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Industrial Pre-Incident Planning

Industrial Pre-Incident Planning

Pre-Incident Planning is primarily a process of proactively identifying potential hazardous events and documenting relevant data, strategies, and tactics to safely mitigate those events. The product of such a process is the Pre-Incident Plan (PIP).

Scenarios Addressed

Athena HESS is pleased to have been invited to present at the joint WSO (World Safety Organisation) - Pertamina event, “WSO FEST 2022” held in Jakarta on 5th July 2022. Our presentation entitled, "Industrial Pre-Incident Planning” was well received by the participants and organisers.
The thrust of our message through this presentation was to raise the awareness of the inadequacies of Emergency Response Plans (ERP) that do not incorporate the vital elements of scenario specific pre-incident planning (PIP). The presentation also highlighted the crucial importance of EMPOWERING industrial responders so as to SAFELY, SWIFTLY & SUCCESSFULLY (3S) contain evolving emergencies in their incipient stages.

Background to Pre-Incident Planning

The Pre-Incident Plan is the successor to ‘Pre-Fire Plan’ that came into existence perhaps in the 1970s. Closer to the turn of the century, the precept that “All incidents are predictable and preventable” gained global traction across the industrial world. This gave rise to the notion that pre-planning could indeed be applied to all conceivable undesirable occurrences as part of the Risk Management framework of industrial organisations. Progressive organisations soon extended the pre-planning process to industrial safety, security and quality scenarios.

Around the same timeframe, similar rationale started evolving in the United States arising from the joint initiatives of the public fire department and the Insurance industry. A distinct impetus to this development was the major fire loss in 1987 involving a sprinklered warehouse in the state of Ohio.

Although recommended practices and guidelines soon evolved for Pre-Incident Planning in the public fire services dominion, it was not until 2014 that a full-blown PIP Standard emerged.

Aside from providing structured guidance to responding personnel, a major benefit of the Standard is the emphasis it has brought about on Emergency Responder Health & Safety and the introduction of Risk Management principles and practices to the US public fire services.  These two important elements in the Safety of responders were generally overshadowed by misplaced importance attached to speed over caution and prone to seemingly impetuous actions. 

The concept of Pre-Incident Planning is largely in its nascent stages in most other parts of the world

Purpose & Benefits

The purpose and benefits of industrial Pre-Incident Planning are manifold and more important of them are:

  1. Predetermined and well-rehearsed response to incidents in conformity with relevant Company policies and procedures with particular emphasis on Safety.

  2. Standardisation of Emergency Response terminology & communications

  3. Fire Protection adequacy verification through site evaluation as part of iPIP development process. Where gap is identified, interim measures are instituted.

  4. Assurance of ready availability of logistical requirements (‘Man, Machine & Material’) including through Mutual Aid arrangements 

  5. Enhancement of structure, realism and consistency in periodic Fire Drills and exercises. Facilitates the use of e-learning via company intranet to self-prepare in readiness for Drill/Exercise.

  6. Objective assessment and de-brief of Fire Drills and Exercises on basis of adherence to the PIP.

  7. Structured process of hand-over to state/municipality response agencies (e.g. Civil Defence) where required

  8. Enhanced visualisation of potential scenarios with graphical representation during training and drills for ERT and Crisis Management Team (CMT) members.

  9. Clear delineation of roles and responsibilities of ERT members.

  10. The PIP serves as common reference and road-map for the On-Scene Commander (OSC), Incident Command Team (ICT), Crisis Management Team (CMT) , thus enhancing the vital aspects of Emergency Communications and Co-ordination.

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