Industrial and Urban Accidents
Industrial and urban accidents can take a wide variety of forms and their impacts vary considerably in both scale and nature. In some cases these accidents will have very limited impacts beyond the immediate area and can be dealt with locally, although others can have cascading effects that will have a wider impact.
Know your building
Familiarise yourself with the safety codes, how to raise the alarm and emergency escape routes for the buildings in which you live or work. These could include fire escapes, emergency refuge areas or designated evacuation areas.
Always follow instructions from the emergency services. Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service have helpful guidance on fire safety in the home and escaping from fires.
Know your area
Check your local council’s website for details of major industrial sites in your area. The Health and Safety Executive’s ‘Control of Major Accident Hazard (COMAH)’ website also has information on nearby major industrial facilities.
The Environment Agency’s ‘What’s in your backyard?’ website shows flood zones for reservoirs in England and Wales, and also provides a similar service for landfills and historic mine waste facilities.
Check the Community Risk Register for the local risk assessment for Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.
Know what major industrial sites are in your local area. Make sure you are familiar with any advice they and your local authority provide.
If you become aware of an incident at a local major industrial facility (e.g. a nuclear power plant, oil processing depot or chemical plant), go indoors, stay indoors and tune in. Close doors and windows to protect yourself from potential fumes or contaminants, and be prepared to evacuate if instructed to do so by emergency responders.
If you suspect that the building you are in is at immediate risk of fire from a neighbouring facility, evacuate in the opposite direction of the incident.
Follow the advice of the emergency services; responders have emergency plans in place for incidents in your area, and are trained and equipped to deal with industrial accidents.
Be aware of dams and reservoirs in your area, and acquaint yourself with any emergency advice issued by the facility managers and your local authority.
A Staffordshire dam breach is highly unlikely. However, if a breach occurs you will be warned by the emergency services and may be asked to evacuate; always follow their instructions.