Emergency Response Planning: What You Should Know

emergency response plan

Workplace fatalities have fallen by 17% since 1992. Better guidelines, improved working conditions, and better emergency response planning have made workplaces safer. All accidents aren’t preventable, but having a plan in place reduces the number of occupational hazards.

An ERP, or emergency response plan, comes down to education and knowing what to do in an emergency. Workers need clear instructions on how they can identify, react, and prevent potential losses. This article will cover the basic framework of response planning for most situations.

Knowing What is an Emergency

Identifying potential hazards and critical situations are step number one in emergency response planning. Recognizing potentially dangerous situations will allow planning for the resources and training to avoid them. Employees and management need to know of any weaknesses, hazards, or areas of concern in the workplace. 

Evaluation begins with independent inspections and audits. All worker concerns need a designated channel of communication for concerns. This isn’t a ‘suggestions box’ or answering machine.

Operations and management should have open lines of communication with executives and the CEO. If worker concerns go ignored, you can get into a lot of trouble with OSHA. Matters become even more critical when there are medical patients involved and their health is at risk.

For example, a power blackout at a mechanic’s shop might be viewed as a minor burden. That same episode at an emergency clinic with limited generators has real repercussions for patients’ health.

There are other rare crises, for example, cybersecurity breaks, work suicides, and medication overdoses that ought to be considered during plan improvement.

Making arrangements for these sorts of situations will succeed by connecting outside assets like service organizations or representative help programs to build up a blueprint for reaction plans for these situations.

2. Build Up a Plan of Action

Getting ready for a crisis requires coordination and proper investment. In the early stages, you need a security expert to lead. They need to distinguish roles and connect with individuals who have direct access to equipment.

The first stage is arranging a budget that incorporates physical assets, for example, hardware and fail-safes. Every place of business must have the essentials, i.e. smoke detectors, first aid kits, and fire extinguishers. Additional emergency response kits may include:

  • Water for drinking and sanitation
  • Food that is hypoallergenic
  • Battery-powered radio
  • Flashlights
  • Extra power banks
  • Dust masks
  • Garbage bags
  • Toolbox

Emergency Response Planning Actions

Training on emergency response equipment and what to do in the event of an emergency is a priority. The goal is to reduce the threat by having all nearby workers capable of acting when necessary. To prevent potential losses or damage, a checklist of procedures will guide individuals when and how to respond.

A manual of objectives should include maps of exit routes for memorization.  Shut-off valves and circuit breakers need clear instructions and indicators. Emergency phone numbers should be listed in multiple locations.

Medical services and first aid kits require basic training and easy accessibility. In the event that your workplace is not located near a clinic or hospital, you should keep advanced life-saving equipment on hand. An AED defibrillator should accompany your first-aid kit.

Environmental and Security Responses

Buy the correct number and class of endorsed fire extinguishers for the working environment. Mount them in effectively open zones, guarantee that they are noticeable and a suitable number is accessible to all members. Fire extinguishers will last for 5 to 15 years, but you might not know when you got yours.

Verify the class of fire extinguisher and that it still retains its pressure. Safety training must be followed by OSHA guidelines.

Test security systems consistently to keep them up-to-date. Set up strategies and train representatives on how the alarms work and any potential blind spots. They have to recognize what each alert means (if there are multiple), and when and how to alert authorities and advise crisis planning.

Training prerequisites may apply if the working environment has 10 or fewer workers active. If alarm systems are multi-purpose, for example. Separate security alarms from medical and environmental emergencies.

Ideally, every emergency alarm will have a distinct sound and pattern to quickly distinguish the situation. Precious seconds are saved when eliminating the time spent reacting to an emergency or security alert.

Recovery Planning

Focus on restoring normalcy in the workplace again once the emergency is over. After the necessary repairs and safety inspection has been made, then and only then can work resume. After examining the cause and response to the emergency, check to see if improvements are necessary.

Was the response quick and accurate? Could any safety, security, or medical equipment use an upgrade? Always look to refine your emergency response plans to save time, money, and lives in the future.

Make room in the budget for post-crisis therapy. An emergency, even if it’s a false alarm, can be a traumatic event. If people are allowed to suppress their feelings, they could freeze in a future crisis. 

Start Preparing for Emergencies

This guide is only a short list of what you need to have in place. Emergency response planning is a continual process of preparedness. Systems need regular updating, employees retrained, and emergency equipment checked.

Redundancy is your friend when it comes to emergency prep. You can never be too prepared for the unexpected crisis. If everyone is on the same page when an emergency occurs, the potential for damage or harm falls dramatically.

If you have emergency equipment that needs repairs or regular servicing, call a professional. Don’t leave anything up to chance when it comes to emergency equipment, medical devices, and safety systems. We offer fair and convenient options for all medical equipment.

Call us today to learn more about our services and how we can protect you during a time of crisis.