Have you ever wished you had a simple, easy-to-follow step-by-step guide to emergency preparedness? One that lays out exactly what you need to consider, what supplies you need, who needs to be notified, rehearsal drills and improvement actions.
The 5 Steps to Prepare Your Company for an Emergency
1. What emergency situations need to be considered
2. Roles and responsibilties
3. Supplies Required
5. Drills and Rehearsals
What is an Emergency Plan?
Every company should have an emergency plan in place. It is important to know what your employees are, and are not, able to do during an emergency. You should also designate an emergency contact or point of contact, who will be responsible for communications during the emergency. Other preparations include a clear evacuation policy that includes a designated place of refuge where all staff will meet; designated meeting points; and the establishment of a list of essential safety equipment that needs to be on-hand at all times.
Situations to Consider for emergency planning
Depending on your organisation some situations you might consider in your emergency plan are:
If you have premises – fire, personal threat, bomb threat, flood
If your business uses dangerous goods – you might consider spills, fire – the sds will provide you with what needs to be considered
If your business has vehicles – consider vehicle accidents
For construction sites consider trench collapse, access and egress
Roles and Responsiblilites when an emergency occurs
Once you have considered the possible emergency situations that need to be addressed you need to consider what actions people are required to take to address the emergency as well as what training may be required. The first example that comes to mind is First Aider, fire warden, return to work coordinator, staff trained to use spill kits and fire extinguishers. Other key roles to consider is responsibility to report to authorities and clients where necessary and the person responsible to document the incidents/ and drills and responsibilities for corrective actions.
Emergency Planning Equipment
There are a variety of items to consider in terms of supplies and includes the maintenance of emergency equipment. Building of a certain size require a fire indicator panel and an annual fire safety statement. This include the regular inspection and maintenance of emergency lighting and fire extinguishers, first aid kits and spill kits. The regular inspection of clear access and egress to emergency exits.
Notifications of specific emergency situations
It is important to follow any regulatory requirements in terms of notifications including Workcover, Dept of Environment, the Client. Some notifications have significant penalties if they are not completed timely and in the correct manner.
Emergency Drills /Rehearsal
The value of rehearsing a variety of emergency situations is often under estimated and it does not become evident until the actual drill is completed simulating specific situations identified. It is important the drill is documented with actions identified to improve the preparedness for the situation.
This is a starting point for you organisations emergency preparedness, review your risk register, test your plans and continue to iterate. Its definitely a process you get better at the more you practice. FocusIMS has developed an emergency plan that covers a range situations, its available and included in the 2 week free trial along with a full suite of policy and procedures to help your organisation meet the requirements for ISO certification.