On a late afternoon in early June, an explosion that rattled buildings for blocks (including M3’s Madison office) occurred at All Metals Recycling. Following the blast, a seven-hour fire raged from a three-story-high pile of steel scrap.
When an event like this occurs, the immediate question is: Are all employees safe and accounted for? The urgency then moves to mitigating further risk and damages, and coordinating effectively with the various parties that begin to arrive on site—basically doing all the right things after a situation has gone terribly wrong.
Sure, a company can have a disaster plan in place. But when a disaster actually occurs, the immediate result is likely to be chaos. That’s why expert support and guidance can be crucial for moderating subsequent risks and resuming normal business as soon as possible.
An M3 risk management service team was on site shortly after the explosion and quickly began performing what in essence is disaster triage. That meant first assisting All Metals Recycling management in confirming that all employees were out of harm’s way.
As local TV news outlets descended on the scene, M3’s media communications specialist was there to work with them. Meanwhile, other M3 team members provided support to the fire department as it investigated the fire’s cause. M3 also worked with DNR officials to address any potential adverse effects to the local environment, especially from the firehose water runoff. M3 secured environmental socks from a local remediation company to minimize the runoff leaving the facility and contacted another company to conduct runoff evaluations in preparation for any potential claims.
M3 also helped All Metals prepare for a possible OSHA investigation and was on site again in the days following the event to assist with an OSHA walk-through.
Fortunately, no one was hurt and the environmental impact was mitigated in what was ultimately determined to be an accidental explosion/fire. In the end, the financial impact to All Metals Recycling was limited to a few thousand dollars, and the company was up and running within a few days after the accident.