Drill tests the mettle of CCM Chemicals’ emergency response team in tackling hazardous accidents
A car carrying a prominent businessman and his entourage travelling from Johor to Singapore via the Second Link lost control and rammed into a truck carrying 20 drums of Hydrochloric Acid (HCL) that was also heading to Singapore after departing checkpoint at the Sultan Abu Bakar Complex.
The morning collision caused six drums of HCL to fall onto the road at the Malaysia-Singapore border crossing with five of the drums (two rolled over to Singapore’s territory while three remained in Malaysia’s territory) ruptured and leaked profusely which resulted in the spread of acid fumes around the incident area. One drum remained sealed but fell into Malaysian waters.
Passing motorists were alarmed to see a chemical spill on the road and toxic fumes seeping into the air but fortunately, the “accident” was part of a chemical spill emergency response exercise, jointly organised by the Malaysian Department of Environment (DOE) and the National Environment Agency (NEA) of Singapore.
The bilateral cooperation programme under the Malaysia-Singapore Joint Committee on the Environment (MSJCE) was supported by CCM Chemicals Sdn Bhd. During the hour-long exercise, CCM Chemicals provided its expertise and experience in handling accidental release of hazardous chemicals, led by its Chemical Emergency Service (CES) team. The mock drill enabled CCM Chemicals’ CES team and logistic providers to demonstrate their state of readiness to tackle any emergency situations at all times.
According to Chief Manufacturing Officer of CCM Chemicals, Mukri Harun, the mock drill is an integral component of the chemical spill Emergency Response Plan developed by the DOE and NEA to ensure that the Company’s personnel are well-equipped to effectively manage potential accidents involving the transportation of hazardous chemicals along the Second Link.
“CCM Chemicals exports 2,500 tonnes of chemicals per month to Singapore from our manufacturing facility in Pasir Gudang with four to five deliveries daily. Hence, it is crucial for us to adhere to the Safety, Health and Environment (SHE) regulations.
Meanwhile, Chief Executive Officer of the National Environment Agency (NEA) of Singapore, Ronnie Tay reiterated the importance of the drill, “Such exercises serve to enhance the inter-operability and preparedness of the relevant agencies in the two countries, in responding to any chemical spill on the Second Link in a prompt, coordinated and effective manner.”
During the mock drill, CCM Chemicals worked closely together with 23 agencies from Malaysia and Singapore.
Acknowledging how risky it is to transport hazardous chemicals in public areas, CCM Chemicals takes the initiative to develop a pre-delivery route plan to avoid heavily congested places and roads, crowds and peak traffic periods. All truck drivers are required to strictly adhere to the approved roads as a precautionary measure to minimise the adverse effects of hazardous chemicals.
CCM Chemicals follows the Guiding Principles of the Distribution Code of Management Practices to ensure that the distribution activities of its chemical products including storage, handling, transfer and repackaging are carried out safely.