HR Management & Compliance

Be Prepared—More Considerations for Emergency Planning

Yesterday’s Advisor presented several common types of emergency plans and a few questions every employer should consider in order to ensure preparedness; today, we provide a few more considerations to factor into any training for emergency planning.

The best planning happens long before an emergency takes place. Preparation and practice will make you better equipped to handle problems when they occur. Before an emergency strikes, be sure to:

  • Complete all emergency plans and have them reviewed by your safety team.
  • Distribute all emergency plans to all employees.
  • Train all employees on emergency procedures. Ensure they know how, when, and where to evacuate. Ensure this is one of the first types of training new employees get, and be sure to conduct regular follow-up or refresher training for all employees.
  • Conduct practice drills to ensure preparedness and improve as needed.


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  • Clearly establish emergency exit routes and ensure they’re clearly marked.
  • Have supplies on hand such as fire extinguishers, emergency contact information, lists of employees at every location, a means to track visitors at each location, smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and food and water in case of the need to shelter in place.
  • Confirm all alarms are in working order and test them on a regular schedule. Test all backup and emergency systems as well, such as lighting and communications.
  • Review and update plans on a regular basis, ensuring that all items are up to date.
  • Perform safety audits to reduce risks.
  • Have clearly established safety rules and consistently enforce these rules.
  • Keep records of all hazardous materials, including all flammable materials. Ensure employees who work with these materials know how to safely handle and store them.
  • Conduct proper maintenance of facilities and equipment to reduce the risk of malfunctions.


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  • Ensure flammable and other dangerous materials are stored safely.
  • Establish plans to ensure data are all backed up in multiple locations; test these locations periodically.
  • Have backup suppliers identified for all critical supplies since an emergency may also affect your suppliers.
  • Have appropriate insurance policies and keep them up to date.
  • Create a plan for getting back to business after an emergency has passed.
  • Take steps to reduce any risks of data breaches or other cyberattacks.
  • Ensure the company budget factors into all of the above preparations.

What types of emergency plans has your organization implemented? How confident do you feel in those plans? It’s important that all employees are prepared in the event of an emergency, and it may be a good idea to include some training for emergencies in your onboarding process.
 

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