When was the last time your Emergency Response Plan was reviewed? So much has changed over the last couple of years. With all the valuable information contained in Emergency Response Plans (ERP), you’ll want to ensure every aspect of your plan is up to date by reviewing and revising the content as changes are made and/or risk-identified within your company’s operation.
Having employees trained and prepared for an emergency type situation can prevent fatalities and injuries as well as reduce damage to buildings and equipment. Being prepared can also protect the environment and the community. A good plan also allows the company to decrease the time it takes for normal operations to resume.
Items to take into consideration when reviewing your ERP:
- Have there been departmental changes? Has a department, or employees, moved to different areas within the workplace? There may be training required on where the fire extinguishers are and the evacuation route(s).
- If some people are working from home:
- Are there enough first aiders to meet the requirements?
- How about Fire Wardens and/ or Marshals?
- Is the above information current on your Health and Safety board(s), or prominent location?
- Are the employees that are assigned to assist vulnerable persons available?
- Do employees know what to do if there’s a threat? Whether it be a phone call, package, or person on-site, or what to do in case of sudden severe weather?
- Have your phone systems changed? Have numbers or extensions changed? Is there now a recording option for calls? Does the after-hours emergency line forward to the right person?
A good way of determining how your company may respond in a case of an emergency is to conduct an exercise or a drill. Once you’ve conducted oversight on an exercise or drill, changes can be made to the document, and training, based on the outcome.
Having a well laid out ERP document is one thing, but having employees trained on what to do and who to contact in case of an emergency will better prepare your company when a critical moment arises – and a decision must be made instantly.