In Singapore, more than 80 representatives from Bedok Safety Group (BSG) witnessed a simulated terror attack taking place at Panasonic Appliances Refrigeration Devices Singapore, on Wednesday (May 16). The attack involved an intruder who threw a Molotov cocktail (petrol bomb) into the company's liquid petroleum gas (LPG) storage area, causing an explosion that led to a fire.
According to a press release by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), the exercise was to put the response capabilities of Panasonic’s Company Emergency Response Team (CERT) to the test. The CERT demonstrated the ability to render first aid to the injured and mitigate the fire before the Singapore Police Force (SPF) and the Singapore Civil Defence Force arrived to manage the scene.
This exercise showcased the growing importance of the SGSecure movement at workplaces, especially from the threat of terrorism. Terror attacks have the potential to disrupt business continuity and severely affect employees’ morale.Thus, it is vital that employers are aware of how to prevent and respond in case of such attacks.
Steven Tan, chairman of BSG said: “The threat of terrorism is very real. Workplaces and their employees need to be prepared to handle such crises and recover quickly from it. We must also strengthen the cohesiveness in our workforce so that we can continue to preserve our strong sense of unity in the face of terror attacks.”
To add, Mohamed Shahril Bin Hj Jaffer, manager of plant engineering, environment, health and safety at Panasonic Appliances Refrigeration Devices Singapore shared: “We have always made it a point to keep our SOP robust and this exercise serves as a great opportunity to experience the action first-hand. Witnessing the “terror attack” unfold before our eyes will enable us to take note of areas which we may not have considered before.”
Panasonic aims to identify any operational gaps and strengthen counter-terrorism efforts through security initiatives which enhance workplace safety and safeguard the community, he added.
Making the workplace a safe place
MOM urges employers to be part of the SGSecure movement and plan for business continuity to mitigate any potential disruptions and recover more quickly when an incident strikes.
Employers are encouraged to protect their premises by installing CCTVs, together with sending their employees for relevant training in emergency preparedness, and to acquire skills such as Improvised First Aid Skills (IFAS), and using the Automated External Defibrillator (AED). Such skills are critical to ensure ready assistance is available to affected colleagues till the authorities arrive.
As for employees, they should familiarise themselves with their surroundings such as the nearest escape routes, and locations of first aid provisions, to facilitate swift evacuation in times of emergency.
Fire at Changi Airport Terminal 2
The simulation comes at a time when Singapore is reeling from a fire that broke out at about 5:40pm in a room holding air conditioning equipment at Changi Airport Terminal 2. Per Changi airport Group's statement, evacuation of the terminal was subsequently activated. Fire fighters from the Airport Emergency Service and Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) arrived on the scene shortly after.
To ensure the safety of all passengers and visitors, Terminal 2 was closed and all departing and arriving flights were moved to Terminal 3. Further, Changi Airport activated additional manpower and resources to facilitate the flights moved to Terminal 3, including for check-in and baggage handling. Airport staff and airline partners were also on-ground to help direct passengers.
Based on information available to Changi Airport, two persons in the terminal were sent to hospital for observation after approaching Changi staff for medical assistance. Another four were brought to the Terminal 3 clinic.