Many businesses have been investing heavily in disaster training for employees. Apart from tax breaks and lower insurance rates offered to businesses in many countries the underlying motivation for businesses who are investing is being able to save the lives of employees, clients and reduce financial loss. The right evacuation training that is a part of disaster contingency plans needs to be charted out based on what type of disaster is being expected, its magnitude, and the nature of the business implementing the plan.
Designate employees in charge of a disaster contingency plan
It is impractical for any business to send all their employees off to get evacuation training. The best way would be for a business to choose three employees and send them off for training. These individuals will not only receive evacuation training but also first aid, fire warden training and other safety training. These people apart from being responsible for their regular duties will also be responsible for training other employees, working on a business’s safety strategy and plan an effective evacuation response in the event of a natural or manmade disaster.
Outline possible issues with safety
One of the biggest problems many businesses face is being able to make evacuation easier without spending more money of redoing their building’s structure. Even though it’s mandatory for every business to have a fire escape in addition to other evacuation procedures in place, not being able to control the evacuation means that these places of escape become pretty hard to use. The most common problem is that number of people rushing to escape cannot be accommodated by the area. So, a number of steps will need to be taken. An evacuation manager may recommend that a business implements the following:
- Adds another fire escape to the building.
- Build a holding area where people can gather and exist the structure in an orderly fashion.
- In places where floods are common a roof top from where people can easily signal for help in addition to life boats, and jackets will be recommended.
- In plants and factories where fires are fairly common the evacuation procedure will also include a number of safety steps like installing fire extinguishers and axes along the way. Automated water sprinklers, and fire alarms may also need to be installed to put out fires in flammable areas.
Drafting a disaster response plan
Every business should have a disaster response plan. This plan should outline every possible disaster and rate is probability, and magnitude on a scale from 1 to 10. Then based on the severity of the possible disaster the business will then prepare a contingency and safety plan. Evacuation will be the very first part of the plan but the evacuation of people nearest to the disaster area i.e. those at the most risk will need to be evacuated first. The job of the evacuation manager will be to assist the security team to ensure that everyone evacuates as planned in order to avoid possible bottlenecks.
Regularly drills and training
A business will also need to invest heavily in regular evacuation drills and training for their employees. Regular fire, flood and earthquake drills will smooth out the process of evacuation. It is during this time that everyone will rehearse what their job is in the event of a disaster. Most experts recommend that drills be carried once every two months. The evacuation manager will be responsible for evacuating everyone and explaining the job of each floor’s manager as part of the routine. Similarly the fire warden will be responsible for putting out fires, and the first aid manager will deliver first aid to people who need it. All these factors will have to be rehearsed multiple times a year.
Formulating a budget
When it’s all said and done businesses need to make sure that all this safety costs them something they can afford. So, it’s the job of the disaster response manager or the person who has been elected to ensure everyone is safe in the event of a natural disaster to put together a yearly budget for the finance manager to consider. The budget will include all the equipment, evacuation training and tools required to secure the workplace. It is only once the budget is approved after a few tweaks can the plan be executed.