Industrial Disasters

Industrial Disasters are Disasters originating from technological or industrial accidents, dangerous procedures, infrastructure failures or certain human activities, which may cause the loss of life or injury, property damage, social and economic disruption or even environmental degradation.

Industrial disasters include:

  • Accident release of toxic Chemicals: Release of toxic chemicals during the production, transportation or handling of hazardous chemical substances.
  • Explosions: Disasters will only be classified as explosions when explosions are the actual disaster. If the explosion is the cause of another disaster, the event will be classified as the resulting disaster. 
  • Chemical explosion: Violent destruction caused by explosion of combustible material, nearly always of chemical origin. 
  • Nuclear explosion/Radiation: Accidental release of radiation occurring in civil facilities, exceeding the internationally established safety levels. 
  • Mine explosion: Accidents which occur when natural gas or coal dust reacts with the air. 
  • Pollution: Degradation of one or more aspects in the environment by noxious industrial, chemical or biological wastes, from debris or man-made products and from mismanagement of natural and environmental resources. 
  • Acid rain: A washout of an excessive concentration of acidic compounds in the atmosphere, resulting from chemical pollutants such as Sulphur and nitrogen compounds. When deposited these increase the acidity of the soil and water causing agricultural and ecological damage. 
  • Chemical pollution: A sudden pollution of water or air near industrial areas, leading to internal body disorders with permanent damage of the skin. 
  • Atmosphere pollution: Contamination of the atmosphere by large quantities of gases, solids and radiation produced by the burning of natural and artificial fuels, chemicals and other industrial processes and nuclear explosions. 

Approach to handle Industrial Disasters 

  • Prevention: Detection, characterization and early warning system & creating a robust risk management framework.
  • Preparedness: Capacity development by human resource development, education & training, knowledge management, community awareness.
  • Infrastructural development: basic infrastructure, institutions, networking & communication, medical preparedness.
  • Response, Relief, and Rehabilitation: Information dissemination, IEC (information, education and communication) campaigns, Relief mechanisms and evacuation infrastructures will not only minimise the casualty but also help in mitigation of the distress.
  • Post-Disaster Documentation: Proper documentation and categorisation of disasters along with the lessons learned must be disseminated to prevent similar issues in future.
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