Total Pageviews

Safety Management System Blogs

Search results



Search This Blog

Showing posts with label Emergency Management. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Emergency Management. Show all posts

Prepared to Recover from a Workplace Disaster

Safety Videos

Prepared to Recover from a Workplace Disaster

Topic: Emergencies
Large and small disasters happen all the time. Events ranging from purely local disasters, such as local flooding caused by a break in a local water main, smoke or fire damage caused by a fire in your workplace or a nearby place of business, or a region wide blizzard, hurricane, or earthquake all have the potential to put companies out of business at least for a short time.

When planning for disaster recovery it is important to realize that the seemingly large variety of possible disasters can actually be reduced to a manageable number. All disasters have common elements and can be grouped into one or more of three main categories:
  • Loss of information
  • Loss of access to facilities
  • Loss of people

Recovery Time Periods

When planning for recovery from a disaster, it is important to accept the fact that doing "business-as-usual" will be suspended at the time of the disaster and for an unknown amount of time after the disaster.
Two basic time periods must be planned for following a disaster:
  • First will be the immediate, disorganized, "limited (or no) operations" time span, which can extend for up to a week or more.
  • Next will be a period of "makeshift operations," which can be quite lengthy and can last for several months until normal operations can be restored.

Establish Top Management Authority

Someone has to make some tough decisions early on in the disaster recovery process. One of the primary areas of weakness in the disaster recovery process is not having backup management with the authority to make some of these decisions.
Therefore, when planning for disaster recovery, it is vital to appoint a second in command (or better yet, a team) with full authority in case the person normally in charge is injured or unable to head the recovery effort.

Prioritize Operations

Daily operations will need to be prioritized. Many companies decide that all operations must be brought up at the same time because they are all important. Another way to prioritize is to consider how to minimize the time it will take to restore these vital functions:
  • Accepting customer orders
  • Purchasing supplies
  • Receiving deliveries
  • Producing products or services
  • Delivering products or services
Based on these considerations, you can plan out how quickly it will be able to restart these operations, either in a backup mode or in a more normal way.

Assign the Disaster Team

It is important for management to assign responsibilities as part of the disaster recovery plan. This way, the plan can be implemented as soon as possible after a disaster. This means:
  • Appointing people to take charge of the recovery process
  • Appointing a seconds-in-command as backup to the primary team members
  • Assigning specific tasks and responsibilities to other personnel
Other specific tasks for the disaster team might include:
  • Promptly providing information for employees
  • Contacting your most important customers
  • Communicating with your board members and stockholders
  • Notifying your suppliers where and when to deliver
When disaster occurs it is important for all employees to know their roles in the recovery process as quickly as possible. Taking 3 or 4 days just to assemble a disaster recovery team and then deciding how to assign responsibilities is just not acceptable for most companies, their employees, or their customers.

Review Your Insurance Coverage

As part of your emergency planning strategy, you should meet with your insurance provider to review your coverage. Make sure you know what is covered and what is not. Your property insurance should cover all your assets—your building, equipment, vehicles, raw materials, work-in-progress, and finished goods.
Consider the need for business interruption coverage as well. Especially if you have only one location, you will not have a regular revenue stream coming in until you are back in production of the goods and services that are your company's life blood.

Emergency Preparedness and Response

Emergency Preparedness and Response

Emergencies and Disasters and can strike anyone, anytime, and anywhere. You and your crew could be forced to evacuate when you least expect it, and we want you to be knowledgeable with emergency preparedness and response.

Safety Videos

Workplace Emergencies

A workplace emergency is an unforeseen critical situation, which threatens your employees, customers, or the public; disrupts your operations; and/or causes physical or environmental damage.

Emergencies include the following:
  • Floods
  • Hurricanes
  • Tornadoes
  • Fires
  • Toxic gas releases
  • Chemical spills
  • Radio logical accidents
  • Explosions
  • Civil disturbances
  • Workplace violence resulting in bodily harm and trauma

Protecting Your Business

The best way is to prepare for an emergency before it happens. Most people can’t think logically in a time of crisis, so it is crucial to do so in advance when you have the time to be systematic.

Thoughtfully consider worst-case scenarios. What you would do if the worst happened? What if a fire broke out? Or a hurricane hit your building? Or a train carrying toxic waste derailed while passing your loading area? Once you’ve identified possible emergencies, consider how they could impact you and how you would respond.

Emergency Action Plans

Emergency action plans cover specific actions employers and workers must take to ensure employee safety from fire and other emergencies. Establishing an emergency action plan is an excellent way to protect yourself, your workers, and your business during a crisis.

Your Emergency Action Plan (EAP) Should Include

When developing your company’s emergency action plan, it’d be wise to consider a wide variety of potential emergencies that could occur in your establishment. Plans must be tailored to your work site and include information about all potential sources of emergencies. You should perform a hazard assessment to determine what physical and/or chemical hazards could cause an emergency. If you have more than one job site, each site needs to have its own an emergency action plan.

Emergency Action Plans must include:
  • A preferred method for reporting fires and other emergencies
  • An evacuation policy and procedure
  • Emergency escape procedures and route assignments, such as floor plans, workplace maps, and safe or refuge areas
  • Names, titles, departments, and telephone numbers of individuals both within and outside your company to contact for additional information or explanation of duties and responsibilities under the emergency plan
  • Procedures for employees who remain to perform or shut down critical plant operations, operate fire extinguishers, or perform other essential services that cannot be shut down for every emergency alarm before evacuating
  • Rescue and medical duties for any workers designated to perform them
You may also find it beneficial to include the following in your plan:
  • The alternative communications site to be used in the event of a catastrophe
  • A secure location to store copies of legal documents, accounting records, your employees’ emergency contacts, and other vital records

Alerting Employees

Your plan must include a method to alert employees, including disabled employees, to evacuate or take an alternate action, and how to report emergencies.
  • Ensure alarms are recognized by all employees as a signal to evacuate the work area
  • Make an emergency communications system available, such as a public-address system, portable radio units, or other means to notify workers
  • Specify that alarms must be able to be seen, heard, or otherwise perceived by everyone in the workplace
Although not required by OSHA, you may want to consider the following:
  • Using tactile devices to alert employees who would not otherwise be able to recognize an audible or visual alarm
  • Providing an updated list of key personnel such as the plant manager or physician, to notify in the event of an emergency during off-duty hours

How to Develop Evacuation Policies & Procedures

A disorderly evacuation can result in injury, confusion, and property damage, which is why it’s important to determine the following:
  • Conditions an evacuation would be necessary
  • A clear chain of command
  • Specific evacuation procedures, including routes and exits. To be posted where they are easily accessible to all crew members
  • Procedures for assisting those with disabilities or who do not speak English
  • A system for accounting for workers following an evacuation

When to Call for an Evacuation

In an emergency, local emergency personnel may require an evacuation. In some cases, they may advise you to shut off the water and/or utilities. If you have access to radio or TV, listen to broadcasts to stay informed and follow the official orders you receive.
In other events, a designated worker should be deemed responsible for making the call to evacuate or shut down operations. Protecting the safety of workers should be the first priority.

What is the role of safety coordinators during an emergency?

You may elect to select a responsible party to lead and coordinate your emergency plans and. It’s critical that all workers know who the safety coordinator is and understand their role during emergency situations.

The safety coordinator should be responsible for:
  • Assessing the situation
  • Supervising all safety and/or evacuation efforts
  • Coordinating with emergency services
  • Supervising the shutdown of operations when necessary
Employees elected to assist in emergency evacuations need to be trained in the site layout and its specific escape routes. These employees should be aware of employees with special needs who may need extra help and must know the hazardous areas to avoid during an emergency evacuation situation.

Establishing Evacuation Routes & Exits

To the best extent possible, ensure evacuation routes and emergency exits meet the following:
  • Well-lit and clearly marked
  • Wide enough to accommodate evacuating personnel
  • Unobstructed and clear of debris
  • Unlikely to expose workers to extra hazards
Ensure evacuation routes and exits are posted for all employees to see.

Accounting for Employees After Evacuation

Confusion can easily lead to rescue delays. To ensure accurate worker accountability, consider including these steps:
  • Designate assembly areas where employees should gather upon evacuation
  • Take a head count as quickly as possible after the evacuation. Identify and communicate the last know locations and names of anyone not accounted for

Planning for Rescue

All too often, untrained workers endanger themselves and those they are attempting to rescue. Due to this, it’s advisable to leave rescue work to those workers who are trained, equipped, and certified to conduct rescue operations.

Medical Assistance During Emergencies

If you don’t have a formal medical program, you should investigate ways to provide medical services. If medical accommodations are available near your jobsite, you can arrange for them to handle emergency cases for your business. Also, you must provide your employees with a formally written emergency medical procedure in order to minimize confusion during emergencies.
If a medical clinic isn’t located near your jobsite, then ensure that onsite personnel have adequate field training in first aid, and that appropriate supplies are available for emergency situations.
Always retain a copy of your emergency action plan in an appropriate location where employees easily can get to it or be sure to provide all employees with a copy.

Employee Training

For your plan to successful, you must educate your employees on the types of emergencies that could occur and then train them in the recommended course(s) of action. The size of your work site and crew member headcount, the materials handled, processes used, and the availability of emergency resources will all determine your training requirements. Ensure all your employees fully understand the elements within your emergency action plan, including the types of possible emergencies, alarm systems, reporting procedures, evacuation plans, and shutdown procedures. Cover any and all special hazards you may have onsite, such as toxic chemicals, flammable materials, water-reactive substances, or radioactive sources.

Training should address:
  • Individual roles and responsibilities
  • Threats, hazards, and protective actions
  • Notification, warning, and communications procedures
  • How to locate family members in an emergency
  • Emergency response procedures
  • Evacuation, shelter, and accountability procedures
  • Location and use of common emergency equipment
  • Emergency shutdown procedures
You should fully consider training your employees in first-aid procedures, including respiratory protection, including use of an escape-only respirator; protection against blood borne pathogens; and methods for preventing unauthorized access to the work site.
Upon reviewing your company’s EAP with your employees, it’s advisable to complete practice drills as often as needed to keep employees well-prepared, ready to act in the event of an emergency. Identify the strengths and opportunities within your plan and always work toward continuous improvement.

Employee Training Schedule

Consider requiring an annual refresher training plan. And offer training when you:
  • First develop your plan
  • Hire new workers
  • Introduce new materials, equipment, or processes into the worksite that may affect evacuation routes
  • Change the layout or design of the premises
  • Revise or update your emergency protocols

Hazardous Substances

No matter what type of business you operate you could face an emergency involving hazardous materials. 

The primary source of the hazardous materials could be external, such as an oil truck that overturns on a nearby freeway, or the source may be within your site. Regardless, these potential events could have a real impact on your business and should be formally addressed.

If you store or use hazardous substances at your site, there’s an increased risk of a incidents, “employers who use hazardous chemicals to inventory them, keep the manufacturer-supplied Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for them in a place accessible to workers, label containers of these chemicals with their hazards, and train employees in ways to protect themselves against those hazards.” Be sure to start gathering MSDS for all applicable chemicals.

Special Equipment

  • Safety glasses, goggles, or face shields
  • Hard hats and safety shoes
  • Proper respirators
  • Chemical suits, gloves, hoods, and boots
  • Special body protection for extreme environmental conditions
  • Any other special equipment and/or warning devices necessary for hazards specific to your worksite

Choosing Appropriate PPE & Respirators

Consult a health and safety professional before purchasing any personal protective equipment. Respirators must be appropriate to the hazards in your workplace, must meet standards, and be certified as per standard requirement
While evacuating, respiratory protection is necessary if employees pass through toxic atmospheres of dust, mists, gases, or vapors, or through oxygen-deficient areas. All respirators used must be certified under the current standards.


It is requirement that every organization having an emergency plan in place for each workplace to assist workers and the public to respond to any emergency situation

Safety Videos

Emergency Plan

All workplaces require:
  • A method for reporting the emergency;
  • A list of workers responsible in emergency situations and how to contact them;
  • A plan for incident investigation and correction of the hazard;
  • A list of phone numbers for emergency and support services (should be posted by telephones)

Workplaces may also require:
  • A method for sounding the alarm;
  • A description of potential emergencies;
  • A map of the workplace that shows evacuation routes and head count location, as well as the location of emergency equipment, first aid station and fire extinguishers
  • An evacuation, head count and rescue plan.

Plan Testing

At the discretion of the supervisor, emergency plan rehearsals may be held. A rehearsal shall require:
  • Notification of emergency services, all supervision and possibly prior notification of workers;
  • A pre-determined all clear signal to allow rapid return to work; 
  • An evaluation system to determine the effectiveness of the emergency plan. (This is usually only a stopwatch timing to determine evacuation time.).

Planning the Emergency Program

If the project is located within a plant which has an existing emergency and evacuation plan, the supervisor must learn it and establish only those procedures necessary to complement the plant system and ensure a complete Emergency Plan for the project site.

Guidelines for Preparing and Emergency Plan

All projects require an emergency plan. The magnitude and complexity of the plan depends on the size of the project/workplace. Required elements are:
  1. A method for reporting the emergency. Generally, telephone is the most effective; however, an alternative should exist if the emergency disables the site phones.
  2. A list of workers responsible in emergency situations and how to contact them. This should be plainly posted.
  3. A plan for incident investigation and correction of hazard.
  4. A list of phone numbers for emergency and support services. This should be posted by the telephone.
  5. A method for sounding an alarm, such as an air horn or warning bell.
  6. A description of potential emergencies. This is extremely important from an educational standpoint. Emergency preparedness is essentially based on anticipating all possible situations.
  7. A map of the work place that shows evacuation routes, head count location, as well as location of emergency equipment, first aid station, fire extinguishers. This should be designed at the start of the job and posted where visible.
  8. The manager’s routine for shut down of the job. This should be established to ensure that if a shutdown occurs, no potential hazard may be left. For example, ensuring that the power has been shut down before attempting an electrical contact rescue.
  9. A system for communication, both internal and external. Two way radios, telephones or alarms should be available.
  10. An evacuation, head count and rescue plan. Rescues should only be attempted by trained persons and only if they do not risk injury to themselves. Each supervisor should have a roll call system in place to ensure that all workers have been evacuated from the hazard area.

SAFETY SERIES:- 9 | Be cautious during earthquake



During an earthquake a majority of casualties result from falling debris, bricks and timber from collapsed buildings.

Safety Videos

Here are some suggestions for your safety:

  • An open space away from buildings is the safest place. So, if you are near an exit, run outside, 10-20 meters away, so that you can avoid collapsing walls. Once outside, do not go near buildings, boundary walls, chimneys and electric power lines. Always seek protection from falling debris.
  • If you are caught indoors, take cover under a door frame or a sturdy table, bench, desk or bed so that large falling objects may not hurt you. Don’t go out on to balconies, terraces or projections.
  • If you are in a moving vehicle, pull off the road and stay in it till it is safe. If you have to continue the journey after the quake stops, look out for collapsed bridges and landslides.
  • Avoid using any open flame during the quake, and as far as possible, put out all fires.
  • Stay out of the building if you feel that it may collapse. Contact the nearest relief camp. Protect your feet from broken glass.
  • If electrical connections have not been damaged, you could tune in to the radio or television to get the latest information on the quake.
  • In case you need help or smell leaking gas or detect cracked electrical or water connections, inform the people supervising the operations.
  • Don’t go sight seeing! Damaged structures can crash down without any warning, and trap you unawares.
  • Avoid panic after the earthquake and don’t add to the chaos.
  •  Visit for Safety Videos:



Safety Videos

Emergencies such as fire or natural disasters create lot of damage and loss. It is important for the company to foresee such situation and be prepared. During an emergency confusion, anxiety, fear or similar emotions could add to the loss. 


Purpose of EPARP:-
  1. Save life and property.
  2. Improve your preparedness & response, ensure you are familiar with the procedures in place.
  3. Familiarize you with possible emergency scenarios and proper response.
  4. Fulfill regulatory requirements for emergency response planning.
Types of Emergencies
  1. Fire
  2. Injury
  3. Bomb threat
  4. Natural disaster:- Earthquake, Flood, Cyclone
  5. Political outrage
  6. Terrorist attack
  7. Medical
  8. Personal Threat
  9. Internal Emergency
  10. Building Collapse
During Evacuation:-
  2. Ask All personnel to calm down
  3. Walk fast but DO NOT RUN
  4. DO NOT enter premises once out for ANY REASON
  5. Know your building’s Floor Plan and Exits Routes.
  6. Know the location of the emergency response equipment
  7. Do Not Use Elevators/Lift and Escalator
  8. If you are SHELTERING IN PLACE, stay inside the building, within your work area, or any safe place
  9. If applicable, make sure doors and windows are closed/locked
  10. DO NOT carry any equipment or official record outside the organization. If you remove some official material deposit with Security before moving out of the premises.
After an Emergency
  1. Wait for instructions from EPARP In charges
  2. Up-to-date information concerning the status of the location and the emergency will be communicated through available sources.
  3. Normal operations will resume as soon as possible following stabilization of the emergency.

Toolbox Talk # 09 : MEANS OF EGRESS

Emergency Exit

Toolbox Talk # 09


Emergency Evacuation Drill Procedures:
  • Employees are required to evacuate during emergency evacuation drills
    • The primary functions of these drills are:
    • Ensure fire protection equipment is operating properly
  • Employee training on how to properly evacuate
  • When the alarm sounds, employees are to safely and promptly evacuate the building using a designated evacuation route.
  • Once outside the building, proceed to the emergency meeting site.
Discovering a Fire or Smoke at Work: 

Remember R.A.C.E.
  • RELOCATE- If it is safe to do so, relocate people in immediate danger. Instruct others to report to their designated gathering areas. Be aware of persons who may need assistance.
  • ALARM- Pull the building fire alarm to alert others. Move to a safe location. Call 108 immediately,and report the precise location of the fire
  • CONFINE- Close all doors, windows and other openings to confine the fire, if this can be done safely.
  • EVACUATE- Evacuate building. Do not use elevators. Go to your area of refuge outside at meeting site.

Fire Rated Stairwells:
  • Materials storage is prohibited in all fire rated stairwells.
  • Each fire door including frame and hardware must be listed or approved by a nationally recognized testing facility.
  • Employees must be able to open an exit route door from the inside at all times without keys, tools, or special knowledge.
  • Fire doors are only allowed to be held open by magnet door holds.
    • Remove all door wedges, latches, coat hangers, fire extinguishers, etc. that are being used to hold doors open.
    • Fire doors must be able to close fully on their own.
Exit Route Capacity:
  • The ceiling of an exit route must be at least seven feet six inches (2.3 m) high.
  • An exit access must be at least 28 inches (71.1 cm) wide at all points. Where there is only one exit access leading to an exit or exit discharge, the width of the exit and exit discharge must be at least equal to the width of the exit access.
  • Objects that project into the exit route must not reduce the width of the exit route to less than the minimum width requirements for exit routes.

Safer Office - To handle emergency

Safer Office - To handle emergency 

What if you knew that a 30-minute time investment could make an incredible impact on your business, your life, and your employees; lives?

1. Create an emergency kit. Use a lightweight duffle bag or a backpack to store key emergency essentials you can grab within minutes. Your safety kit should include:
  • Water
  • First aid kit
  • Lighting: lantern, glow sticks, flashlights, crank lights
  • Spare clothing in a bag
  • Non-perishable food
  • Crank-powered cell phone charger
  • A file with a list of emergency numbers, recovery numbers, bank account numbers, checkbook numbers, insurance policy numbers, and any other important information.
  • All prescriptions you need
  • Crank-powered weather radio
2. Create an emergency contact list and establish a communication protocol for before the emergency, during the emergency, and after the emergency. According to a survey conducted on employees, many reported that their employer does not communicate safety plans regularly. Make sure all employees are aware in a timely manner of what to expect in a natural disaster or storm, and always test and discuss back-up plans.

3. Protect both physical and technological property of your business. Be sure to have the proper equipment to ready your office for a storm and ensure all crucial data is backed up.

4. Create an emergency social media account. Before an emergency strikes, make sure your social media accounts are following important officials and organizations. If you don't have access to television or radio, your social media accounts will be the best way to stay informed, helping you to make educated decisions.

5. Utilize existing tools to prepare your business and your employees in advance. You can go to organizations such as NSC, OSHA etc. All have websites that are very beneficial. Their online tools, downloads, and representatives run you through various scenarios for protecting and recovering your personnel and financial records, equipment, inventory, etc. At the very least, do your research and get all of the contact information you need for the organizations that can help you, such as your insurance agent, your attorney, the Red Cross, your Internet provider, etc. Then put that in a safe place—in your phone, with a hard copy kept somewhere safe. That's just one less thing to do when something bad happens.

Do's and Don'ts of Dealing with Eye Accidents and Emergencies

Do's and Don't s of Dealing with Eye Accidents and Emergencies

Eye injuries can be painful, expensive, and, in some cases, may invite blindness. So if you ever suffer an eye injury, taking appropriate measures until you receive emergency eye care will not only reduce the risk of partial or total blindness, but also help you protect your vision. Since you may not always be able to avoid eye accidents, knowing the do's and don'ts will keep you prepared to handle any emergency until you get to your eye doctor.

  1. When a Small Foreign Object Gets in Your Eye ?
    1. Do: Rinse your eye thoroughly with water until the foreign object gets flushed out, and if you are unable to get it out of your eye, cover the eye and rush to the nearest eye doctor.
    2. Don't: Don't touch or rub the eye because the foreign object can scratch the eye, causing further damage.
  2. How to Remove Embedded Particles ?
    1. Do: Immediately bandage the affected eye and see an eye doctor to prevent an infection. 
    2. Don't: Do not try to remove the embedded object yourself, as it may scratch the cornea and damage your vision.
  3. How to Safely Handle a Cut Near the Eye ?
    1. Do: In case of cuts, safely cover the injured area around the eye using bandage to avoid contamination and infection until you receive emergency eye care.
    2. Don't: Avoid flushing or washing the cut with water, and don't put any pressure on it.
  4.  What to Do in Case of Bumps and Bruises ?
    1. Do: Apply a soothing cold compress for at least 15 minutes to reduce the swelling, and visit an ophthalmologist immediately.
    2. Don't: Do not put any pressure on the affected area.
  5.  How to Treat Welding Arc Burns ?
    1.  Do: Keep the eyes closed until you receive emergency eye care.
    2.  Don't: Don't delay visiting an ophthalmologist as doing so can increase the risk of vision loss.
  6.  Carefully Approaching Chemical Exposure ?
    1. Do: In case of chemical exposure, immediately flush the eyes using clean water and see an eye doctor without wasting any time.
    2. Don't: Do not cover the eyes, and avoid touching or rubbing because this may cause vital eye fluids to leak out.

Because your eye is a vital organ that gets easily damaged by cuts, burns, scratches, and chemical exposure, any eye condition that is left untreated can invite partial or permanent loss of vision. So never put your eyes at risk and act quickly whenever you suffer an eye injury, whether it is minor or serious.

Tips to Keep Eye Injuries at Bay

Eye injuries can be avoided if appropriate safety measures are taken in everyday life. Use the following tips to safeguard your eyesight in the long term:
  • Handle sharp objects with extreme care and keep them away from the reach of small children.
  • At work, wear protective equipment, especially when you are working with power tools or chemicals.
  • When participating in sports, always wear your helmet and appropriate safety gear.
  • When working outdoors, wear sunglasses that fit snugly around your eyes for protection from harmful UV rays and flying objects.
  • Secure the rugs and railings in and around your house to avoid eyes injuries that occur due to accidental slips and falls.
If an eye injury occurs despite taking every precaution, the best way to handle the situation is to seek immediate medical attention at an emergency eye care center as soon as possible. Other eye conditions that are not triggered by an injury but still warrant emergency eye care include blurred vision, redness, painful red eyes, and persistent swelling.

Emergency Workplace Safety Begins Now

Emergency Workplace Safety Begins Now

Safety is a crucial and often underrated part of any company. For some businesses, such as manufacturers and distributors, it's a part of day-to-day business for every employee, requiring rigorous training and frequent drills. For others who provide services and employ knowledge workers, safety may not be a common consideration in the workplace beyond the occasional fire drill. Where both of these worlds converge, however, is during a crisis.

It may be anything from an earthquake to an industrial accident, but emergencies can happen to any business at any time. And when the building is on fire is not the time to sit down with various departments and discuss how to give employees the news that they need to evacuate.

Crisis communication plans should be in place before a disaster happens, with simple means of keeping employees aware of the situation.

The Importance of Planning

Crisis communication plans can be a challenge to implement effectively. In fact, according to the recent Emergency Preparedness Survey, the average enterprise requires 16 different people to play a role during an organizational crisis. What's more, it can take one to two hours to contact even 80 percent of these key people. In one or two hours, it may be too late to resolve the emergency in the best way possible.

Despite these challenges, however, businesses do understand the importance of having a plan. More than four in five said that crisis communication planning is important. Likely contributing to this is the fact that, on average, they have experienced two emergencies within the past three years. And yet, despite the understanding of the importance, relatively few – just 42 percent – actually have a complete crisis communication plan in place.

Best Practices for Creating a Plan

The survey revealed two different kinds of businesses with regard to how they treat their crisis communications. The group following best practices was designated top-tier businesses, while the bottom-tier companies take less initiative. The top-tier companies were much more likely to consider having a crisis communication plan as important.

They are also 60 percent more likely than bottom-tier companies to actually have a plan in place. They also use the latest technology to help them with their plan and are more than five times as likely to store the communication plan in the cloud for maximum accessibility.

This proactive perspective pays off for top-tier businesses when emergencies do strike. They are able to notify their employees about the situation twice as fast as the bottom-tier companies. And with that increased efficiency, resolving emergencies is also much faster. They are 55 percent more likely to resolve crises within an hour, compared to those that don't follow the best practices.

What about after the emergency has passed? The ramifications of a crisis situation can last for weeks or months, impacting the long-term operations of the business. Here, too, the top-tier businesses showed greater resilience, reporting fewer problems with issues such as financial loss.

Implementing Best Practices in Your Organization

Because the safety of your employees is your highest priority in an emergency, you should act now to follow the example of top-tier organizations and implement a crisis communication plan. A critical part of that plan is the system that you use to notify your people of an emergency as it occurs, directing them to safety. To reduce the time required for making these notifications, you should consider developing a system that meets these requirements.
  • Automated alerting: A system that can deploy alerts in real-time with minimal human intervention can significantly reduce communication time, minimizing safety issues.
  • Multiple channels: You can't depend on your employees being at their desks if an emergency arises. You need a way to send alerts to their computer, desktop phone, mobile phone, email accounts – anything that will get them the right information quickly.
  • Two-way communication: Some emergencies require simple communications, such as telling employees to evacuate in the event of a fire. Others can be better resolved if those involved in the situation can send communications back to provide useful intelligence. And if they can send rich media such as photos, maps and video, that's even better.
  • Central authority: You can't depend on large groups of people to each deliver the same information to separate groups of employees. You need a system that can perform all alerting functions from a central point, lending authority to your notifications.
  • Legacy functionality: Few businesses will want to create a new repository of employee contact information. Make sure your communication system works with other database resources such as Active Directory, so you can keep up-to-date information in one place and reach your people wherever they are.
Communicating with employees during a crisis is a significant challenge, but it's a worthwhile investment. As the survey results show, becoming a top-tier organization through taking an active approach to planning will deliver better results. Your company will be better able to keep employees safe, and the business will benefit with better recovery. Start now to make emergency safety a higher priority in your organization.

Emergency Exit doors

Emergency Exit doors

  1. Are doors required to serve as exits designed and constructed so that the way of exit travel is obvious and direct?                                                                               
  2. Are windows that could be mistaken for exit doors made inaccessible by barriers railing?                                                                                                                                    
  3. Are exit doors able to open from the direction of exit travel without the use of a key or special knowledge or effort?                                                                                      
  4. Is a revolving, sliding, or overhead door prohibited from serving as a required exit door?                                                                                                                         
  5. When panic hardware is installed on a required exit door, will it allow the door to open by applying a force of 15 pounds or less in the direction of the exit traffic?                                                                                                                                       
  6. Are doors on cold-storage rooms provided with inside release mechanisms that release the latches and open the doors even they are padlocked or otherwise locked on the outside?                                                                                                                       
  7. Where exit doors open directly onto a street, alley, or other area where vehicles may be operated, are adequate barriers and warnings provided to prevent employees from stepping directly into traffic?                                                                    
  8. Do doors that swing both directions have viewing panels in each door if they are frequently used?

Most Viewed Safety Blogs