Emergency Preparedness: What Should Be Company’s Action Plan?

Having an emergency action plan is a must for every organization, regardless of company size and operations. According to the guidelines led by OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), businesses or employers with more than ten employees must create a written emergency action plan (EAP). On the other hand, small companies need not create a written plan, but it is recommended to communicate an action plan orally to all the employees. 

Understand that unfortunate events are likely to pose a threat to the working environment of an organization. Further, it causes a considerable impact on your employees' lives. While it is not possible to have separate plans for every conceivable emergency. Still, it would be best to put effort into making the workplace a safe place, especially if you live in a location such as Perth, by creating an emergency response plan.

Here’s what you can do! 
What Is An Emergency Action Plan? An emergency plan defines the procedure of handling unexpected situations. Its purpose is to facilitate employer and employees’ action during emergencies. A well-designed plan helps in preventing injuries and fatalities. It also helps in minimizing property and equipment damage. 
Some of the things it includes are:

  • Planning escape procedures and escape routes. 
  • Shutting down critical plants (especially if it involves chemical handling)
  • The safe evacuation of employees, clients, and customers. 
  • Assigning medical duties to employees and providing training. 
  • Reporting fire or other emergencies to relevant departments. 

Bear in mind that effective communication and teamwork play a critical role during a crisis. You need to ensure an effective chain of command so that situations get under control as soon as possible. 

Let’s learn about the chain of command in detail! 

Designate An Emergency Response Coordinator 
As a company owner or employer, you need to appoint an emergency response coordinator and backup coordination. The key duties of a response coordinator are to inform employees and customers (public) about the crisis and call for local aid in Perth as quickly as possible. At the same time, the backup response coordinator has to ensure that a trained person is available to provide medical assistance. 

Other duties of these coordinators are to: 
  • Look out for the signs of crisis and develop a solution.
  • Directing evacuation activity.
  • Shutting down plant operations if necessary.

Have A Well Trained Emergency Response Teams
Having a well-trained team is a must for effectively handling a crisis. They need to learn about possible hazards in the workplace and be able to evacuate or treat a victim. 

They must be given training about using fire extinguishers, first aid, CPR ( cardiopulmonary resuscitation), and SCBA (self-contained breathing apparatus). Remember that the right skills and quick response can help save valuable lives. If you are wondering- how to provide training to the employees, you can look for online courses. 

Yes, you read it correctly! 
Search for nationally recognized training programs such as CPR course perth, occupational first aid, fire fighting skills (correct use of Fire Extinguisher, Fire Blanket, and Hose Reel). You can also look for tailored training solutions.
In addition to this, you need to ensure that you have the right equipment and supplies for first aid. Generally speaking, the first aid kit must include the following: 
  • Plaster.
  • Gloves/Eye Protection.
  • Cpr Pocket Mask.
  • Tourniquet.
  • Medical Tape.
  • Antiseptics & Cleansers.
  • Antibiotics.
  • Two Triangular Bandages.
  • Sam Splint.
  • Safety Pin And Tweezer. 

Pay Attention To Effective Communication
Effective communication plays a significant role during a crisis. It is generally recommended to allot an area as a communication center. It’ll be the place from where the emergency response coordinator will provide instructions to others. A list of key personnel (updated) and off-duty telephone numbers should also be readily available in the communication center. 

Apart from this, emergency alarms should be installed in different locations. Make sure to inform the employees to keep calm during the evacuation process. Panicking in such a situation can make it challenging for the emergency response team to work effectively. 
Not to forget, if someone goes missing, it must be immediately informed to the response team and police. 

Regular Training Is A Must Employees who are not part of the response team must also be trained. It would be best to inform them about the evacuation plan, alarm systems, and reporting procedures. Also, if your business (directly or indirectly) deals with toxic chemicals, flammable materials, radioactive sources, or water-reactive substances, it must be disclosed to employees. 

Training must be held at least once a year in the presence of fire authorities and police. If you consistently hire new employees, make sure to give them proper instructions as well. Similarly, every person in the company must be informed after an amendment in the action plan. 

Note: Understand that regular training helps elevate the security. Though it is not mandatory by government authorities, it’s still a good idea to revise or update EAP annually. 

Medical Assistance Must Be Made Immediately
Available Once the evacuation process begins, the backup response team needs to check whether or not somebody got injured. The first aid must be provided within 5 to 10 minutes. If your business’s location is more than 10 minutes from the nearest clinic, hospital, or infirmary, at least one person on-site should have first aid and CPR training. 

Also, if your company follows a hybrid working model, at least one medical personnel should be available during every shift. In fact, you can also seek advice or consultation from medical personnel while formulating an action plan. It will ensure minimal fatality and injuries. 

In case of a massive accident or emergency, contact the ambulance and hospital as soon as possible. You might as well need to inform the fire department, EMS providers, local hazardous materials team, police, and attorney.  

To Sum It All Up!
Having an emergency action plan can help mitigate the threat to employees’ lives. It can further help avoid shutting down business operations. Therefore, you must create a team and train them. Focus on effective communication and teamwork (both internal and external team) to help control the damage. Also, don’t forget to reevaluate your action plan once everything starts getting back to normal.

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