The Problem

Our customer, a Biopharma company maintains an onsite Emergency Response Team (ERT) to mitigate the risks of fire and other emergencies. These ERT teams receive specialised training at Occupli’s dedicated Fire & Rescue Training Centre in Cork. However, the business takes periodic maintenance shutdowns to overhaul key plant and equipment. During this time, employees – including the ERT teams ideally, take annual leave.

The maintenance work, however, requires specialist ERT cover, as some of it is hazardous and/or takes place within Confined Spaces. The company needed to provide a 24/7 ERT cover from an external source.

The Solution

Occupli was hired to provide the required emergency response support.  This involved an initial site visit to scope out the work and liaising with the on-site emergency response team (ERT) to develop site specific detailed rescue plans with pictures.

Approximately 500 additional personnel were scheduled to be on site for over four weeks.  The proposed maintenance shutdown works ranged from tank cleaning, scaffolding, mechanical and electrical maintenance and all required some form of emergency response cover.

Following assessment of the planned activities, a support package was put together and presented to the client.  This included:

    • A pre shutdown induction presentation for all staff and contractors.
    • Provision of 24/7 ERT cover for the duration of the shutdown, offering an immediate response at the scene of any incident.  Our team consists of a pool of highly trained and locally sourced active fire fighters, most of whom are officers/instructors with a high level of expertise enabling us to offer 24/7 ERT cover for the duration of the shutdown.  We use our own equipment which is well maintained and fully certified.
    • Prepare site specific Rescue Plans
    • Option to include paramedic as part of the ERT
    • Offer to liaise with the local emergency services and be nominated point of contact if required.
    • Provision of an online contractor induction service, for over 500 contractors.
    • Provision of Safe Pass training including co-ordination with SOLAS to handle the particular needs of the international contractors, if required.
    • Provision of additional safety training if required for confined space entry, chemical safety, working at heights, first aid, mental health awareness, ATEX Awareness, PSCS etc. See for further details of available courses.
    • Design and provision of site safety auditing services – customised to the shutdown.
    • Access to a pool of subject matter experts in our consultancy division if required.
    • Completion of an After Action Review with the company and additional training with the onsite ERT
    • For the duration of the shutdown we provided a 4-man crew and 24/7 cover, we also
    • Carried out drills in the more difficult areas both confined and at height
    • Carried out safety inspections prior to work being carried out
    • Attended pre job meetings
    • Assisted in Permit to Work planning
    • Updated Rescue Plans to fit the specific job on the day

On completion of the shutdown, we attended a debrief with the client.

The Outcome

The customer was pleasantly surprised at the exemplary professionalism of our teams stating:

“We got more than we asked for. The team really showed us a professional and practical attitude to safety that impressed us.”

Coordinating the Safe Pass training requirement, it avoided a lot of time wasting on the part of international contractors: this minimised the “dead” days, when contractors without Safe Pass Cards, could not go onsite.

The customer is also considering permanently outsourcing the ERT work not just because of the high standards provided but also due to the assistance provided to manage their annual leave requirements.

If you are carrying out high-risk works like confined space entry, hot works or working at height – do you have the manpower to effect a rescue?
Whether it is for a crew of two for a half-day cover, or a crew of four for an extended period of time, we will cater our services to offer bespoke cover to meet your needs. ERT capabilities typically include Confined Space Rescue, Rescue from Heights, Gas Testing, Fire response, Chemical spill etc. Conducting learn-from events and assisting in the development or update of existing emergency response procedures and evacuation plans can also be provided.