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Create an emergency plan today or face the penalties!

by , 16 May 2013
Nobody expects an emergency or disaster. Yet emergencies and disasters can strike anyone, anytime, anywhere.

What if there was a fire emergency in your building?

Would you know what to do?

It's your responsibility as the health and safety professional for your company to ensure the safety of your employees.

By law you must provide and maintain a working environment that's safe and without risk to the health of your employees (Section 8.1 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 85 of 1993).

Which brings me to my next important question...

Do you have an Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan?

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Do your employees know about the different fire equipment?

If a fire breaks out in your building, would your employees know what to do or how to use the fire extinguisher?

Click here to find out more!

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What is Emergency Preparedness and Response?

Emergency preparedness is when you develop a plan of action to manage and prevent harm to people.
Emergency response is how you react and the actions you take when an emergency does happen.

Why plan for emergencies?
Emergencies don't come with a warning sign so you must be prepared!

By law you must provide and maintain a working environment that's safe and without risk to the health of your employees (Section 8.1 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 85 of 1993).

Although an emergency plan isn't specifically mentioned in Section 8, the term 'safe and without risk', indirectly implies that you must be prepared for all risks, including emergencies.

You'll need to keep documents as proof that you have an emergency preparedness and response plan in place. If you don't, you could face a fine or imprisonment for 12 months.

Here's what you need to create your Emergency plan…

10 things your emergency plan must contain:
  1.     Your emergency risk assessment;
  2.     A list of the people involved in doing the risk assessment;
  3.     A list of the people involved in developing and implementing the emergency plan;
  4.     Procedures of what to do, how to do it and when to do it for specific emergencies (e.g. if a fire breaks out);
  5.     Tasks assigned to individual employees (e.g. the first aider);
  6.     Emergency instructions (usually a one page instruction put on your office HSE notice board);
  7.     Emergency notifications (maps, lists and/or registers put on your office HSE notice board;
  8.     A map/diagram of emergency evacuation routes and assembly points;
  9.     A map/diagram of all emergency equipment, such as fire extinguishers, first aid boxes and any other emergency equipment;and
  10.     All duties your managers/supervisors are responsible for during an emergency.
So how exactly do you go about putting together an Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan?

Well, we've taken care of that for you!

Take a look at Chapter E02 of the Health and Safety Training Manual because we've put together a step-by-step training module on how to create an Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan and train your employees on it.

Until next time

Kerusha Narothan
Managing Editor: Health and Safety Training Manual

P.S. Get your sample Emergency Preparedness and Response documents when you subscribe to the Health and Safety Training Manual!

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