What Does a Workplace Emergency Action Plan Look Like?

There are different types of action plans for different types of emergencies. The most common category, of course, is natural disasters, which includes weather-related events, such as hurricanes, tornados, landslides, tsunamis, floods, wildfires, winter storms and more. Other types of disasters include building fires, mass power outages, vehicular accidents, terrorist attacks, chemical spills, explosions, civil disturbances, workplace violence and more.

Depending on the type of emergency, your action plan should include:

  • Evacuation procedure
  • Detailed list of employee responsibilities
  • List of key personnel to be contacted during off-hour emergencies
  • Different alarms for different emergencies
  • On- or off-site shelter locations
  • Preferred method to report emergencies

Tips to Develop a Workplace Emergency Preparedness Plan

When developing a workplace emergency preparedness plan, address these five areas:

  • Prevention: Create a worst-case scenario, and determine what it would take to prevent, avoid or stop an imminent, threatened or actual act.
  • Protection: Determine what you need to do to protect employees, citizens, residents, visitors and assets against threats and hazards.
  • Mitigation: Take the necessary actions to reduce risks, threats and impacts in regard to lives, property and the environment.
  • Response: Create a plan that increases emergency response rates to save lives, protect property and the environment, and meet basic human needs after an incident occurs.
  • Recovery: Have a system in place that will help you achieve a timely restoration of sustainable operations and aid in the restoration of your local community after being affected by a catastrophic incident.

When creating a plan, start by doing an internal risk assessment. Training employees and practicing drills are also vital components of any plan because if people don’t know what to do, the plan won’t be nearly as valuable.

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