Last week, senior army officers informed top brass that sending more troops to the Central African Republic (CAR) was tantamount to a suicide mission, says News24
Circumstances in the country had deteriorated drastically and there was doubt about how the army would withdraw its soldiers should the situation get out of control.
Added to this, they only had a single doctor with a backpack as medical support.
If your business is based in an area that regularly faces violent strike and protest action, you'll have similar fears over your employees' safety.
And as your company's health and safety representative, it's your responsibility to minimise the risk of any potential threat to your employees' health and safety.
One way to do so is to ensure you have an emergency response and preparedness plan in place.
That way, as soon as violent action flares up in the area, you'll be able to get your employees to safety – fast.
Draw up an emergency response plan today!
The first step is to draw up your emergency response plan through a risk assessment based on the specific risks your business faces, like violent protestors harming your employees on their way to and from work.
Your emergency response plan must include a list of procedures for each emergency, as well as evacuation routes, a map of locations of your company's emergency equipment, and the people responsible during the emergency, says FSP Business
Then, you'll need to train all your employees on the emergency procedures. This must include 'classroom training', re-training once a year for existing staff as well as emergency drills.
This way, employees won't panic when they hear an emergency whistle blowing – they'll know exactly where to go and what to do there.
One last step to protect your employees' health and safety – proper first aid!
If your company employs five or more employees, it must meet the minimum first aid requirements, of the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act.
This means you'll need to make sure your company's first aid attendant has been properly trained, and that you have a well-stocked first aid kit
, containing 18 essential items.
Most companies also take the step of finding out if your employees have any allergies to medication, so that you're aware of the risk and can better handle any related health and safety incidents.
It's the only way to ensure you're protecting against any health and safety incidents that would affect your employees!