HERS – HAZCHEM EMERGENCY RESPONSE SERVICE

Specialist and rapid response for chemical incidents.

If your company supplies dangerous goods you are probably already taking steps to operate safely – from careful storage in the warehouse to ensuring that your staff are suitably trained. However, should a transport incident involving your products occur, then any gaps in your safety practices may quickly come to light.

For example:

  • Do you provide a specialist emergency telephone number that will be answered 24 hours a day?
  • How quickly can you provide expert advice to those dealing with an incident?
  • Are you able to arrange an appropriate on-scene response?

What is HERS?

“A co-ordinated national approach, by dedicated responders, to resolve packaged chemical incidents and environmental emergencies quickly and safely - HERS is a major step forward in emergency response from a consortium of hazardous goods professionals which include The Hazchem Network, The National Chemical Emergency Centre, Braemar Howells and OAMPS Petrochemical”

Why was HERS established?

HERS was created in reaction to the 2009 ADR changes. It was felt by many logistic professionals that a co-ordinated effort was needed to ensure the safe transport of packaged chemicals in the UK. So the leading specialists have worked together to create a robust response service for the chemical transport industry: HERS

Setting up HERS

Meetings were held initially with the Dangerous Goods Branch of The Department for Transport [DfT], the regulators and enforcers, as well as the emergency services and industry bodies such as HSE, VOSA, Fire and Rescue Service, Ambulance Service, Highways Agency and the Police Services via their ‘CDG Practitioners Forum’. We gained official feedback coordinated by The Health and Safety Executive in the deployment of the HERS Decal and operating policy. A one-page driver Guidance note was approved and authorised for issue to all drivers employed by companies associated with the Hazchem Network. The document is kept on the vehicle and gives detailed procedures to follow if they have a spillage, RTC or a chemical incident in transit.

What does the service provide?

HERS is initially available to companies that are part of the Hazchem Network organisation. Each truck carries an identification decal along with the HERS telephone number. Should that truck and its cargo be involved in an incident there is one telephone number that can be called [24/7] giving immediate access to trained chemists at NCEC who can advise on the appropriate incident response. If the incident requires the services of a specialist clean-up operator, a response team would be mobilised from Braemar Howells national network of response vehicles and staff.

Level I, II and III Emergency Response Protocol

LEVEL 1 – telephone advice from the NCEC’s 24-hr Control room at Harwell provided by a dedicated team of chemistry graduate Emergency Responders. 

LEVEL 2 – On agreement with the depot of the Hazchem Network member company and/or by request from the emergency services, a Chemist / Operator from Braemar Howells can be sent to advise on clean-up and getting the situation under control.

LEVEL 3 - On agreement with the depot and/or by request from the emergency services or insurers, a clean-up team from Braemar Howells, with transfer pumps and spillage clean-up equipment can be sent to get the situation under control.

The four consortium members are experts in their respective fields and, between them, provide a reliable and resilient 24/7 Level I, II and III emergency response to all types of chemical incidents.

If you are interested in finding out more about this scheme, or wish to establish a similar arrangement for your organisation please contact: