In reference to some of our recent disasters, we have heard the statement, “We never thought this could happen here.” Consequently, it may be time for your organization to review its emergency action plan and make some needed revisions.
Here are some questions to consider as you look at your plans:
- Is there a mechanism to alert employees?
- Is the emergency call list updated?
- Has a meeting place been established and is there a way to account for all employees and customers?
- Are there procedures for handling hazardous materials?
- During the emergency, what roles are needed to communicate the emergency and recovery procedures?
- Is any emergency equipment needed?
- When is training scheduled for employees, including seasonal and temporary employees?
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) defines a workplace emergency as “an unforeseen situation that threatens your employees, customers, or the public; disrupts or shuts down operations; or causes physical or environmental damage.” With a plan in place and regular review, the chaos and confusion that occurs during an emergency may be diminished.
“Where preventive measures like (training, policies, drills) were taken, people and organizations emerged more safely from disasters,” says Dick Sem, Sem Security Management. Access emergency planning and response resources, including sample emergency action plans, using our complimentary online tool Safety.BLR.com at MSEC.org.