The APELL Process



What are APELL partner responsibilities?

All parties share an interest in preventing accidents and in minimizing their damage.

  • Companies have a responsibility both to minimize risks and to ensure effective planning for response, even though it would normally be government agencies which have the statutory accountability for emergencies both outside and inside the boundaries of industrial facilities.

  • National governments and local agencies will have different, complementary accountabilities. It is a responsibility of government to be prepared and act effectively in the event of public emergencies.

  • Communities share a responsibility to be prepared and to take action on their own behalf. Community leaders and community organizations should take an interest in the hazards to which they are exposed and the protective measures to which they can contribute.

Leading companies are extending their emergency response planning to include scenario plans based on significant potential environmental incidents. This is increasingly expected and some jurisdictions now require it by law. Companies should be encouraged to be proactive in working with communities and government agencies to ensure that good emergency planning is in place.

Any operation that has facilities which pose significant risks to nearby communities or sensitive environments should plan for emergencies. The extent of the damage resulting from accidents depends partly on the nature of the immediate response to the emergency at the scene of the accident and in the adjacent community. People likely to be affected by an accident need to know what they, as individuals, should do.

An inappropriate response to an incident because of lack of knowledge or an incomplete understanding of the risks can transform a minor incident into a crisis. It is essential to provide communities with information relating to hazards they may face before an incident occurs. While industry is often uncomfortable with raising the spectre that things could possibly go wrong, this is nevertheless the best way to reduce the likelihood that communities will be placed at risk through their incorrect actions when faced with an incident, or to reduce the likelihood that they will over-react.