Are you ready to handle a crisis? Certified safety professional Ryan Burr and lawyer Kristin R.B. White want you to be prepared to answer “yes” to that question.

Each situation is going to be different so emergency response planning must consider all aspects, including legal issues, they said during an informative session on Monday. Elements of planning should include assessment, audits and training/drills. He said many companies may not have time for specific training and drills due to disruption in daily flow, however, when a crisis really does happen, they will realize that it was really worth it to be prepared. Questions that should be asked include:

  • How do you report an emergency?
  • How to evacuate and account for employees
  • Procedures of those who remain for critical function
  • What is the procedure for rescue?

Burr said there should be a lot more in your emergency response plan than the basics that are required by OSHA. The items that all plans must include, according to Burr, are:

  • Evacuation, rescue and recovery
  • Secure scene and preserve evidence
  • Agency notification/compliance
  • Family/survivor assistance
  • Notification to insurance carriers
  • Legal Liability Assessment
  • Appropriate backup or contingency plans
  • Media interface
  • Internal investigation
  • Document control

Other questions that should be considered as part of a contingency plan and before an actual crisis occurs are:

  • How can you continue to service your customer?
  • Can inbound products be redirected to another location?
  • Vacations