Industrial accidents

Information on what an industrial accident is, how to report one, what to do if there is an industrial action and if you are evacuated because of a chemical incident what should you do.

What is an industrial accident?

Large industrial accidents are extremely rare and both the industries and authorities concerned go to great lengths to make sure that if an accident does happen, it can be dealt with effectively and local communities are alerted and protected.

The industries who fall under the Control of Major Accident Hazards regulations 1999 (COMAH) are some of the most closely regulated and safest in the country. Multi-agency emergency plans are in place to ensure that all response and recovery arrangements are implemented effectively should an industrial accident occur.

How do I report an industrial accident?

Dial 999 and ask for the Fire and Rescue Service.

Once connected you will be asked a series of questions relating to the accident you wish to report.

Advice may also be given on what actions you should take depending on the nature of the accident.

What should I do if there is an industrial accident?

If you live close to a large chemical site, you might receive information from the site(s) in you area advising you of the actions to take in the event in an accident.

Generally, the advice in a chemical incident is to 'Go in, stay in and tunes in'. What you should do is:

  • go into a house or building straight away and stay indoors until you hear an all-clear message

  • close all external doors, turn off all ventilation and heating systems

  • close all windows and curtains

  • tune into your local radio station to receive information and instructions

  • do not ring the emergency services unless you have a medical emergency, as their telephone lines need to be kept clear

  • please co-operate with any instructions given by the emergency services

  • after the all-clear, doors and windows can be reopened and ventilation restored.

If I am evacuated following a chemical incident, what should I do on my return home?

On your return home:

  • open all windows and doors to ventilate your home fully for as long as possible, preferably for several hours

  • don't eat any food which was left uncovered prior to evacuation

  • don't eat vegetables from the garden until they have been thoroughly scrubbed and peeled

  • clean all surfaces in the home thoroughly

  • re-wash and laundry which was left outside on a washing line.

Always listen to advice given to you by the emergency services.

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