It doesn’t matter how small or large your business or company is, having an effective emergency plan is essential!
Fire. Flood. Global pandemic outbreak. Now, more than ever before, businesses across Australia recognise the importance of having an emergency plan in place. However, many small business owners and operators incorrectly believe that emergency plans are something that only large companies need to worry about. The truth is every business, no matter how small, should have a basic emergency plan and ensure that its staff or employees understand it. This is not only a practical document ensuring you’re ready to act quickly and appropriately in the event of something unforeseen, but also making sure you’re complying with all aspects of your WHS responsibilities.
What is an emergency plan?
According to Safe Work Australia, “A PCBU (‘person conducting a business or undertaking’) must ensure an emergency plan is prepared for the workplace. This is a written set of instructions that outlines what workers and others at the workplace should do in an emergency.”
An effective and thorough emergency plan should guide you and your employees on what to do in case an emergency or disaster occurs. It should be specific to your business and cover any situation that could occur at your workplace.
What should you focus on?
A good emergency action plan outlines the evacuation process for your workplace, all the potential emergency scenarios, where to seek aid or assistance for what, and who to contact in the case of an emergency.
The most important thing that your emergency plan needs to cover is the evacuation process for your business. If an emergency or disaster occurs, where should your employees go? What is the evacuation process, who will oversee it, and how is it managed? This plan needs to be written down and easily accessible to all employees.
Your emergency plan should consider different emergencies such as fire, gas, floods, medical emergencies, and workplace accidents.
Other things to think about are 24/7 phone contacts, emergency services contact numbers, location of hospitals or other medical help, and how to get there. Your emergency management plan should be reviewed every 6-12 months, be kept up-to-date with accurate information, and be easily accessible.
After it’s written
Make sure you communicate effectively with the person or people authorised to coordinate the emergency response, as well as everyone else in the workplace. It’s important to ensure that every person, no matter how little they may be on-site, is familiar with the plan, where it’s kept, and what’s expected of them.
It’s also important to test your emergency procedures—including evacuation drills—and identify where any weak spots may be, or areas where people aren’t fully understanding or responding as required.
At the end of the day, as a business owner or manager, you’re responsible for the health and well-being of your employees and customers while they are at work. With a comprehensive and reliable emergency management plan in place you’re helping ensure your worker’s safety, as well as your best chance for avoiding disasters in the first place.
Need help creating an emergency plan for your business? Talk to us today! Call us any time on 1800 577 515, or schedule an appointment at https://calendly.com/adrian-ahr/30min