The Importance of Emergency Planning
Your Emergency Response Plans (ERP) and Major Accident Prevention Policy (MAPP) plans should always be live documents, which are reviewed, checked and updated on a frequent basis.
By regularly reviewing your plans, you are able to reflect any changes in the following:
- Business operations
- Business policies
- Employees and personnel (i.e. your on-site response team members & contact details)
- Employee personal circumstances
- Site layout
- Emergency contact details
These documents form a critical element of your health and safety procedures and business resilience, therefore they shouldn’t see the light of day only when an incident occurs.
Incident timeline lifecycle – critical timelines (before, during and after)
With any incident or site emergency, immediate response is critical and the overall objective should always be the safety of all your personal and site visitors, minimising any potential loss of property and assets, the continuity of business operations and then moving towards full recovery and resumption of your operations – allowing your organisation to operate normally once again.
Follow the plan – immediate response is critical
Having a workable emergency response plan will allow you to undertake the necessary actions for incident response and follow the guidelines of your emergency response plan; as well as taking a holistic view of incident management timelines before, during and in the aftermath of an emergency incident.
Preventative measures that need resolving will have been identified such as risk mapping and what factors could interrupt the running of your business. The focus should then switch towards making sure your Incident Commanders and management have followed the plan and completed the tasks they are responsible for and communicated with the relevant parties, allowing the best possible chance for the recovery of critical operational procedures and normal resumption of business activities.
The benefits of workable emergency response planning
Fundamentally, the benefits arising from operating workable emergency response planning and effective processes for responding to on-site incidents include:
- Legal compliance and meeting regulations (i.e. COMAH)
- Reduction in the threat of prosecution
- A clearer understanding of roles and responsibilities Increasing levels of competency and on-site skills
- Maintaining a positive brand perception
- Sustained high standards of health and safety at work
- Peace of mind and reassurance
- Business and moral objectives – responsibilities for your workforce, local community and environment