Berger Paints and Civil Defencecollaborate to ensure safety takes precedence
Safety has always been an integral part of Berger Paint’s business strategy. The international brand has practices in place, one of which was the recent fire drill in association with Civil Defence at its Sohar factory premises
21 May 2017, Muscat:The safety, health and well-being of its employees is an individual as well as corporate responsibility. To ensure there is no compromise on this, Berger Paints has strategies and practices in place. Recently, the company organised a fire drill jointly with Civil Defence (PACDA – Public Authority for Civil Defence and Ambulances) at its manufacturing facility in Sohar Industrial Area.
“It is imperative to have a positive safety culture that includes training and drills by professionals so employees are aware what steps to take in case of a situation. It is for the employees to understand, engage them and ensure their safety at all times,” stated P.K. Raj, General Manager of Berger Paints.
From the time of conception, it took almost six months to plan the event as Berger officials coordinated with the authorities at Civil Defence and Sohar Industrial Estate office. The Civil Defence personnel visited the factory and advised the procedure for drill to be followed along with some minor internal changes.On implementation of the changes, a preparatory drill was conducted in-house in presence of one of the Civil Defence officials. Subsequently the schedule for full-fledged drill was finalised. Prior information was given to the neighbouring companies so as not to panic in case of fire alarms and sirens of fire brigade and ambulance.
On the day of drill, artificial smoke was created in a non-hazardous store and fire alarm was raised. The internal Fire response team immediately sprang into action, inspecting the allocated areas, while rest of the employees moved towards assembly point. All Fire wardens were mobilised. Head count was done at the assembly point of employees and visitors. Two employees were reported missing. Meanwhile, one of the Fire response team members reported the location of fire, informed that it was out of control and that the two missing employees needed to be rescued immediately.
A call was made to the Civil Defence Fire Brigade office. Within 10 minutes, the fire brigade arrived along with an ambulance. Fire was brought under control and the two missing employees were located within 10 minutes. First Aid was provided to one of the injured victimsafter putting him in ambulance.The second mock victim was declared dead and officials completed the necessary formalities. At this stage, the drill was officially declared as complete.
Civil Defence and the Sohar Industrial Estate (SIE) officials present for the drill, much appreciated the initiative taken by Berger Paints and said it was the first time such a drill was conducted in coordination with any of the factories in Sohar Industrial Area. They have shown interest to replicate the same with other high risk factories in the area.Safety officer of one of the neighbouring companies also attended the drill and stated it served as a good learning platform for others as well.