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ERT Roles and Responsibilities

MERT International are specialists in the design, implementation and coordination of ERT.  We have excellent skills, knowledge, positive attitude, training and experience in dealing with ERT incidents which provides our clients comfort knowing that they are in safe and credible hands.


Employers should review plans with employees when initially put in place and re-evaluate and amend the plan periodically whenever the plan itself, or employee responsibilities, change. Emergency procedures, including the handling of any toxic chemicals, should include:


  • Escape procedures and escape route assignments

  • Special procedures for employees who perform or shut down critical plant operations

  • Systems to account for all employees after evacuation and for information about the plan

  • Rescue and medical duties for employees who perform them

  • Means for reporting fires and other emergencies.

  • Contacts for information about the plan.


A Chain of Command and an Emergency Response Team should be set up to prepare for an emergency before it happens.


Chain of Command

The employer should designate an emergency response coordinator and a backup coordinator. The coordinator may be responsible for plant-wide operations, public information and ensuring that outside aid is called. Having a backup coordinator ensures that a trained person is always available. Employees should know who the designated coordinator is.


Duties of the coordinator and employer include:


  • Determining what emergencies may occur and seeing that emergency procedures are developed to address each situation.


Emergency Response Team

Members of emergency response teams should be thoroughly trained for potential emergencies and physically capable of carrying out their duties; know about toxic hazards in the workplace and be able to judge when to evacuate personnel or depend on outside help.  One or more teams must be trained in:


  • Use of various types of fire extinguishers.

  • First aid, including cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA).

  • Shutdown procedures.

  • Chemical spill control procedures.

  • Search and emergency rescue procedures

  • Hazardous materials emergency response.


Industrial Emergency Response Teams are the onsite First Responders and assigning responsibilities is one of the crucial steps in emergency response.  If your emergency response team members are not familiar with their responsibilities, important response actions may be missed.

The first person on-scene will typically serve as the Incident Controller (IC), until relieved by a more senior person.

Responsibilities for the first person on-scene may include:

  • Taking appropriate personal protective measures

  • Advising personnel in the area of any potential threat and/or initiate evacuation procedures

  • Eliminate potential ignition sources

  • Notifying Supervisory Personnel and/or Incident Commander of the incident

Supervisory Personnel responsibilities may include:

  • Restrict access to the incident scene and surrounding area as the situation demands 

  • Take any other steps necessary to minimize any threat to health and safety

  • Request medical assistance, if necessary

  • Verify substance released and obtain Material Safety Data sheets, as necessary

  • Identify and isolate source to minimize product loss

  • Coordinate further response actions with Incident Commander and local responders

Incident Controller responsibilities may include:

  • Activate the Emergency Response team

  • Appoint a Safety Officer

  • Activate additional response contractors and local resources

  • Evaluate the Severity, Potential Impact, Safety Concerns, and Response Requirements based on the initial information provided by the First Person On-Scene

  • Confirm safety aspects at site, including need for personal protective equipment, sources of ignition, and potential need for evacuation

  • Communicate and provide incident briefings to company superiors, as appropriate

  • Coordinate/complete additional internal and external notifications

  • Communicate with Emergency Response Team, as the situation demands

  • Direct response and clean-up operations


The number of personnel required to staff the Emergency Response Team will depend on the size and complexity of the incident.  The duties of each position may be performed by the Incident Controller directly or delegated as the situation demands.  The Incident Controller should always be responsible for directing the response activities and should assume the duties of all the primary positions until the duties can be delegated to other qualified personnel. The more knowledgeable individuals are of their roles and responsibilities during an emergency event, the better prepared a team can be to implement a streamlined response.



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