Factors affecting petrochemical industry preparedness in fire: A qualitative study

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Health in Disasters and Emergencies, School of Public Health and Safety, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Workplace Health Promotion Research Center (WHPRC), Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

3 Safety Promotion and Injury Prevention Research Center, Department of Health in Disasters and Emergencies, School of Public Health and Safety, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

4 Behavioral Sciences Research Center, Life Style Institute; Faculty of Nursing, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

5 Department of Health Education and Health Promotion, School of Public Health and Safety, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

6 Environment Manager, National Iranian Petrochemical Company, Tehran, Iran

7 Workplace Health Promotion Research Center (WHPRC), Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran & Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society (NVS), H1, Division of Family Medicine and Primary Care, Huddinge, Sweden



Background and Objectives: The preparedness of petrochemical industries against disasters is important to control risks, reduce losses and possible damages. Studies have shown that preparedness is an important factor in the disaster response phase. This study aimed to explore the factors influencing industry preparedness in fire. 
Methods: This study was conducted from July 2020 to December 2021, with a qualitative case study design. The population included 22 people including 12 crisis managers, three Health, Safety, and Environment chief officers, two operational commanders in the fire department, two policymakers and three university professors. The data were collected through semi-structured interviews and purposeful sampling, which continued until saturating the data. The strategies recommended by Guba and Lincoln were used for evaluating the trustworthiness of the data. The data were analyzed using the conventional content analysis method according to the method suggested by Graneheim and Lundman. 
Results: The effective components of the petrochemical industry preparedness for fire were classified into six main categories and 16 subcategories. Categories and subcategories covered fire characteristics (nature and chain of fire), policy-making (regulations, incident information documentation, and incident insurance incentives), and management factors (commitment and leadership, incident command, communication and information, and planning). The others involved support factors (equipment supply, coordination and cooperation, and training and awareness), safety culture (risk management, monitoring and auditing, inherently safe design), and sanction consequence (software and hardware). 
Conclusions: Many factors affect the petrochemical industry's preparedness for fire. Adopting effective management and appropriate policy regarding preparedness with strategies for promoting and developing a safety culture can improve the preparedness of petrochemical industries in disasters.


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