JOHOR BARU: "Panic" broke out at SAJ Holdings Sdn Bhd's Skudai water treatment plant when a chlorine leakage injured two officers at the plant.
However, the leakage turned out to be a simulation for an emergency chlorine leakage exercise conducted by the utility company at the plant, the first time such an exercise was conducted since it was handed over to SAJ by Singapore's Public Utility Board last August.
SAJ's Safety and Health Department head Jamaludin M. Noohu said the objective of the exercise was to train its staff, as well as other agencies like the Health Department, the police, Fire and Rescue Department and chemicals supply companies.
"According to the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1994, plants that store more than 10 tonnes of chemicals are categorised as having a high level of danger and needed to conduct emergency drill as a precaution.
"This drill covers training, use of equipment and coordination between the community and the relevant agencies as part of the company's readiness in case of a chlorine leakage," he said.
The one-and-a-half hour exercise, which involved about 80 people from SAJ staff and government agencies, had also benefited the 200 residents of Kampung Sepakat Baru, the only residential area near the plant.
Jamaludin said SAJ's record and statistics showed that there have been reports of chlorine leakages at treatment plants but these are small leakages that the company could handle without the assistance of other agencies.
"However, continuous exercise is important and a must for SAJ to ensure it is prepared at every level during emergencies," he said.
Meanwhile, SAJ chief executive officer Abdul Wahab Abdul Hamid said the current dry spell in Johor has put the company on alert.
"We have identified three treatment plants, namely, Kota Tinggi, Mersing and Muar, where the water level has dropped, albeit not at a dangerous level," he said.