As part of its Safety Policy and the process of putting its Plan for Emergencies in place, STP Shipyard Palma has carried out an emergency drill that included a toxic spillage into the sea, a fire on board a moored boat and the rescue of an injured person, in order to bring staff up to date with the current knowledge and to practise coordination, speed of response and fire-extinguishing techniques, which are critical when an emergency arises.
A new feature of this drill was the use of a new digital communications system which makes it possible to alert all departments by an alarm signal and to establish a channel for coordinating the emergency. STP is a pioneer in bringing in this communications system.
Prior to the drill the staff from the Professional Services for Sailors, Travelift, Occupational Risk Prevention, Environment and Refit departments, who work each day on the hardstanding of the shipyard, received theoretical training by way of a review of the Plan for Emergencies, and practical training in how to care for injured people in emergencies and how to use emergency resources.
While the theory was centred on reviewing past drills and going through the guidelines in the self-protection manuals for the various teams of staff, the practical work trained them in the use of equipment such as the fire engine to deal with an emergency. Finally, the drill gave all staff members an opportunity to demonstrate their reacting and coordinating ability and to assess the effectiveness of the exercise by logging down the times taken.
Another important point in the planning of this drill was the work done to coordinate with external organizations: the Balearic Islands Ports Authority, Palma Fire Brigade, Harbourmaster, Civil Guard and Balearic Islands Emergency Service -112, which all took part in it and supervised it in their capacity as the authorities in charge of emergencies within their various spheres of action.
The value of these drills is that they update the knowledge of the staff members involved in the Plan for Emergencies and follow the guidelines for action set out in it, and put the Plan into practice not only from a formal and theoretical point of view, but also with participation by all the STP staff members who make up the Emergency Response Teams.
On this occasion the drill included practice dealing with a spillage of oil into the sea. To avoid polluting the sea, the drill used popcorn to simulate the oil. The response to the spillage was first to contain it using anti-pollution barriers to prevent it from spreading, and then to skim it off the surface using a “skimmer”, an emergency device which STP has on site to separate out the polluting hydrocarbons and recover them to clean up the spill.
At the end of the drill all the participants came together and the Training Manager of Palma Fire Brigade, Mr. Andreu Munar, and the trainers in attendance went over what had taken place and discussed how the drill had gone with the members of the emergency response teams.
It was illuminating for those present to observe how, in response to an emergency, an organized chain of action takes place: from putting out the fire, to keeping the boats on the water safe, to protecting bystanders from harm, and also looking after the STP Shipyard Palma staff members who are responding to the emergency, with constant support from the Occupational Risk Prevention team to avoid accidents.
One of STP Shipyard Palma’s priorities is to keep its staff and facilities safe, and as a result it’s one of the safest shipyards in Europe. STP Shipyard Palma is certified by TÜV Rheinland to ISO 9001 (Quality), ISO 14001 (Environment) and OHSAS 18001 (Occupational Health and Safety), and strives to maintain the highest standards.