Kem One mobilised for an extraordinary crisis exercise


On May 17, 2022, Kem One took part in the Domino crisis exercise in the Bouches-du-Rhône region, a simulation of large-scale industrial accidents in the Martigues-Fos area. This civil security exercise, organised by the State, involved local authorities, industrialists and emergency services around a disaster scenario.

On May 17, Kem One, along with teams from its Lavéra site (13), took part in the European-scale exercise Domino, organised around the Etang de Berre by the ministries and agencies in charge of safety.

The scenario: a storm in the south of France and a cascade of accidental events at several industrial sites in Fos-sur-Mer, Martigues and Châteauneuf-les-Martigues. The Kem One site in Lavéra, as well as Total la Mède and Esso Fos-sur-Mer, were asked to prepare and play the exercise. Alongside them, the local authorities, the prefecture, the Ministry of the Interior and the emergency services, described as "players" by the organiser: in total, nearly 1000 participants took part in this exercise in real conditions.

This disaster scenario, combining climatic phenomena, industrial accidents and an terrorist attack, is very hypothetical, but its aim is to test the reaction of the players mobilised and the coordination of emergency services from several European Union countries. On this occasion, the new text message alert and information system, FR-Alert, was tested with the population.

Kem One starts the game with a falling crane

On Tuesday morning, the Lavéra site was the first industrial site to implement its emergency plan.

"We regularly test our crisis management system, but with this large-scale exercise, we tested the reactivity of our teams and coordination with external services such as the SDIS, as well as the local and national players involved. The scenario for us involved the collapse of a crane due to the storm, causing a chlorine leak," said Bertrand Baudet, plan manager of the Kem One factory in Lavéra.

For a company like Kem One, it is essential to test and improve its ability to deal with natural disasters and accidental events. This type of large-scale operation is important for testing our protocols and practising how to deal with serious accidents, comments Olivier Thomas, Kem One's industrial director. It is also an opportunity to strengthen our links with safety and prevention players, both locally and nationally."


Being armed in case of a major crisis

After industrial accidents, such as the Lubrizol accident in 2019, and as France prepares to host the Olympic Games in 2024, the challenge of an exercise such as Domino is to test and improve coordination with the various players in case of a climatic event, the consequences of which are likely to expose the population, infrastructure and the environment to major risks.

Each year, several exercises are organised throughout Europe to allow operational units to work together. The Domino exercise is the most important training of the year. Alongside the French operational units of the fire and rescue service, the local marine and fire brigade and the Civil Safety department, four European countries took part in the exercise: Germany, Belgium, Austria and Spain.

Watch the DOMINO video