All workplaces should be prepared to deal with an emergency of any nature, at any time. Therefore the best time to respond to an emergency is before it happens.
The saying goes, “Fail to plan; plan to fail,” and it applies to preparation and response. Having a plan in place to deal with emergencies, and ensuring that all employees are aware of it and trained on it. This is one of the best things that your company can do to prepare to deal with an emergency. Below, we’ve listed some tips for emergency planning and preparedness in the workplace:
Include policies and procedures for employee safety. Consider a spills response plan if your company houses, uses, or transport dangerous chemicals. Also a lockdown procedure in case of a violent event. This plan should also include contingency plans that deal with potential damage to facilities, and how employees, vendors, and customers will be handled during and after the event. Be sure to include a chain of command and that all workers know from whom to expect communication in the event of an emergency.
What good is an emergency response plan if no one knows about it, or what it contains? Training is a crucial part of any plan’s success. Communicate the plan with everybody, and ensure that everybody understands the roles, responsibilities, and expectations for every employee – from manager down to worker.
Best practice stipulates that all workplace policies and procedures should be reviewed at least annually to ensure that any changes to the business in the past year are addressed and/or still applicable. If a change is made to the workplace that drastically affects the plan, it should be reviewed at that time and updated to reflect the change.
Having a plan in place and following it when the time comes will mitigate the damage to your business and hopefully reduce or completely avoid injury or fatality to your workforce. It may also help you get back to business sooner, which is important for your bottom line.