • Measures should be taken to ensure the mechanical and natural ventilation to production areas is sufficient to assist in dispersing any gas leak;
  • The accommodation and control rooms should be segregated and distanced away from production processes wherever possible;
  • The control rooms and emergency command and control centres should be segregated using blast and fire walls;
  • Subsea Isolation Valves (SSIVs) should be fitted in sea lines and wells;
  • High Integrity Pipeline Protection Systems (HIPPS) should be fitted where appropriate;
  • External fire protection should be fitted to the accommodation rooms and Temporary Refuge (TR);
  • The temporary refuge should be airtight and always under positive atmospheric pressure;
  • There should be a separate Emergency Command and Control (ECC) centre in the temporary refuge when the control room is not situated within the TR.

Alarms – importance of response

Onshore alarms

When an emergency situation arises within an onshore facility, it is imperative that everybody on the site, as well as the general public in the vicinity, is made aware of the situation. This alarm signal is conveyed by means of a warning siren which is loud enough for everybody on the site, and in the surrounding area, to hear.

It is the responsibility of the site management to ensure everybody knows, and can recognize, the warning siren when it is sounded and what it signifies. This includes the general public who may live or work in the surrounding area. Consequently, well-publicized tests of the siren should be conducted periodically to raise awareness. Finally, so there can be no misunderstanding of why the siren is being sounded, the siren will be of one type only and for all incidents.

There will be areas within the facility that are particularly noisy, such as machinery spaces and enclosed rooms. In these instances, the alarm should be backed up with flashing beacons.

The alarm is also likely to be linked to the control centre of the emergency services so that they are automatically made aware of any emergency.

Training

All personnel will need to undergo training in how to respond when an alarm is activated. This will include practising evacuation drills and how to leave the site in a controlled manner, including giving the correct notification when leaving the site. This aspect is essential for those who are managing the situation as it allows them to know who can and cannot be accounted for.

Offshore alarms

Offshore, the alarm situation is somewhat different as there are two types of alarm used. The first type of alarm is the General Platform Alarm (GPA), which is a general alarm calling all Personnel On Board (POB) to go to their allocated muster station. The General Platform Alarm (GPA) is an intermittent signal of a constant frequency.

These alarms are now standardized throughout platforms operating within the United Kingdom Offshore Operators Association (UKOOA) in accordance with the Prevention of Fire, Explosion and Emergency Response Regulations (PFEER), but may differ internationally.

The second type of alarm is the Prepare to Abandon Platform Alarm (PAPA), which is sounded to inform personnel of the imminent evacuation of the platform. The PAPA is a continuous signal of variable frequency. Both types of alarm are generally backed up with a public address announcement and by a visual alarm system where necessary. Furthermore, communications will be established between persons who are engaged with activities associated with the installation such as diving operations, supply vessels, aircraft, Mobile Offshore Drilling Units (MODUs) and Standby Vessels (SBVs).

Medical emergency planning, tiered response, medical evacuation procedures and back up resources

Medical emergencies that occur within oil and gas installations are dealt with differently depending upon whether they are onshore or offshore.

Medical response – onshore

Onshore, where a medical emergency occurs, the control and command team will be able to call upon the local ambulance service to deal with the casualties. Once they arrive on scene they will take control of managing the casualties by triaging them in order to prioritize their medical needs. Once the immediate medical needs have been dealt with by the paramedics, they will be conveyed to hospital as required for more specific medical attention. Prior to the ambulance service arriving, casualties will be looked after by the first-aid team.

Onshore emergency teams, which include everybody involved in contributing to manage emergency medical situations, should regularly be involved in practices with outside agencies so they can handle multiple casualty situations efficiently and effectively.

Medical response – offshore

Offshore, the situation is different because the support from external emergency services has much greater time constraints associated with it. Consequently, in the first instance, casualties will be dealt with by the platform medic, who will be trained in conducting triage of casualties. Triage is a means of prioritizing casualties in relation to their medical needs so the most severe casualties can be dealt with first. The platform medic will also have the use of a fully equipped medical suite and a number of first-aiders to help him/her.

Depending on the location of the installation and pre-arranged arrangements for dealing with medical emergencies, the platform medic may also be able to call upon the service of an onshore doctor for advice. Some areas also have dedicated medical centres to call on for assistance.

For example, in the North Sea, the North Sea Medical Centre (NSMC) can be contacted for assistance by telephone or video link at any time.

As well as the platform medic, there is usually a person on the platform’s standby vessel with Advanced Medical Aid (AMA) training who can be called upon if needed.

Search and Rescue (SAR) helicopters can also be called upon to medivac (medical evacuation) casualties off the installation. Search and rescue helicopters carry a paramedic on board who will attend to the immediate medical needs of the casualties. They will also assist in triaging the casualties where needed.

Once the immediate medical needs have been dealt with by the paramedics, those casualties needing further medical attention will be conveyed to hospital by the search and rescue helicopter.

In any offshore medical emergency situation, the Emergency Command and Control (ECC) centre will always contact the coastguard and scramble a search and rescue helicopter to help in managing the casualties.

Triage

We’ve just mentioned that triage is a process of prioritizing casualties according to their medical needs. Let’s now have a look at what this process is in more detail in Figure 1.

Triage flow chart
Figure 1 Triage flow chart
Source: Wise Global Training

Telephone triage

Offshore, telephone triage is another way casualties can be assessed and prioritized in the order of severity of their conditions. This takes the form of a set of questions asked over the telephone by onshore medical staff about the extent of injury to each casualty. This allows a checklist to be completed, with each answer being given an appropriate score. The scores then allow the onshore triage staff to prioritize and place each casualty in their appropriate category of treatment.

Principles of escape, evacuation and rescue from onshore facilities and offshore platforms

The process of evacuating an oil and gas installation varies greatly between those situated onshore and those situated offshore. Consequently, we need to look at the evacuation process of both types of installations separately.

Escape and evacuation – onshore

When personnel need to escape or evacuate an onshore installation there are a number of factors which can enhance their ability to escape without undue difficulty.

These include:

  • Escape routes should be clearly marked using high visibility signage along their entire route.
  • Escape routes should be well lit and include emergency lighting in case power is lost.
  • All escape routes should be protected, where possible, by firewalls or by deluge fire protection systems.
  • Escape routes should be congestion free (have clear access and egress) and be adequate in size to accommodate all personnel.
  • Escape routes should have heat activated deluge/sprinklers within them.
  • Each area of the installation should have more than one escape route.
  • Where appropriate, the installation should be compartmentalized (have firewalls between compartments).
  • Where appropriate, blow out, or explosion panels, should be strategically positioned within the installation to alleviate any overpressure.

When an incident occurs within an onshore installation, the normal means for personnel to evacuate the site would be through the main exits. However, there may be instances where these exits have become blocked or are unavailable. Where this is the case, escape and evacuation will have to be by an alternative exit and this will have to have been foreseen and planned for as part of the planning process when the original emergency plan was drawn up and different scenarios were being considered.

The emergency plan will set out procedures for all conceivable eventualities, and the Emergency Command and Control (ECC) centre will follow these procedures in conjunction with the emergency services.

Evacuation of casualties will be by the most appropriate means available, usually by ambulance. In certain circumstances, an air ambulance may be deemed more appropriate, especially where time is of the essence with seriously injured persons. However, other factors such as risk of explosion or toxic fumes may influence the decision to use helicopters. Visibility (night-time or foggy conditions) or weather conditions (strong winds or thunderstorms) will also affect this decision.

The local authority should work with the operators of the installation in preparing an off-site emergency plan. This will set out how they will respond to an incident which affects the surrounding area, its population and the environment. It will include how the area will be evacuated if needs be, and their response to, and rescue from, damaged property.

Escape and evacuation – offshore

When personnel need to escape or evacuate an offshore installation, there are a number of factors which can enhance their ability to escape without undue difficulty.

These include:

  • Escape routes should be clearly marked using high visibility signage along their entire route.
  • Escape routes should be well lit and include emergency lighting in case power is cut off.
  • All escape routes should be protected, where possible, by firewalls or by deluge fire protection systems.
  • Escape routes should be congestion free (have clear access and egress) and be adequate in size to accommodate all personnel.
  • The installation should be compartmentalized (have fire walls between compartments).
  • Blow out, or explosion panels, are strategically positioned within the installation to alleviate any overpressure.
  • Escape routes should have heat activated deluge/sprinklers within them.
  • Each area of the installation should have more than one escape route.
  • Temporary Refuge buildings (TR) should be constructed from material which has a fire rating of at least H120. This will give a 2-hour protection period before having to evacuate or abandon the installation.
  • Temporary refuge buildings should be under positive atmospheric pressure using an airlock system.
  • There should be more than one means of communicating to personnel specific instructions, such as what to do and where to go.
  • The number of ways an alarm is conveyed to personnel should not be by siren alone; i. e. a flashing beacon should be used for areas where a siren might not be heard.
  • Multiple means of manually descending to sea level are provided, i. e. knotted rope, sea ladder attached to the platform leg, scramble net, skyscape, etc.
  • Appropriate personnel escape equipment is available either in the accommodation area or on each escape route. This equipment should include Emergency Breathing Systems (EBS), Emergency Life Support Apparatus (ELSA), smoke hoods, torches and flame retardant gloves.

When an incident occurs on an offshore installation, and escape and evacuation are required, there are a number of means of leaving the installation safely.

Free-fall lifeboat
Figure 2 Free-fall lifeboat
Source: Dreamstime

The primary method is by lifeboat. These can be launched by davit (a crane-type device which lowers the lifeboat to the sea) or by free-fall where the lifeboat is set at an angle on a launch ramp and allowed to fall into the sea when required.

Life rafts are another means of leaving the installation safely. However, they are not as efficient or as quick to escape in as lifeboats and should rank as second in choice as a means of escape.

Life rafts
Figure 3 Life rafts
Source: iStock

Life rafts have to be launched into the sea by means of a davit before they are inflated and can be boarded, which means personnel have to get down from the platform to sea level in order to board the life raft. This can be by “donut”, which is a personnel-controlled descent device. This device is attached to a rope which is attached to the platform. The person controls his/her descent with the device and another rope, attached to the life raft, guides the person to the life raft.

Other means of descending to sea level in an emergency include by knotted rope, by sea ladder attached to the platform leg, by scramble net, or by “skyscape” (a ladder type escape device).

Helicopter approaching oil rig
Figure 4 Helicopter approaching oil rig
Source: iStock

Escape can also be considered by helicopter. However, this is usually restricted to casualties who are not capable of leaving the installation unaided.

There is also the consideration of the extent of the incident, which might restrict helicopters landing on the platform.

Standby vessel
Figure 5 Standby vessel
Source: Dreamstime

The platform’s standby vessel will be available to respond to an escape and evacuation situation. As well as assisting with the evacuation of the platform, it can offer sea rescue with its Fast Rescue Craft (FRC) and receive launched survival craft (lifeboats and life rafts). If needed, it can also use its fire-fighting capabilities.

It is the duty holder’s responsibility to ensure appropriate and comprehensive arrangements are in place for the effective recovery of persons involved in escape or evacuation from the installation. This includes persons falling into the sea from the installation (man overboard), or a helicopter ditching close to the installation.

On recovery, they must be taken to a place of safety. This can be a location onshore, or offshore, for example the platform’s standby vessel, where medical treatment and other care facilities can be made available.

Roles and operation of fire teams onshore and offshore in upstream and downstream facilities

Onshore fire teams

Historically, many onshore installations have had their own in-house fire and rescue teams and equipment, including fire tenders, so that any emergency situation could be responded to quickly. The fire teams are made up of on-site personnel who would normally be doing other jobs around the site, but additionally are trained in fire-fighting and search and rescue techniques.

When called upon to deal with an incident, the role of the on-site fire team is to control the situation as far as possible and make an evaluation to pass onto the emergency services when they arrive and take over command.

In recent years, the role of controlling and containing fires has moved more towards automatic, remote and fixed fire-fighting systems such as:

  • water deluge systems,
  • sprinkler and mist systems,
  • foam based systems,
  • chemical based systems and inert gas systems.

This has been bolstered by the application of passive fire defence systems such as incorporating fire walls into structures and the sectioning and compartmentalization of areas. These measures are expected to contain a situation until emergency services arrive on site and take command.

Consequently, the need for site personnel to become directly involved in fighting large fires has been generally superseded. Response teams are only expected to conduct search and rescue operations should personnel be unaccounted for, and are trained in the use of Breathing Apparatus (BA).

Offshore fire teams

Offshore, the industry has also moved away from personnel directly fighting hydrocarbon fires, to one where on-board automatic, remote and fixed fire-fighting systems are expected to control, contain and bring to a satisfactory end almost any emergency situation. However, the platform’s standby vessel may be able to assist with water cannon if this is deemed appropriate.

However, if the situation cannot be contained and brought to an end satisfactorily, the next level of response is to evacuate and abandon the installation.

As with their onshore counterparts, offshore response teams now have the role of search and rescue for unaccounted-for personnel, and are trained in the use of Breathing Apparatus (BA).

The offshore installation has a limited amount of external assistance it can call upon in an emergency, most of which have a significant time lag in how quickly they can respond.

These services include:

  • The platform Standby Vessel (SBV);
  • Coastguard and search and rescue services (helicopters and lifeboat services);
  • Commercial helicopters;
  • Supply vessels;
  • Shipping in the vicinity.

Training and drills

Training and drills, in relation to emergency response, are about ensuring everybody is in a state of preparedness and knows exactly what to do and what will be expected of them should an emergency situation arise. We will now take a look at training and drills separately.

Training

The oil and gas industry was greatly affected by the Piper Alpha disaster of 1988, which killed 167 people. Tragic as it was, many good things came about as a result of the inquiry and report which followed.

The report made 106 separate recommendations, a significant number of which have had a direct impact on emergency response and rescue training since then.

The Prevention of Fire, Explosion and Emergency Response (PFEER) regulations came about as a direct result of the report forthcoming from the Piper Alpha disaster, the principles of which have been generally accepted on a global basis by the oil and gas industry. The regulations relate to both onshore and offshore installations.

The regulations which are pertinent to emergency situations state the following:

  • People in command should be competent.
  • There should be sufficient number of competent people on the installation to undertake emergency duties and operate relevant equipment, including sufficient numbers of people to be in attendance at the helicopter landing area during helicopter movements.
  • Everybody on board an offshore installation should have undergone general training in emergencies, including training in personal survival, installation specific induction training and training based on the emergency response plan.

Competence can be defined as “having sufficient training, knowledge and experience to undertake a task or duty safely and effectively”.

Training specific to offshore installations

For all personnel on offshore installations there are specialist training requirements for which standardized training courses have been developed.

Everyone who is working offshore has to undergo general training in emergency situations. This is known officially as the Basic Offshore Safety Induction and Emergency Training (BOSIET).

This basic training covers:

  • First aid;
  • Basic fire-fighting;
  • Self-rescue;
  • Helicopter safety and escape;
  • Sea survival.

Beyond the basic course, which everybody has to undertake, more specific courses have been developed. for designated personnel who will play a specific part in any emergency situation. One of these courses is for coxswains who will be in charge of lifeboats. This course is known as Totally Enclosed Propelled Survival Craft course (TEMPSC). The training these coxswains receive should be relevant to, and match, the type of craft they will be in charge of.

Other specific courses exist for:

  • Muster co-ordinators;
  • Muster checkers;
  • Radio operators.

For personnel who are crew members of the emergency response and rescue vessel, a suite of standardized competency-based training has been developed covering:

  • Initial shipboard operations;
  • Fast rescue craft boatman;
  • Fast rescue craft coxswain;
  • Daughter craft coxswain;
  • Advanced medical aid.

Drills

Drills, in relation to emergency situations, are exercises which are undertaken to evaluate emergency plans and procedures under realistic conditions. They also serve the purpose of training personnel in the practical application of their roles and responsibilities. Consequently, they should be conducted as often as is deemed necessary in order to maintain competency levels.

Involving external emergency services and agencies in these exercises is considered essential in order to facilitate an efficient and effective response should the need arise.

Read also: Safety Critical Equipment Controls in Oil and Gas Industry

Where possible, these exercises should be overseen by an external organization which can independently evaluate performances under near-realistic conditions. This independent evaluation will add credibility to any level of competency attributed to exercise evaluations.

Offshore, muster drills should be undertaken weekly. However, these drills should be random, unannounced and undertaken at varying times of the shift in order to prove they are effective under all foreseeable circumstances.

External support agencies and resource liaison, including municipal and offshore

Strategic command posts

Any major emergency will involve the external emergency services. If it’s an onshore installation this will be fire, ambulance and police. If it’s an offshore installation this will be the coastguard agency and the police. The coastguard agency will involve other support agencies such as air-sea rescue and lifeboat rescue as required.

As we mentioned earlier, these services will be regularly involved in drills and exercises with the site’s response team, which allows them to practise dealing with all identified major hazards.

When a major incident occurs, the emergency services will establish a set of strategic command posts to oversee and manage the situation.

These are likely to be made up of:

  • The main HQ commanders responsible for determining the best strategy for dealing with the incident. These commanders are generally not located at the incident and, if various organizations are involved, may well be in two or three locations. They will, however, be in constant touch with each other by video conference or by telephone.
  • Strategic commanders are the next level down, possibly located at the rally point for the emergency services. These commanders are responsible for converting the strategy set out by the HQ-based main commanders into a set of actions or tactics, to be implemented by the emergency teams at the scene.
  • The final level of command is the supervisors in charge of the emergency workers at the scene. They will be in touch with the strategic commanders to find out what strategy and/or tactics have been established as the best way to deal with the incident. They will also feedback information on how well, or otherwise, these strategies/tactics are working.

External support agencies

Other external assistance might include:

  • Local councils;
  • The health and safety authority;
  • The agency responsible for the environment;
  • water/drainage company;
  • Coastguard;
  • Air-sea rescue;
  • Lifeboat rescue.

Liaison with emergency services

In order to ensure any emergency situation is responded to effectively, it is essential that good channels of communication are established between the management of a facility and the emergency services. The groundwork for these channels will be set as part of the drills and exercises the parties jointly take part in, but over and above these activities, a constant liaison with the emergency services should be established and maintained. This should be done through formal channels on a structured basis to emphasize the importance it commands.

When an emergency situation is responded to by the emergency services, there is a certain amount of information which will be required immediately. It is the responsibility of the person who is appointed as the emergency services liaison officer to ensure this information (a) has been provided prior to the incident as part of normal liaison activities, or (b) is ready to be provided as soon as the emergency services arrive on site as part of the update of the situation.

That information will include:

  1. Contact point for the fire/police/ambulance liaison officer;
  2. Contact point for fire/police/ambulance incident commander;
  3. Rendezvous point for emergency services;
  4. Strategic response group member (planning coordinator or as otherwise delegated) with primary responsibility for managing the emergency at the site;
  5. Likely cause and effect of the emergency;
  6. Likely casualty status including potentials, how serious and their current location;
  7. Roll call results;
  8. Map of the site including floor plans and entry and exit points;
  9. Evacuation location;
  10. Outline of the local environment and surrounding risks (possibility of secondary incidents/contamination);
  11. Utility shut-off points;
  12. Availability of CCTV;
  13. Press liaison details;
  14. Welfare arrangements;
  15. Traffic control points and likely impacts on the surrounding area.

Questions and answers

Question 1: Give FOUR factors which can enhance chances of survival and escape from an installation in an emergency situation.
Answer 1
The command word in this question is give. This requires an answer without explanation. Your answer should include FOUR of the following suggested answers:
  • Escape routes should be clearly marked using high visibility signage along their entire route.
  • Escape routes should be well lit and include emergency lighting in case power is cut off.
  • All escape routes should be protected, where possible, by fire walls or by deluge fire protection systems.
  • Escape routes should be congestion-free (allow clear access and egress) and be adequate in size to accommodate all personnel.
  • The installation should be compartmentalized (have fire walls between compartments).
  • Blow out, or explosion panels, should be strategically positioned within the installation to alleviate any overpressure.
  • Escape routes should have heat activated deluge/sprinklers within them.
  • Each area of the installation should have more than one escape route.
  • Temporary Refuge (TR) buildings should be constructed from material which has a fire rating of at least H120.
  • Temporary Refuge (TR) buildings should be under positive atmospheric pressure using an airlock system.
  • There should be more than one means of communicating specific instructions to personnel, such as what to do and where to go.
  • The number of ways an alarm is conveyed to personnel should not be by siren alone, i. e. a flashing beacon should be used for areas where a siren might not be heard.
  • Multiple means of manually descending to sea level should be provided, i. e. knotted rope, sea ladder attached to the platform leg, scramble net, skyscape, etc.
  • Appropriate personnel escape equipment should be available either in the accommodation area or on each escape route. This equipment should include Emergency Breathing Systems (EBS), Emergency Life Support Apparatus (ELSA), smoke hoods, torches and flame retardant gloves.
Question 2: Explain what emergency drills are and who should participate in them.
Answer 2
The command word in this question is explain. This requires an answer which gives a clear account of, or reasons for, a subject or issue. Your answer should expand on the following information:

Drills, in relation to emergency situations, are exercises which are undertaken to evaluate emergency plans and procedures under realistic conditions. They also serve the purpose of training personnel in the practical application of their roles and responsibilities. Consequently, they should be conducted as often as is deemed necessary in order to maintain competency levels. Involving external emergency services and agencies in these exercises is considered essential in order to facilitate an efficient and effective response should the need arise. Offshore, muster drills should be undertaken weekly. However, these drills should be random, unannounced, and undertaken at varying times of the shift in order to prove they are effective under all foreseeable circumstances.

Footnotes
Sea-Man

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Сентябрь, 15, 2022 161 0
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