Sunday, May 27, 2012

Guideline for Emergency Response Plan for the storage of Hazardous Substances

Guideline for Emergency Response Plan for the storage of Hazardous Substances

Hazardous chemicals have the potential to seriously endanger life and pollute the environment. Such chemicals have to be carefully managed at all time to prevent any accidental release. The successful implementation of a chemical safety programme requires co-operation from the industries to manage their hazardous chemicals properly and the support of the general public.


Notwithstanding the controls and precautions taken, one cannot rule out the possibility of spillages and accidental releases of hazardous substances during transportation. With well drawn up emergency plans and proper training, such releases can be effectively contained and the damage to the environment and dangers to the health and safety of public minimised.

As a condition for granting licences and transport approvals, companies are required to put up emergency response plans.

The plan must be comprehensive and should contain the following key elements :-
  • notification procedures; (persons and authorities to contact and how to contact)
  • emergency procedures to contain and decontaminate spills; (immediate actions to be taken by driver/ground staff and actions to be taken by the company upon being informed)
  • emergency equipment to be carried on the vehicle and at base such as personal protection equipment, absorbents, neutralising solutions and salvage drums;
  • Material Safety Data Sheets of the hazardous substances transported.
The emergency response plan (ERP) shall be vetted and approved by SCDF before a Transport Approval may be issued.

Under the provisions of The Environmental Protection and Management (Hazardous Substances) Regulations, in the event of a chemical fire / release, the licence holders\transport approval holders are required to:
  • block off the area contaminated by the hazardous substance;
  • notify SCDF and the PCD;
  • take immediate action to have the area decontaminated and return the situation to normal.


The key elements of the ERP are briefly as follows: 

1 Introduce the activities of your company and its need for the storage/use of hazardous substances.
2 Include maps/diagrams of the site and storage areas.
3 Include the inventory of hazardous substances stored as follows:

Name of Substance UN Hazard Class PSA Dangerous Goods Class Unit Capacity of Container/Packaging Max Qty Stored at Any One Time

Hazard Assessment 
4 Describe the hazards of the substances being stored (e.g. flammable, explosive, toxic, corrosive)

5 Describe the possible spill/release scenarios involving the hazardous substances stored including a quantitative estimation of the hazard zones. The worst case scenario is to be highlighted.

6 List the fire protection and pollution prevention/mitigation equipment at your site.

7 Indicate the type/s of training received by your staff and/or your emergency response team.

8 Include a schedule to exercise, review and test the ERP so as to keep current and operational.

9 Describe the specific actions that will be taken by your staff and/or your emergency response team in the event of a spill/release of hazardous substances.

For information/assistance, please consult the MSDS, your hazardous substances supplier

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