The Risk Management Tool Box Blog

Emergency Response Preparation

Graham Marshall - Saturday, May 04, 2013
Any organization's emergency response capability is highly dependent on the availability of personnel who are competent to perform key roles. 

In the event of an emergency, it is critical that each person in a workplace understands what to do. 

And all positions identified as necessary during any emergency should be present at the workplace at all times. 

The requirement for emergency personnel resourcing should be identified; with control measures implemented to ensure that required emergency roles can always be fulfilled.

Emergency response role requirements should be built into planning and resourcing processes. 

Systems should be capable of identifying gaps in emergency capability within forward plans, including the identification of competency expiry dates where relevant. 

Strategies should be developed for unplanned situations where gaps in emergency capability occur, for example, where a person with a designated emergency role is off work due to illness.

The following strategies may assist in maintaining appropriate personnel resources for emergency response:

   Incorporate emergency capability requirements into planning processes. 

   Ensure that systems flag gaps in emergency capability rather than relying on individuals to ‘eyeball’ lists or spread sheets.

   Ensure a level of redundancy for all emergency roles. That is, more than one person per swing should be competent to perform each function.

   To avoid confusion in the event of an emergency, allocate each role to a specific individual. 

   Emergency role allocations should be clearly displayed at each work location.

   Conduct regular drills and exercises followed by debriefing to identify gaps in the system, with corresponding improvement actions developed where necessary.

   Develop clear protocols in the event that an emergency role becomes unexpectedly vacant and cannot be filled by current personnel.
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