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Disaster Preparedness Plans

Posted On: 02/08/2019

A workplace disaster of any nature can negatively impact your employees’ health, your customer service and possibly damage your brand’s reputation. 

If your business follows the rule that ‘disasters don’t plan ahead, but you can’ you will be better able to manage the situation and even save lives.

Do you know your current level of preparedness?

Businesses which prepare for the unexpected through the use of Emergency Response Planning will always be able to say ‘yes’ to this question with confidence. 

There are four issues to address: who manages the situation, how should the situation be managed, what actions will mitigate or prevent damage and what hazardous events could occur.

It is best practice to form an Incident Management Team who are regularly brought together to carry out exercises.  These training exercises can cover a variety of instances, for example an outbreak of a health hazard, a work-related violence incident or a widespread fire.  The team’s collective knowledge and skills to mitigate risk will demonstrate their level of preparedness and test plans to quickly respond and evacuate.

Policies and processes

Implementing widely accessible policies and processes will minimise the impact of an emergency.  But we cannot stress enough the importance of revisiting these documents regularly, they are not to be brought out only at times of emergency. 

Here are five mission areas to use as a basis for your disaster preparedness policies and processes:

  1. Prevention. How to avoid or mitigate the threat.
  2. Protection. How to protect employees, visitors and the local community against any hazards.
  3. Mitigation. How to lessen the risk to mitigate injuries to individuals and to protect the property.
  4. Response. How to respond during the incident to save lives and protect property and how to communicate in the aftermath. Consider having a contingency office off-site to work from to ensure the flow of communication.
  5. Recovery. How to recover operations in the quickest time.

All staff to be included

Disaster management should not be the responsibility of the Incident Management Team, senior management, fire stewards and security staff exclusively.  They will certainly be the ones to provide direction, but all staff need to draw on their knowledge and experiences to act in a responsible and safe manner during an incident. 

Accounting for all employees

In an evacuation scenario, all employees must be accounted for. Designated members of staff must know where to access the list which details all employees, contractors and visitors on site at the time of the incident. There are several methods for actioning this.

There are other methods your company can explore depending on the size of the organisation and technology available.  But one thing is clear, it is crucial that your business has a current HR database and has the ability to access the data easily.

My HR Partner

Our database, ‘My HR Partner’ gives you direct access to employee records and their emergency contact details as well as who is on planned leave on any given day. Having this information available quickly is a vital part of any emergency procedure.

We’re Here To Help 

We can boost your company’s level of preparedness by helping you create policies and by supporting you with training exercise scenarios for your Incident Management Team to carry out.

And, if you don’t have a HR database already, contact our friendly team of HR professionals on 0161 941 2426 who will talk you through all the benefits of ‘My HR Partner’.  

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