In the event of an emergency on our premises, our immediate priorities are to ensure the safety of our people and visitors, and then our plant. We must also look to the longer term, however. This means ensuring our business resilience so we can repay the trust our customers and employees place in us. Continuing to deliver what we promise, even if a whole factory unit is destroyed by a fire, for example.
We have been working hard on systematic fire and disaster preparedness, in a significant project for the company. Our Ängelholm site is the first to benefit from the results, with others to follow. Håkan Westberg (Operations Manager), Gunilla Karlsson (Logistics Manager) and Niklas Samuelsson (Business Engineer) have been working closely together on the project. Their aim has been to develop effective plans, and then carry out the ongoing training that enables them to be implemented effectively.
To do, you have to know
“Gunilla, Niklas and I agree that if you want people to be able to DO the right things, they need to KNOW the right things,” says Håkan. “In this project, what that means is that the planning is only the beginning. It is the initial and ongoing training that really does the job.”
“We started the project in summer 2020,” says Gunilla. “Since then, we have been constantly developing and refining our plan and the comprehensive training program that brings it to life.” The scope of the planning is enormous: from the locations of defibrillators, through clear labeling of hazards and how to respond to them, to coping with the destruction of an entire factory unit.
The team got valuable input from expert external sources. “Our local fire service visited and gave us a lot of advice,” says Håkan. “They see these kinds of emergencies all the time, so they have deep insights into what can go wrong and how to anticipate, prevent, and respond.”
“We worked with Anticimex’s Fire Safety department, too,” says Gunilla. “They provided advice on precautions and how to document them, from written plans and the legal technicalities to how to delegate effectively and safely.”
One outcome is that Niklas now has high confidence in her crisis supply chain plan: “Even if a whole unit is destroyed, our customers’ supplies are assured.”
Train, test, roll out
“We have made sure all our people have easy access to all the plans and precautions,” says Håkan. “But of course, we must also be confident that they KNOW them, so they can carry them out. Our training focuses first on perfecting individual responses to particular emergencies.”
This training is itself tested in large-scale disaster simulations, from which valuable lessons are learned and fed back into the plans. Ängelholm is only the first site to benefit, and the same approach is to be rolled out across the whole company as quickly as possible.