What type of interaction can you expect between your own personnel, authorities, and emergency response teams?

An emergency plan should always be in place to help guide the company in the event of an un- expected event. This document should be included in the Demolition Plan, and should consider all possible scenarios.

Site maps, evacuation diagrams, contact information for police, fire, and emergency services, hospital contact information, next of kin details, etc, can all be included into an Emergency Response plan.

The management team and all the workers on-site should be instructed in the procedures of this Emergency Plan, and should establish all steps and actions to be taken in the event of an unforeseen emergency. Training can prevent an incident from becoming a disaster.

The interaction between your personnel and third parties such as emergency teams and local authorities is critical. Depending on the size of the disaster, the emergency will be managed by local, state, or national authorities. Asset owners must be prepared by planning this interation in advance, so that they can:

  • Act faster
  • Act correctly
  • Plan and practice possible emergencies
  • Be prepared to communicate with media and public officials
  • Focus on solving the problem instead of how to solve it
  • Understanding the roles and responsibilities of different stakeholders during the crisis.

As mentioned above, it is essential during the phase that follows an emergency to create a Crisis Management Team in charge of managing the situation. Normally, this team comprises all relevant persons such as:

  • Company Owner
  • Director
  • Project Manager
  • Supervisor
  • Safety Manager
  • Legal Counsel
  • Selected specialists you can trust in an emergency

This team will be responsible for several tasks such as performing risk assessments developing plans for various risks or determine responsibilities.

Among these tasks, preparing and presenting a company statement is crucial, once an official spokesperson has been selected. Here are some of the main advantages and disadvantages of using prepared statements:

Advantages

Disadvantages

Allows you to act immediately and save lives Extremely high responsibility
Prevent further damage to the organization and/or property Requires specialized training
Saves money: legal fees, insurance rates, medical costs, lost production, bad publicity, etc. Hard to be a “stand-alone” division.
Allows you to accomplish MOST of the work that you would have to do after a crisis before it happens Disruptive to normal operating procedures
Improves both internal and external communication Requires full commitment from the highest levels of company management

The company spokesperson must be trained on what to say, and what is even more important, what NOT to say.

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