Should HR Spearhead Emergency Preparedness?
As an HR professional, you probably worry a lot about providing a safe and healthy workplace for all employees. This includes safety from human-caused emergencies, such as crime and violence, as well as natural disasters, outbreaks of disease and accidents.
That’s a ton to worry about! But putting emergency preparedness plans and training in place will help create a safe workplace, mitigate risk and help you worry less about what could happen.
You can lead the way in making sure your company has emergency preparedness plans and training in place.
Designate management team members to be directly responsible and involve them in your emergency planning, which should include the following steps:
- Identify your organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats as it relates to the types of threats or hazards your organization might face.
- Identify the key personnel to develop and implement the plan based on the threats that might occur.
- Identify emergency coordinators and train them completely so that they can carry out their roles immediately at the time of the emergency.
- Pack emergency safety “to-go” kits that the emergency coordinators take with them to the assembly points in the event of an evacuation.
- Employees should also be trained about the components of your plan, including knowing emergency and media contacts, how to work with law enforcement and what to do in different types of emergency evacuation situations.
- Prepare an evacuation plan. A key element of the plan should include preparing to get anyone in the building safely out of harm’s way as quickly as possible. Make sure the emergency evacuation plan outlines escape routes, shows the location of safe rooms if evacuation is not feasible, and includes the meeting places outside of the building where employees should congregate until the danger has passed. These evacuation maps should be clearly marked and posted throughout your building. The evacuation plans should include provisions for assisting individuals with special needs, such as vision, hearing or mobility impairments, to be alerted to the situation and assisted to safety.
- Conduct drills on a regular basis.
- Amend your plan as necessary and ensure that the plan changes are communicated.
Want to know more about what to do in the case of a human-caused emergency, like an active shooter situation? Learn more now. What about warning signs so you can train your employees to raise red flags? We have those, too.