Building capabilities that count When it matters most


Case study Nuclear & Chemical

Development of Crisis and Emergency Response Capability


A global polymer producer headquartered in the UK with facilities in more than 40 countries.


The client required a review of their Incident Response Plan (IRP). As a COMAH (Control of Major Accident Hazards) site, updating its IRP and processes and ensuring its leaders were properly trained and exercised in emergencies was critical in meeting COMAH regulations. On reference from other COMAH sites in the UK, Berwicks were approached to assist the client in developing a full operating capability for Crisis Management, Incident Management and Emergency Response (CMIMER). Given that the client had only conducted site level emergency exercises and training in the past, implementing a new full CMIMER capability to successfully manage operational issues and the consequences to the business presented a significant change.


A small team commenced a deep-dive study into the existing Incident Response Plans and risk assessments applying an established review process. Thisenabled the production of a detailed proposal, with options and recommendations, to develop an integrated CMIMER capability.

The site infrastructure was studied to identify suitable locations and requirements for a new Emergency Control Centre (ECC) from which to jointly command and control incidents with the emergency services. The team continued to work closely with the client using blue and red team methods to ensure the adopted solutions were appropriate to meet organisational needs.

To address the capability gaps a Training Needs Analysis was undertaken. A progressive programme of capability development and training commenced and is ongoing (more recently making use of a remote learning academy during the pandemic). Leaders, managers and staff are all regularly practised using realistic and imaginative exercise scenarios to build capability and confidence.


The company has established and fitted out a new and bespoke ECC with full equipment capability across the site; including command and control capability for an alternate ECC if necessary. There is a coherent, comprehensive IRP for a more systematic approach to incidents, a site wide exercising regime conforming to the emergency response services principles (JESIP) and a 100% increase in trained incident controllers and test exercises. The ECC has been stood up twice to deal with real events since. Both times the teams and the facility performed excellently.

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