Like many industries, industrial facility management, especially in the petrochemical sector, is concerned with efficiency. Many of the efficiency changes coming to businesses have brought the promise of cutting down time and costs, while still respecting the individual workers.
This is especially true during a "turnaround" (manufacturing plant shutdown periods for maintenance and enhancement), which needs to be conducted in both an efficient and safe environment. It is not uncommon for lost production costs during turnarounds to outweigh the costs of the turnaround itself, so there is a sudden increase in the daily worker population at the site, which can increase safety and security concerns.
Some common hazards
It's best to stay on alert when the turnaround is in progress to be ready in case danger arises. The Chemical Plant Safety Blog outlined some of the risks to be aware of during this time:
- Fire hazards: If the right safety aids are onsite, the managers and all professionals onsite will have the tools to fight back. These can include extinguishers, detectors and proper storage for all combustible chemicals.
- Safety awareness: The source also said that it's important for those at the site to know about the correct procedures for safety and for a permit to be in effect as well. Everyone should be on the same page and the work should be properly scheduled and in line with the site owner's expectations.
- Understaffed turnarounds: Of course, you can't have successful awareness if there aren't enough employees onsite to begin with. This point comes not from the Chemical Plant Safety Blog but from the Craftforce blog, which warned against having too few people present when a plant is shut down. This can perhaps go hand in hand with some of the other steps plant managers take to improve safety during these often crowded days.
All of these potential dangers also come with whatever the current state of the site is. Industrial workers often have to contend with hazards like possible slips and falls, as well as chemicals which could emit dangerous fumes. Since all of the workers will likely have to focus on their own tasks, they won't necessarily have the knowledge needed to cope with sudden crowd surge or cramped conditions. Fortunately, the skill, training and authority of off-duty law enforcement personnel can help.
What off-duty police officers can do
You might not think of police officers as individuals to use for crowd management, but this falls naturally into their skills and experience. A PoliceOne article listed some of what trained officers can do to help mitigate crowd dangers. These can include knowing the right positions to coordinate a crowd successfully, as well as using an officer's natural presence to send a strong message and keep trouble from starting. Don't underestimate what an office can bring just by being there.
For example, a common use of police for crowd management during industrial plant turnarounds is traffic control, particularly during shift change. But these officers can also act as a deterrence to criminal behavior, often with just their mere presence.
Using Frizell Group makes contacting, employing and placing these officers simple, and in a manner that reduces corporate risk and administrative hassle. Contact us or click below to find out more.