Emergencies are very unpredictable and can happen at any time and anywhere. Every organization will at some point face an emergency situation, but only some of them will be prepared to handle it. How well is your organization prepared to face any emergency situation? Is there an emergency response plan in place? Since emergencies can happen at any time, preplanning is very crucial.
What Exactly is a Workplace Emergency?
A workplace emergency is an unforeseen situation that threatens your employees, customers, or the public; disrupts or shuts down your operations; or causes physical or environmental damage. There are two broad types of emergencies.
Emergency situations often occur with little or no warning. According to Canadian Centre of Occupational Health and Safety, an emergency response plan provides a step-by-step, clear-headed response in times of potential fear and panic.
An Emergency Response Plan can Help:
Emergency Preparedness and Response is a legislative requirement. According to Occupational Health and Safety legislation, an employer must establish an emergency response plan for responding to an emergency that may require rescue or evacuation.
What Must the Emergency Response Plan Include?
When developing an emergency response plan, start with list of all types of emergency that could affect your worker and other at the worksite, and your business operations. Some of the emergency situations you’ve identified are more likely to happen than others. Some may be less likely to happen. Rank each emergency situation you’ve identified according to risk.
During plan development, It’s a good idea to look at a wide variety of potential emergencies that could occur in your workplace such as method for reporting fires and other emergencies and evacuation policy and procedure.
Your emergency response plan should include emergency escape procedures and route, names, titles, departments, and telephone numbers of individuals both within and outside your company. It should also include the rescue and medical duties for any workers designated to perform them.
Communication in Emergencies
An emergency communication system is a very crucial part of every emergency response plan. This should include anything from cell phones and a two-way radio system to a single- or multi-stage alarm system, to a designated media spokesperson.it could include a silent alarm for a robbery, code word for a shelter in place situation and a facility wide alarm for evacuation event.
There may be people both internally and externally who need to know what’s going on in the event of an emergency. Make sure your plan includes information about who needs to be contacted when, and how to reach them. It is a good idea to keep an emergency contact list with your emergency response plan.