How often do businesses work on the basis of, “we’ll deal with it if it happens’, in terms of emergencies? You have probably heard the saying, “Prevention is better than the cure”. But how often is this applied to our workplace for managing emergencies? We tend to focus heavily on our core business activities but fail to think about the things that could affect the business’s ability to complete those activities.

Emergency management needs to be looked at wholistically to give your business the best chance of being minimally disrupted when an emergency situation occurs. To achieve this we need to consider the phases of Emergency Management and apply this thinking to our business.

The four recognised phases of managing emergencies are: prevention, preparedness, response and recovery. In essence it is about considering the aspects of before, during and after the emergency.

Prevention:

This aims at decreasing or eliminating the impact and consequences of risks and hazards on your workplace and business activities. Time spent developing preventative measures is a very important first step.

Preparedness:

This is about having plans in place to ensure your business is ‘ready’ in the event of an emergency situation occurring. There are many aspects to the planning process and include, risk assessment, education and training, communication systems and testing.

Response:

This is primarily about that immediate identification of a situation and implementing actions to protect life and property. It includes alerting people to the emergency and any identified danger, putting into action the appropriate response for the situation to ensure the safety of people and reducing the impact on any property.

Recovery:

Once the dust has settled and the emergency situation has been resolved, a business will need to look toward getting things back to normal as quickly as possible. A well prepared Emergency Management Plan will have identified post emergency activities that need to occur to ensure the recovery process is effective for the business and the workplace.

Time spent by a business in developing an effective and wholistic Emergency management Plan will be time well spent in terms of business success and worker health, safety and welfare.

Workplace Emergency Management can support businesses to prepare effectively for any emergency situation that is likely to affect them. We offer Emergency Management Plan development, training and ongoing support.

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