Emergency Action Plans (EAP) are essential for every company, big or small, to effectively manage and mitigate a crisis, ensure employee safety and return to normal operations as quickly as possible. EAPs should address emergencies that you may reasonably expect in the workplace. This could include natural disasters, fire, hazardous material spills, and workplace violence incidents. The time to plan, practice and evaluate EAPs is BEFORE an incident occurs. Planning will improve response, expedite recovery, and better ensure the safety and security of your staff.
EAPs cannot be written in a vacuum. Collaboration and coordination with key parties is essential for a thorough and effective plan that is actually executable. The EAP should include specific measures to manage and respond to all potential incidents, and this response requires pre-planning, anticipation, coordination, and training. The complexity of the written plan will be driven by your threat, vulnerability, and risk assessment, the size and type of the critical incident, size of your company, physical parameters of your office or operational location, etc. Many of these incidents may be handled by public safety, but there still needs to be collaboration, coordination and recognition of everyone’s roles and responsibilities within your company.
Emergency Action Plans are Designed to Manage the Following Tasks
- Minimize injury and loss of life.
- Establish effective response.
- Stabilize the incident.
- Protect property and the environment.
- Minimize economic impact.
- Assist in brand protection and reduce legal liability.
Unsure where to begin in the EAP process? A good starting point is a threat, vulnerability, and risk assessment (TVRA). A TVRA will identify your company’s existing risks and help guide your EAPs to ensure they address the most likely and most impactful scenarios you may face. If the process of developing EAPs seems daunting, consider bringing in an outside expert to conduct your TVRA and help formulate and test your EAPs.