Emergencies can happen at any time and in any place. A workplace emergency, for example, not only threatens your employees and customers but also disrupts or shuts down your entire operation and may cause damage. The most effective and efficient way to handle a crisis is to be prepared in advance. That’s why creating an Emergency Action Plan (EAP) can be beneficial. But how does an Emergency Action Plan benefit your workplace? Read on to learn more.
What is an Emergency Action Plan?
An Emergency Action Plan is a written list of procedures and responses that all employees and management should follow during disasters or crises.
An EAP should address emergencies that the employers may reasonably expect in a workplace like fires; tornadoes; floods; and others.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration also prescribes all companies with more than ten employees should develop a written Emergency Action Plan (EAP).
The plan must be present in the workplace and should be available for employees to review. OSHA also requires that all employees should be trained appropriately in the program.
Why Should You Have an EAP?
The main reason why you should have an emergency action plan is to keep your employees safe as much as possible in case of a disaster.
The confusion of emergencies can make a bad situation worse and put your employees’ lives at risk.
- Study shows that 40% of those businesses that were affected by a natural disaster never reopened.
- Having a list of procedures in place to deal with such disasters can help your business survive.
- Customers may not mind that your business has been affected by a disaster. They will still expect your products or service on time. If there’s a delay, they may transfer their loyalty to your competitor.
- A robust EAP has procedures intact to reach out to customers and stakeholders quickly to keep them up on date what has happened. Making communication stream open reduces negative perceptions from your customers.
- Insurance, most often than not, only provides partial assistance. It may not cover all your losses and won’t bring back lost customers.
- Other public agencies will not provide total relief either. A lot of calamities can overwhelm their resources may not give you aid immediately.
- Most large businesses also expect their suppliers to have their preparations in place in case of emergencies. Making sure their own business won’t be hurt if something wrong happens to another company on the supply chain.
How to Get Started
The best and efficient time to manage an emergency is before it takes place.
Before you create an EAP, you will need to analyze your business first and see what potential hazards it faces. These vary depending on what type of business you have and your location.
Emergency action plans will cover problems that deal with hazardous materials on hand. Some will deal with issues stemming from older buildings that were built to lower-standard safety codes. And some will need to have strategies ready to prepare for natural disasters.
While many things will vary depending on the type of emergency you are preparing for, some of the necessary procedures will be similar for multiple problems.
What you do during an earthquake is very much different than what you in case of a fire or workplace violence incident.
Always provide the necessary steps for getting people to safety. Whether that means evacuating them or sheltering them, you still have a productive and clear plan for communicating with everyone who could be at risk.
Be sure to investigate not just the hazards you may face and how to be safe when they happen, but also how it will affect you afterward.
This should reveal such considerations as to what effect of lost customers, lost income could be because of your business being shut down for a long time, the delay of new business plans, and other effects of disrupted service.
As much as possible, be accurate to get a general idea of what costs you might incur so you can carefully plan for a disaster.
Once Your Plan is Ready
Your EAP provides no benefit if it’s just filed away. The EAP needs to be shared with the entire workplace for several reasons.
- Each employee needs to know the procedures so they can follow them in case of an emergency.
- Workplace leadership needs to provide whatever resources necessary to comply with it.
- The EAP should be subjected to review so that improvements can be performed on an ongoing basis.
- Capacity-building and training need to be provided. Like physical exercise allows you to accomplish physical tasks with minimum effort, emergency procedure exercises.
- Have the workforce to follow the plan in an actual emergency swiftly and efficiently at a time when every second count.
The effort to plan ahead of time does have a lot of benefits. Emergency Action Plans help enhance your business’ ability to recover from financial losses, equipment damages, or business interruptions.
EAPs also fosters relationships between the management and its employees by having them share roles and responsibilities in the plan.
We hope that this article on How Does An Emergency Action Plan Benefit Your Workplace will give you a head start towards creating your EAP. Preparedness is key to safety. Remember, to be prepared is half the success. Find out more about emergency plans.