♦ Community Safety
Due to the nature of industrial and agricultural chemicals, our operations have the potential to impact on local communities.
IPL has measures in place to monitor, manage and prevent potential negative impacts on local communities which may arise. Due to the nature of our business, many sites are required by law to communicate regularly with the community regarding Community Safety Plans which describe the emergency procedures that should be followed to keep them safe in the unlikely event of a potential incident. In addition, potential impacts are also assessed and addressed. For example, where there is any risk of the release of fumes associated with ammonia, purpose built gas detectors are used. These are permanently located near the perimeters of sites that have ammonia storage tanks, ensuring that any potential leaks can be responded to. The detectors set off an alarm to response teams at any time of the day or night if gas is detected.
In North America, 50% of IPL’s sites handle materials which have the potential to impact on local community safety and are required to communicate with first responders in the community. Many of these sites are required to actively participate on Local Emergency Planning Committees (LEPCs) as part of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA). For example, our Cheyenne, Wyoming manufacturing site in the USA participates in the Mutual Aid Emergency Response Group along with the local Fire Department, Holly Frontier Refining and Warren Air Force Base. LEPC membership must include (at a minimum):
• Elected state and local officials
• Police, fire, civil defense, and public health officials
• IPL facility representatives
• Environment, transportation and hospital officials
• Representatives from community groups and the media
LEPCs measure their effectiveness against the EPA recommended guideline ‘Measuring Progress in Chemical Safety: A Guide for Local Emergency Planning Committees and Similar Groups’.
In the Asia Pacific region, 21% of sites have been identified as either ‘Major Hazard Facilities’ or sites which are required to provide specialised communications to their communities regarding safety. These sites follow ‘Safe Work Australia’ guidelines and local regulations in developing emergency plans, establishing and evaluating a Safety Management System, and creating and distributing communications to their communities. Major Hazard Facilities are required to hold regular Emergency Response drills which include site personnel and Emergency Services. Copies of the Emergency Response Plans must be lodged with regulatory agencies, and information in relation to the site’s activities and emergency response is provided to local community libraries. A 24 hour emergency contact number must be displayed at each facility, and the name of a contact person provided, from whom information may be obtained, and with whom concerns can be raised. We also publish IPL Community Safety Reports on our website to provide information and advice for neighbours of our facilities who may be impacted by our activities.
In addition, IPL has a continuous improvement management approach in response to incidents such as gas sensor alarm responses and the IPL Issues Response Manual assists crisis management teams to effectively manage communication and engagement in the event of an incident.