By Claire West

Health and safety experts are being taken through a simulated terrorist attack today (Saturday 29 January), designed to give business advice on preventing, handling and recovering from disaster.

In a week when terrorism has made headlines twice, the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) North of Scotland Branch is exploring the central role health and safety can play in coping with and reducing the impact of an attack.

At an event in Aberdeen this morning, a Counter Terrorism Security Adviser (CTSA) from the National Counter Terrorism Security Office (NaCTSO) talked to members about Project ARGUS. In developing this project that advises the managers of businesses within crowded places, NaCTSO is hoping to raise awareness of how to increase business resilience in the face of potential terrorism.

IOSH North of Scotland Branch chairman Donald Macfarlane, said: “We live in an age where terrorism is a real risk and businesses — especially those in crowed, urban settings — need to be able to cope with attack.

“Keeping people safe is at the heart of what we do, and part of that involves making sure health and safety professionals are up-to-date with knowledge that equips them to deal with the world we live in. As terrorism is becoming an increasing risk we face in the UK, and indeed, the world, we need to be prepared in all aspects of dealing with both the threat and the reality.”

Graeme Morrice, a senior CTSA with NaCTSO will be speaking on Project ARGUS during today’s event at Hilton Treetops Hotel in Aberdeen. He’ll take people through a simulated terrorist attack, identifying where they should be prioritising actions to mitigate against, deal with during, or recover in the aftermath of such an event.

He said: “I’ll be talking about the current terrorism threat we face in the UK and any tactics terrorists traditional adopt. From this, we’ll be discussing the building materials that best resist explosions, safe areas where people can shelter, and evacuation procedures that should be in place.

“Businesses need to be prepared with recovery plans and systems that will help deal with any negative impact on their reputation and health and safety professionals in helping to form these plans.”