Organisations in the COMAH sector need to know there is a consistent high level of emergency response capability in place, ready to respond should an emergency situation occur on site. Rapid action to protect people, environment and assets is vital to manage the situation and prevent potential escalation.

Our clients recognise this requirement to maintain a high level of emergency preparedness is just as important in the current circumstances as it always has been and possibly now even more so due to the impact of COVID-19 on staff, resources and team interactions.

The need to demonstrate a systematic and auditable approach to training and competence assurance is still present and our clients are increasingly asking us to provide more remote training and exercise options to ensure a high level of emergency response capability is maintained.

Remote training and exercises

During the Spring of 2020 we quickly responded to the unfolding situation and developed a range of remote training options. The questions we were most often being asked by clients at the time were around how to continue regular emergency management training so we developed remote versions of our most popular training programmes.

We adapted our training programmes using tried and tested online techniques alongside innovative methods to maximise engagement and get the best value from our time with your people. As the pandemic situation progressed our clients also raised the question of support co-ordinating multi-agency COMAH exercises. Again we looked at our existing methodologies and developed remote delivery options.

Throughout 2020 and continuing into 2021 we’re busy delivering our range of remote training and exercise programmes including Site Main Controller (SMC), Site Incident Controller (SIC) and multi-agency COMAH exercise options. We have received excellent feedback for our remote training and exercise programmes.

All this serves to reinforce the point that there really are no reasons why organisations in the COMAH sector should not be continuing their regular training and development programmes to maintain a good level of emergency preparedness.

COMAH requirements

The requirements of the Control Of Major Hazards (2015) Regulations are clear. Organisations need to have nominated personnel in place with the overall responsibility for directing operations if an emergency situation occurs on site. This means having competent individuals with the relevant skills and training sufficient to cover each designated role, as a minimum requirement.

We recommend additional personnel are given the same training, so they can easily provide backup cover when required. This approach represents good practice in line with HSE guidance and can easily be achieved at little extra cost beyond that of a basic level of compliance.

This requirements of the COMAH regulations have not changed in light of COVID-19. Organisations in the COMAH sector still need to demonstrate compliance and this means keeping up with emergency response training and exercises. Our range of remote delivery options help you achieve exactly this.