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Berger Paints conducts drill with Civil Defence to ensure safety takes precedence

Safety has always been an integral part of Berger Paint’s business strategy. The international brand has practices in place, one of which was the recent drill in association with Civil Defence at its Sohar factory premises

21 January 2019, Muscat: To ensure a high level of safety for its staff, Berger Paints recently organised a Spill Mock Drill jointly with Civil Defence (PACDA – Public Authority for Civil Defence and Ambulances) at its manufacturing facility in Sohar Industrial Area. “The safety, health and well-being of its employees is a corporate responsibility. To ensure there is no compromise on this, Berger Paints has conducted similar exercises previously,” stated Joseph L. Pulikottil, General Manager of Berger Paints.

It took almost a month to plan the event as Berger officials coordinated with the authorities at Civil Defence and Sohar Industrial Estate office. Subsequently, Civil Defence personnel visited the factory and advised the whole procedure for drill to be followed. Following that, the schedule for full-fledged drill was finalised. Prior information was given to all the neighbouring companies so as not to spread panic on hearing fire alarms and sirens of fire brigade and ambulance.

On the day of drill, professionals from neighbouring companies and officials from Sohar Industrial Estate visited the factory to attend the drill. Water was used to simulate the spill of hazardous chemical N Butanol in the barrels store and a dummy was placed near the spillage to represent a victim who lost consciousness due to exposure to vapours/fumes of the spilled material. A forklift operator nearby identified the accident and set off the fire alarm as he was not able to rescue the victim. The internal fire response team was immediately activated to inspect the allocated areas while the rest of the employees moved towards assembly point. Head count of the employees and visitors was done at the assembly point by the fire wardens wherein one of the employees was found missing.

A call was made to the Civil Defence fire brigade office. Within 10 minutes, the fire brigade arrived along with ambulance and HAZMAT team. The spill was brought under control and the employee was located and rescued within 12 minutes. He was shifted to an ambulance where he was administered first aid.

Civil Defence and the Sohar Industrial Estate officials present for the drill appreciated the safety standards at the factory and the initiative undertaken by Berger Paints stating it was the first of its kind drill conducted in any of the factories in Sohar Industrial Area.