Small businesses and start-ups are gaining more and more traction, especially here in Victoria where the tech industry is blossoming. And with people spending such large percentages of their time at work, it’s crucial for small businesses to have an emergency response plan.
If you work for a start-up or you own a small business, you’ll want to consider the basic guideline we’ve outlined below, courtesy of worksafebc.com.
How to develop an effective emergency response plan for your workplace:
- Determine the conditions of when an evacuation plan would be necessary. Eg. an earthquake, a tsunami, a violent storm, etc.
- Designate primary and secondary evacuation routes. Part of this is determining emergency exits. Make sure these are clearly marked and well-lit, in case the power goes out and it’s dark. It’s also a good idea to install emergency lighting. Emergency exits should be…
- Wide enough for everyone to leave quickly, together.
- Clear of any obstructions.
- Coordinate your plan with the local emergency management office.
- Designate evacuation wardens who will help others and count heads. Also determine a procedure for accounting for evacuees.
- Establish a specific evacuation procedure and make sure that all staff are familiar with it. Ensure that it is posted somewhere public and that staff are reminded regularly.
- Schedule emergency drills at least once per year.
- Create a procedure for helping people with disabilities.
- Create a file of personal information (including emergency contact information) for all employees, and make sure someone is responsible for bringing it with them.
- Establish procedures for providing transportation if the emergency incident expands.
Of course, if it’s the type of emergency where you need to shelter in place, you’ll also need to have identified shelter space in your work facility and the surrounding community. You’ll also need a stockpile of necessary emergency supplies, such as food, water and medical supplies.
This is just the start of the equation that results in a workplace that is prepared for an emergency. If you’d like to read more, feel free to read some of our past posts, such as Emergency Preparedness in the Workplace or Business Emergency Safety. And feel free to share some of your own research in the comments below, as well!
-Content created by Sophie Wooding – Writer, gardener, cyclist and emergency preparedness enthusiast!