Emergency planning in the manufacturing industry

Emergency planning in the manufacturing industry

Posted on February 14, 2018

By Cory Sander, Safety Trainer

Does your manufacturing company have a functioning Emergency Management System (EMS) or Emergency Plan? An EMS can improve employee morale, response readiness, and above all else communication and the overall safety of everyone at your workplace.

If you don’t already have an EMS\Emergency Plan, or they’re outdated and it’s been some time since you reviewed yours; here are seven important factors to consider:

 

  1. Has an Emergency Risk Assessment been conducted for an awareness of all potential hazards and consequences? If so, when was it last conducted? Best practice is tour your facility and ask questions to all employees. After all, they might see or know something you may have missed during your own assessment.
  2. Fire\Evacuation Plans – do they include evacuation fire drills (annually and for all shifts), muster points, emergency services contacts, emergency services tours (fire department, Paramedics, Police, RCMP, etc)?
  3. Neighboring businesses – do they have chemical substances that are explosive, flammable, or can be airborne, and if they do what are their emergency plans? This may be accomplished with a conversation with neighboring businesses about possible hazards and future concerns, and any safety issues they may have already in place may be helpful for your facility as well.
  4. Inclement weather (e.g. storms, blizzards, ice, tornadoes, etc.) Imagine a scenario where over a foot of snow falls overnight. Electricity is out, heat is not available, icy roads and/or flooding affects transportation. Perhaps the province declares a weather emergency and asks people to stay off the roads. Do you have a policy in place to handle this?
  5. Intruders (e.g. disgruntled worker, former spouse or active shooter). Security, conflict resolution training and training for warning signs are all important factors in today’s workplace. Are you current on best practices and do all of your employees in key positions (including new hires) have the information they need?
  6. Communication of all emergency\fire\evacuation plans. Are they posted throughout the facility and all site-specific areas, including entrances and exits? Is signage sufficient and easy to understand regardless of literacy level?
  7. A follow up and review of the Emergency Management System should be conducted frequently (and at a minimum annually). Moreover, it’s not just enough to have the policies on the books. Perhaps more importantly, the EMS should be reviewed with all affected parties (ownership, management, and front-line workers, etc.).

Does the EMS process seem overwhelming? Do you have process in place but aren’t sure how to identify priority areas to review? Made Safe can help. Contact us one of our manufacturing industry safety experts today to get started.