Chemicals are omnipresent in the lives of individuals and communities, both as necessary components of everyday life as well as potential tools for criminal purposes.
Many chemicals, in addition to their usefulness, may endanger health and human life if used improperly and pose imminent or long-term threats to the environment. In the vast majority of chemical threats and incidents, human actions are involved. Only a small portion of accidents and incidents related to chemistry are the result of natural or otherwise unavoidable circumstances.
Expanding local-level knowledge about chemical safety and security will foment a chemical safety and security culture, which will positively affect human behaviour and reduce risks that are associated with the presence of chemicals.
This training program covers all activities at the local level - production, transport, storage, and distribution - and all operations involving the use of chemicals in public areas, waste management and others.
Best practices, required skills and necessary measures to reduce exposure, risk and vulnerability to chemicals will also be covered.
The training is designed for the benefit of all entities involved with security issues related to chemicals and hazardous materials. The program will promote integrated chemical safety and security management, emphasizing horizontal cooperation and examining the limitations associated with vertical approaches - departmental, administrative or environmental.
The target audiences for these training programs are small and medium-sized enterprises whose operations use chemical substances, and local community representatives.
The program includes regular trainings and exercises, exchange of experiences and the participation of specialists, with the following aims:
- To create local frameworks for dialogue and coordination of efforts with the cooperation of all local stakeholders, including: local authorities, institutions responsible for law and order and security, private sector and industry, civil society organizations and the media;
- To facilitate exchange of information and dissemination of knowledge about activities involving hazardous substances at the local level;
- To activate and involve all local structures and communities, especially the private sector and civil society, in the processes of risk prevention and emergency planning;
- To support local protection against hazards by strengthening institutions, improving emergency response and deepening social ties within local communities.
The International Centre for Chemical Safety and Security (ICCSS) in Warsaw, Poland coordinates implementation of the “Local Awareness and Responsibility in the Chemical Safety” program and conducts all trainings within its framework.