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Risk Management Bulletin


By July 1, 2009No Comments

When an emergency strikes your workplace, there’s no time for hesitation. You need to have a comprehensive and well-rehearsed plan ready at a moment’s notice — to keep your employees safe, no matter what.

That “what” could be a lot of things:

  • Fires. This most common workplace emergency, costs American businesses more than $12 billion a year.
  • Explosions. From fires, chemical reactions, combustible dust, etc.
    Toxic chemical releases. Often require emergency response in the workplace and in the surrounding community.
  • Natural disasters. Earthquakes, floods, or windstorms can strike with little or no warning.
  • Workplace violence. Dangerous, life threatening, and often unpredictable – even terrorism.

To help keep this “multiheaded monster” at bay, we’d advise you to:

  • Determine a comfortable degree of preparedness. At a minimum, your emergency plan should involve evacuating workers, controlling any hazards to them, the environment, or the public – and leaving the rest to outside responders. On the other end of the spectrum, you might prefer to have all the equipment and supplies to provide comprehensive disaster response on your own.
  • Develop a disaster preparedness checklist. This list, which should include all aspects of emergency response, will help ensure that you anticipate all essential details.
  • Evaluate the “what ifs.” Walk around with your checklist and try to imagine how different emergencies could actually impact your workers and your operations.
  • Build your plan step-by-step. Don’t wait until you have all the “i’s” dotted and all the “t’s” crossed. Create a comprehensive strategy, piece by piece, until you’re satisfied.
  • Document policies and procedures. Write up all emergency policies and procedures and make them available to supervisors and employees.
  • Keep your plan up to date. Review it at least once a year, and revise as necessary when circumstances, hazards, etc., change.

Our risk management professionals would be happy to work with you on designing and implementing an effective disaster management plan – or put you in touch with qualified professionals who can help Just give us a call. And like a good Scout, you’ll “be prepared!”