Is Your Warehouse Prepared For The Worst?

Training exercises with local authorities provide valuable experience

If someone in your warehouse smells ammonia, does he or she know what to do? Does your team know how to interact with the local hazmat team and fire department, if the situation escalated? Are all of your employees able to get out of the facility quickly and safely? Can you isolate the problem so damage to customer products is minimal? All of these questions were answered “yes” following a recent live hazmat training exercise at Interstate Warehousing in Joliet, IL.

IWI, the Joliet Fire Department and their Hazardous Materials Response Team came together for a joint training exercise to walk through every step of the process, utilizing a planned scenario beginning with one employee smelling ammonia. The building was evacuated, and the hazmat team discussed the situation with facility management prior to entering the building in full gear as they searched for one person who was unaccounted for.

The scenario was determined by action cards, which were handed out to affected employees and members of the fire department, leaving them with a decision to make.  Each decision led to another action card, showing what would happen based on the decision that was made. Once the employee who was unaccounted for was found and removed from the building, the hazmat team then went through their decontamination zone, which they had set up just outside the facility.

Following the drill, all members of the fire department and hazmat team who were in attendance were given a tour of the facility, in order to familiarize themselves with the entire building if they ever had to return for a true emergency.

Training efforts such as this are an integral part of our efforts to keep our employees and our customer products as safe as possible, even in the event of an emergency.