Welcome to West Bengal Disaster Management Department
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Overview
With globalization & rapid industrialization, there emerged a quantum jump in chemical production, handling and transportation of hazardous chemicals across the globe, which is associated with a non-speculative risk of fire, explosion, toxicity, environmental pollution etc. Such emergencies/disasters pose a great threat to human life, flora & fauna.
Many such disasters which occurred in past worldwide are eye openers. Chemical disasters are always man-made. As we do not learn from our mistakes, history repeats. Government of India and State governments have imposed many acts rules to ensure avoidance of chemical disasters, effective control of such disasters if they occur and post disaster mitigation and rehabilitation measures. It is a statutory requirement for each MAH Chemical Manufacturing Unit to ensure effective control measures for averting Chemical Emergency, Emergency Preparedness and Emergency Control Plan (ECP). Present chemical & fertilizer manufacturing involves a host of intermediates like Ammonia, Nitric Acid etc., and also stores and handles several hazardous
chemicals at their site.If we are really prepared for mitigating chemical disaster, the same preparedness can also be helpful to manage calamities such as earthquakes, floods, storms or even in wars. Chemicals are boon for boosting the prosperity and quality of human life. However if not managed proper without understanding them, chemicals can be a bane.

Risks & Mitigation

Bhopal gas tragedy, the worst industrial disaster in the history, is especially significant in generating the environmental revolution by triggering the mechanisms to prevent or contain hazards in work or living environment that otherwise may meet vulnerable land-uses and result in major disasters. The worldwide awareness and action in the forms of political, policy and regulatory developments at international, national and regional level, besides scientific, engineering and management delineations for risk assessments, accident analysis, effect & consequence modeling, and mitigation measures.
Environmental Policy Instruments are the strategic frameworks or planned actions that are required to either development of a policy statement or to implement the policy. Hence, the two types of policy instruments, that include legislation, assessment (Environmental Impact Assessment, Enviornmental Risk Assessment, Health Impact Assessment, Cummulative Impact Analysis, Mitigation Analysis), auditing & review (environmental audit, SHE audit, safety audit, quality audit, EMS audit, environmental review/ safety review), environmental accounts and budgeting, Life-cycle Analysis, Ecological Footprints, Environmental Sustainability Index, have been placed under practice under different mandatory or voluntary and market based frameworks/desires during recent times. Risk communication is a very complex process with strong psychological undertones, which hinges on the purpose for which it is being undertaken, the setting in which it will take place, the cultural and technical environments surrounding it, and the key stakeholders who may be involved.

Management Guidelines
The potential for improving the Emergency Chemical Disaster Management Systems and the effectiveness of individuals responsible for incident management and response can be realized by applying the under mentioned guidelines:
  • Choose personnel to fill key position who have capability to become self-starting, self directing and autonomous.
  • Make sure all assigned personnel know their jobs
  • Choose emergency management system that effectively enhances the organization's ability to perform during an accident
  • Make it easy for people to communicate and access the information
  • Establish response goals, find resources and train your organization
  • Make your emergency response plan effective by supplementing with tools such as procedures, planning meetings and communications for incident mitigation
  • Provide ongoing guidance and feedback on performance
  • Establish the organizational culture of collaboration not confrontation
  • Develop common terminology
  • Make senior managers part of the process and designate them a role during accidents
  • Make sure managers know-how to manage
  • Set strategies and keep it responsive to changes in operations, hazards and regulations
Contents Provided by the Disaster Management Department,Government of West Bengal
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