Herøya Industrial Park set to provide faster and better information when the alarm sounds – and in other situations, too
“Information will be provided across multiple channels, and we’ll have closer contact and dialogue with our neighbours”, promise Vidar Ersnes, HSE Engineer at Yara Porsgrunn, and Tone Rabe, Head of HSE at Herøya Industripark AS.
– Vi skal informere mer, i flere kanaler og ha tettere nabokontakt og dialog. Både om hva som skjer i alarmsituasjoner, men også om aktiviteter og arbeider som skjer i industriparken ellers, sier Tone Rabe, HMS sjef i Herøya Industripark AS.
In the wake of an emergency situation and incident that occurred during the night between 23 and 24 April, with a fire that broke out at Yara’s ammonia plant, Mr Thor Oscar Bolstad, Managing Director at Herøya industripark AS, told the local Varden newspaper: “We must find a better way to inform people”.
“Our communication system during the accident at Yara in April didn’t work well enough”, Tone Rabe, Head of HSE and Joint Industrial Safety Coordinator at Herøya, says.
Following the fire accident and a call to the nearby residents via the media to contribute input for improved information arrangements, the Head of HSE noted that many people had called for more information channels.
“We’re now focusing on expanding our use of both Facebook and Twitter so that we can provide both the media and nearby residents with faster information about what happens at Herøya Industrial Park.” During the incident in April we found that the email wasn’t reaching the recipients because it happened at night, when people weren’t using their PCs. Social media provide fast and effective channels.
“We’re also looking to set up a separate web channel for emergency situations where we can post necessary information.” In case of future incidents, access will be provided to this crisis website.
According to Rabe, the information preparedness setup on Facebook and Twitter will be ready right after the summer.
The industrial safety staff at Herøya will also be given a new task.
“The industrial safety staff will assess the information level in emergency situations”, Rabe says.
“That’s why we’ll now define information levels more clearly, so that our industrial safety staff can faster evaluate and adjust the necessary information efforts. Emergency levels were well-defined at Herøya before, too, but there were times when emergency and information levels didn't match. A low emergency level, which doesn’t pose a danger to the immediate environment, may still require a high level of information; we had such a case in April”, Rabe explains.
Rabe and the HES managers of several companies based in the industrial park will also provide more information about activities and works in the park, both ongoing and scheduled.
“Sometimes, incidents and activities at Herøya may come across as scarier than they really are”, Tone Rabe says.
“That’s why we’ll focus on providing more information, for example in case of maintenance stoppages, launches, or work in the park that may cause noise, visible emissions, or additional traffic. These are quite ordinary activities in the park, but they may be perceived differently by our neighbours and residents of the Grenland area.”
Closer neighbourhood contact and dialogue
Efforts are being made to set up closer neighbourhood contact and dialogue.
“We’ll attend Eramet’s and Yara’s annual neighbourhood meeting with people and associations from Knardalsstrand and Sundjordet. In addition, we also envisage having meetings with the residents of Herøya.”
“Take a look”, the Head of HES urges me. You’ll find useful information here on safety and preparedness in the industrial park, as well as warning signals, and contact information.
Get in touch
Tone Rabe hopes associations and people will directly contact her or others at Herøya Industrial Park when there’s a problem.
“Get in touch with us directly and we’ll find it out. It’s a much faster solution than going through other channels”, Rabe says. “We, for our part, must ensure that it’s clear who the points of contact are, and that we have the right channels open, making it easy to find information about what’s happening in the park, both in emergency and other situations.”
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