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Prepare for natural disasters so your employees recover from them faster

by , 07 February 2013
So far, five deaths have been reported from the earthquake that struck near the remote Santa Cruz Islands.Here in South Africa, we might not have earthquakes, but natural disasters like fires and floods do happen. Do you know what to do to ensure the health and safety of your staff if a natural disaster occurs while you're at work?

A powerful 8.0 magnitude earthquake caused a tsunami that sent strong waves crashing into several South Pacific islands, writes the New York Times.
While South Africa isn't in an earthquake zone, we're still vulnerable to natural disasters like flooding, chemical spills and fire, all of which can affect your employees' health and safety.
'You must know what emergencies [in the workplace] could arise so you're prepared to deal with them,' says the Health and Safety Bulletin.
That's because 'disasters can wipe out a small business in seconds,' if you're not prepared, adds the Forbes website. 
Minimise the panic if your business is hit by a natural disaster by following these four steps:
1. Providing clear instructions and information;
2. Holding regular practice drills;
3. Conducting regular inspections of emergency equipment and escape routes; and
4. Training all staff in emergency procedures.
You might need to provide your employees with counselling sessions after the natural disaster to get employees fully functional again.
But if you've followed these steps to prepare to deal with emergencies in the workplace and natural disasters, you'll be able to keep employees calm if a natural disaster does strike and minimise the impact on their health and safety. 

Turn to your Health and Safety Advisor to read more about 'Emergency preparedness and response plan. We'll help you create an emergency preparedness and response plan for your company in 9 easy steps.


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