Imagine this: it’s another typical day at the office. You are barely awake and waiting to get your caffeine fix at the office cafeteria, and so are a handful of your co-workers. Then the morning routine is broken with an emergency. It could be anything from someone having a medical emergency, to a weather-related emergency such as an earthquake or heatwave, or even a terror attack. Several first aid training providers in Sydney say that your worst enemy during an emergency is complacency. Emergencies happen anytime, anywhere, and to anyone, so your best bet is to be prepared.
What is an Emergency Response Plan?
An emergency response plan is a set of instructions, guidelines, and procedures written for a workplace, to be followed in the event of an emergency. Having one in place can help you focus on the situation at hand, since all you need to do is laid out before you. It is imperative for workplaces to take the time to brief employees and staff about emergency procedures, consistently hold emergency drills, and even appoint first aid officers and wardens in the workplace.
How to Put Together an Emergency Response Plan?
There’s not one single template for an emergency response plan for all workplaces; each plan must be custom-made for the workplace that is using it. When putting together an ERP, here are some questions you should ask yourself:
- What are the potential risks in my workplace? Every office layout is different, and the office setting can change occasionally. It’s important to do a risk assessment of your entire workplace several times a year to make sure that the emergency plan is suited to the configuration of the office and that ERPs can be implemented flawlessly in emergency situations.
- Which business areas are critical? Make a list of whatever you need that is critical to your operation. These could be supplies, documents, procedures, backup files, and employees.
- What are my current strategies for protection? Take note of the strategies that are already in place to protect or minimize the impacts of risks on your business.
- Which areas should be improved on? This question should come up in your annual emergency response planning and evaluation. The more up-to-date the emergency response plan is, the better the response.
Put Together a List of Emergency Contacts
To prepare for an emergency, put together a collection of important phone numbers and place them in a secure location. These numbers should include the local police, the fire department, state emergency service, ambulance services, and medical assistance. You could also include a list of your recovery contacts, such as insurance companies, building societies, banks, and suppliers. You should also have a list of people to notify and their contact numbers in case something happens to you, like family members or close friends. This should apply to all employees as well, and the list should be made available to supervisors.
Review and Practice Evacuation Procedures
Workplaces are required to have an evacuation procedure set in place, but it is better if the plan were expanded to include an entire host of emergencies that can be specific to your area, workplace, and employee density.
Put Together Emergency Kits
A first aid emergency kit should include the basic first aid items that are crucial in an emergency. It should include battery-powered radios, spare batteries, torches, and even copies of important documents, for example. These emergency kits should be kept in a secure location that can be easily accessed. In many offices, keeping and maintaining the first aid kit is the responsibility of the resident first aid officers. These personnel should have the needed training, and they must check kits for expired items, replenish supplies, and make sure the kits can be accessed in times of need.
Establish an Emergency Chain of Command
In any emergency, efficient communication is crucial. Establishing a clear line of communication can make or break an emergency procedure, so make sure a good chain of command is in place. Appoint certain people to be the contact person for certain areas in the workplace for when an emergency happens. Make sure roles and responsibilities are clear, and ensure that proper training is provided to the people in charge of managing the situation.
Accidents happen, and they will definitely take you by surprise. Be ten steps ahead of any accident and emergency just by putting together an emergency response plan that everyone to follow in case one does indeed happen.
Categorised in: First Aid
This post was written by GDI