emergency preparedness

A recent Staples survey found the biggest workplace safety concern is natural disasters. Whether it be a natural disaster or storm, Staples in-house expert Bob Risk, Senior Strategic Safety, Health and Wellness Manager, offers these tips to help businesses prepare for the unexpected.

1. Create a small business preparedness plan.

Nearly two-thirds of the survey respondents said natural disasters, such as Hurricane Sandy in 2012, have not caused a reassessment of safety plans. An effective plan includes:
o Procedures to respond to various emergency situations.
o Methods to recover and maintain business continuity.
o Securing adequate resources and supplies for crisis events. o Employee training.
o Always have a back-up plan

2. Make sure you have all the necessary and correct safety products in a place that can be easily reached during an emergency. From first aid kits and supplies to fire extinguishers and required safety signs, make sure your office has all the essentials to keep employees safe, and make sure to communicate where to find these essential items. The products need to be monitored to make sure that not only are all the items within manufacturer’s code limits, but that they have not been depleted in some way.

3. Establish a communication protocol for before the storm, during the storm, and after the storm. In times of emergency, nearly one out of three respondents (32%) said their workplace communicates what to expect at the last minute. Make sure all employees are aware in a timely manner of what to expect in a natural disaster or storm and always test and discuss back-up plans.

4. Protect both physical and technological property of your business. Be sure to have the proper equipment to ready your office for a storm and to ensure all crucial data is backed up.

It is always easier to prepare for an emergency than having to explain why you didn’t.