Seveso, an Italian town about 20 km north of Milan, became loud after an accident at an industrial chemical plant that occurred in 1976. As a result of this event, the highest concentration of highly toxic organic chemical compound from the dioxin group released into the atmosphere was recorded in history. It is estimated that 447 people were injured as a result of poisoning, and within just a few days of the disaster, over 3,000 dead animals were found. In the aftermath of this tragic event, among others Seveso Directives - legal regulations regarding the control of major-accident hazards related to hazardous substances. These provisions also apply to facilities in Poland. One of them is the warehouse classified as the Big Risk Plant (ZDR) of Ekonip Logistics, located in Radziejowice near Warsaw. In addition to the directive, it is also subject to other regulations related to the storage, distribution and transport of hazardous materials and products. Arkadiusz Badowski, Operations Director at Ekonip Logistics, exchanged experiences with experts of warehouse and logistics space with BNP Paribas Real Estate Poland and told the principles of functioning of such a facility.

Hazardous materials and products, for which Ekonip Logistics is responsible, take on a variety of forms, weight and size - from a 20-gram spray can to 1300-liter containers. Each product group must be stored
in an appropriate way, that's why the warehouse area (about 10,000 sq m) is divided into eight storage zones for various substances. A special management system analyzes the characteristics of each product and determines the appropriate location in the warehouse, avoiding
in this way a possible conflict between dangerous product classes. Each zone is equipped with detectors that constantly analyze the air for fire hazards. Any prevention is advisable - if the atmosphere is contaminated even at least to the least, within an hour the air inside the zone is exchanged ten times.

We specialize in the storage, distribution and transport of hazardous materials and products for 20 years - says Arkadiusz Badowski, Operations Director of Ekonip Logistics - The company was founded by three brothers and was a pioneer in providing this type of specialized services. We started with storage of chemicals for the needs of one, but extremely important customer for us. We are currently cooperating with over a dozen business partners, and the plant itself was expanded and expanded five times.

The warehouse contains flammable, toxic and environmentally hazardous substances. These include heavy chemistry for industrial plants, used for cleaning and disinfecting various production lines, products of the spraying industry
and fertilizers, oxidizers, products of the pharmaceutical, cosmetics, and even hotel and catering industries, such as specialized washing powders, products for dishwashers and toilets, aerosols. In addition, flammable ethanol is stored there at a concentration of 60-90%, which is used, among others in the pharmaceutical industry.

After the aforementioned tragedy in Seveso and in connection with the appearance of the Seveso Directives, Ekonip Logistics is subject to regular controls and audits, meeting the highest safety standards.

The environmental safeguards we have implemented give us a huge advantage over other providers of this type of service - explains Badowski. - When planning the evacuation paths, we tried to take into account all possible scenarios to create an appropriate pattern of actions to be taken in an emergency. The object and the surrounding area are planned in this way
and managed so that in case of failure no undesirable substance gets into the land. For this purpose, special separators and redirections on the valves were installed. Inside the building, the fire resistance is above 4000 MJ. There is also a sprinkler system in the NFPA standard - depending on the type of product, the appropriate number is selected - there are ceiling sprinklers or at every shelf level, above each pallet.

Ekonip Logistics addresses its offer to both retail customers and large industrial plants. In their facility, about 250 tonnes of hazardous products are stored and unloaded every day, stored on about 11,000 - 12,000 pallets, which gives an average of about 6,000 tonnes of various types of chemicals. The warehouse also complements and mixes pallets for specific orders. No one doubts that the daily operation of a high-risk plant would be impossible without reliable, professional and trusted staff.

Currently, about 40 people work at the facility, while another 30 are responsible for the operational side. Training of each employee lasts at least 2 years. Each team member is very valuable to us, which is why we are happy that the majority of our current staff are people who have been with us for many years - adds Badowski.

The interview was conducted by consultants from the Warehouse and Logistics Lease Department at BNP Paribas Real Estate Poland - Klaudia Biedrzycka and Daniel Soboń.

Source: BNP Paribas Real Estate