This course outlines ways of developing and implementing an emergency response plan. To be able to deal with emergencies when they occur, it is important that you develop and implement a plan in advance. The objective of an emergency response plan is to be prepared to deal with unforeseen situations such as fires, chemical spills, explosions, floods, injury, illness and other crisis situations. Such a plan is essential to protect health, lives, property and the environment. The plan outlines actions that employers and employees must take in the event of an emergency situation to ensure employee safety and to minimize property damage. An emergency plan should be specifically tailored to your worksite. It must include ways of dealing with all potential emergencies that can occur in your workplace. The plan must clearly outline the procedures to be followed in the event of an emergency. A disorganized and unprepared approach to dealing with emergencies may result in confusion, loss of lives, injury, financial or business losses, and property damage.
The specific objectives of this course were to guide for developing a comprehensive emergency response plan. (The contents are organized by response plan elements, which apply to a wide range of business sectors). It will help you to:
Conduct a risk assessment Evaluate potential losses Identify potential emergencies Develop a comprehensive emergency preparedness policy and response program Develop a business continuity and business recovery plan Design, conduct and evaluate drills and exercises Follow-up on and learn from incidents Continuously improve the response capability
1. EMERGENCY RESPONSE OVERVIEW
Emergency Situations is an emergency is any situation or occurrence of a serious nature, developing suddenly and unexpectedly, and demanding immediate action. Types of Emergencies such as: Fires, Spills, etc. Emergency Response Plan itself by definition is an integrated set of policies and procedures that allows you to prepare for, respond to and recover from emergency incidents. Prevention policies and procedures help to ensure that the risk of occurrence of emergencies is either eliminated or minimized. While, recovery policies and procedures allow the organization to recover quickly and be back in operation with as little disruption as possible.
2. ESTABLISHING THE PLANNING TEAM
Creating the Planning Team is necessary to make the plan succsess. The Team Members must be an individual or a group in charge of developing the emergency response plan. The size of the planning team will depend on the facility's operations, requirements and resources. Committee members should be appointed in writing and their responsibilities should be clearly defined. Then, Emergency Response Policy should be established, a statement of management’s commitment.
3. ASSESSING RISK & CAPABILITY
Effective emergency response plans require a clear identification of factors that may contribute to emergencies, types of potential emergencies, consequences of emergencies, unless an emergency response plan is in place, and risk assessment. So, Hazard Analysis should be perfomed. Identifying the Hazards, is to determine what hazards exist that could lead to emergency situations. For each process formulate appropriate “What If” questions based on personal, company, or industry experience. The Risk Assessment Checklist can be used to capture the analysis of risks and the company's ability to respond to an occurrence. This should be used to set the priority for corrective action plans. The higher the score, the greater the priority for corrective action and emergency response plans. While the risk assessment identifies the severity of a possible emergency, the capability assessment determines where the resources to manage an event will come from and what capabilities exist. Assess the company’s capability to respond to emergencies. It is important to note that resources and capabilities must be assessed in relation to the potential of loss.
4. DEVELOPING THE EMERGENCY RESPONSE PLAN
The response plan serves several purposes. Begin with top priority (the most likely emergency scenario) and then expand the program to cover all potential emergencies such as fire, spill, medical emergency, industrial accident or other possibilities. It is important to develop an organized approach to manage the overall plan. Use the Emergency Planning Responsibility Checklist to determine responsibilities within the organization. The key functions within the emergency management organization are determined from an assessment of the needs and complexity of likely emergency scenarios that could occur. It is important to understand that many skill sets are required. So, Develop a job description for each member of the response team is necessary. The worksite’s internal alarm system is used to initiate a response by internal teams and to alert all employees to the emergency. The number to be used in contacting emergency services should be posted at every telephone station. Resource Mobilization, Response Procedures against any situation, Crisis Management including Develop procedures for internal and external communications during an emergency should be set up. A communication plan for dealing with the media and the community is of utmost importance. Developing Business Recovery Plans, by the objective is to resume each activity to a specified level of service and within a specific timeframe. Cleanup and Restoration Plans, by mean as soon as incident investigations are completed, cleanup and restoration activities should commence.
5. PLAN IMPLEMENTATION
An effective emergency response plan will not succeed without trained personnel who have the knowledge and skills necessary to carry out the assigned task. Drills and exercises are an effective training tool. They provide a means of measuring the state of preparedness and the effectiveness of an emergency response plan. A thorough evaluation of the exercise will ensure that the emergency plan is successfully implemented and complete.
6. CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT
The purpose of incident follow-up is to ensure that all lessons learned from situations are applied to prevent future incidents. Incident follow-up occurs sometime after the incident has been investigated and recommendations made. It involves taking a second look at the situation. For Continuous Improvement several tips should be developed.
WHO SHOULD ATTEND
Courses are aimed at anyone who wants to implement an emergency response plan and manage comprehensive prevention programs within the organization. It will also assist:
Senior managers making decisions about the need for, or improvement to, emergency response plans; Individuals assigned the responsibility of developing and implementing emergency response plans; and Health and safety committees making informed recommendations regarding an organization’s existing response plans.