Emergency Plan Creation & Consulting
Why have an emergency plan?
A definite plan to deal with major emergencies is an important element of occupational health and safety (OHS) programs.
Besides the major benefit of providing guidance during an emergency, developing the plan has other advantages. You may discover unrecognized hazardous conditions that would aggravate an emergency situation and you can work to eliminate them.
The planning process may bring to light deficiencies, such as the lack of resources (equipment, trained personnel, supplies), or items that can be corrected before an emergency occurs. In addition, an emergency plan promotes safety awareness and shows the organization's commitment to the safety of workers. The lack of an emergency plan could lead to severe losses such as multiple casualties and possible financial collapse of the organization.
Since emergencies will occur, preplanning is necessary.
An urgent need for rapid decisions,
shortage of time,
and lack of resources
and trained personnel
can lead to chaos during an emergency.
Time and circumstances in an emergency mean that normal channels of authority and communication cannot be relied upon to function routinely. The stress of the situation can lead to poor judgment resulting in severe losses.
A well thought out, well organized emergency response plan will help to eliminate these issues.
What are the legal requirements for having an emergency response plan?
The specific legislative requirements vary depending on the jurisdiction the workplace is covered under, as well as the type and characteristics of the workplace.
Occupational health and safety legislation often outlines the general requirements for preparing and responding to emergencies.
Where the legislation does not specifically address emergency planning, the general duty clause would apply, which requires employers to take all reasonable precautions, under the particular circumstances, to prevent injuries or incidents in the workplace.
What are examples of technological and natural hazards?
Examples of technological hazards are:
Major structural failure.
Unintentional release of products.
Deliberate release of products (e.g., hazardous biological agents, or toxic chemicals).
Other terrorist activities.
Exposure to ionizing radiation.
Loss of electrical power.
Loss of water supply.
Loss of communications.
Areas where flammables, explosives, or chemicals are used or stored should be considered as the most likely place for a technological hazard emergency to occur.
The risk from natural hazards is not the same across Canada but the list would include:
Severe wind storms .
Snow or ice storms.
Severe extremes in temperature (cold or hot ).
Pandemic diseases like influenza or coronavirus.
The possibility of one event triggering others must be considered. An explosion may start a fire and cause structural failure while an earthquake might initiate many of the technological events listed above.