Emergencies can occur at any time and pose an immediate risk of significant harm to health, life, property or the environment. Establishing a plan to deal with them is an important element of any workplace health and safety program.

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Share this infographic outlining the main elements of an emergency preparedness plan and the key steps to emergency planning, because everyone in your workplace needs to be ready for the sudden or unexpected.


Common types of emergencies

  • Fires or explosions
  • Medical emergencies
  • Severe weather
  • Earthquakes
  • Major power failures
  • Hazardous material spills

Why prepare for emergencies?

  • Keep employees and responders free from harm
  • Manage life-threatening situations
  • Minimize damage to the environment, equipment, machinery, tools, etc.
  • Minimize downtime

4 Elements of an emergency management program

  • Prevention: policies and procedures to minimize the occurrence of emergencies
  • Preparation: activities and procedures to make sure your organization is ready to effectively respond
  • Response: the action to be taken when an emergency occurs
  • Recovery: practices to resume normal business operations

6 key steps to emergency planning

  1. Establish the planning team: representatives from all departments and levels, with support from senior management, is the most effective
  2. Assess the risks and company capabilities
  3. Develop the emergency response plan
  4. Implement the plan: obtain equipment, communicate, and train
  5. Test the plan: hold drills or simulation exercises
  6. Improve the plan continuously

What’s in a written emergency response plan?

  • Scope and outline potential emergencies
  • Alarms and other methods of initiating a response
  • Site-specific response procedures
  • Command structure, roles and responsibilities
  • Shutting down of power
  • Evacuation and assembly procedures
  • Communication systems and protocols
  • Emergency contact lists
  • Resource lists

As a worker, it is important that you know how to

  • Identify common types of emergencies
  • Respond if you encounter a situation
  • Respond when an emergency alarm is activated
  • Ask your employer for more information and training

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