Like all businesses these days, manufacturing operations must be prepared to deal with an emergency. Manufacturers face unique challenges, such as exposure to hazardous materials, fires and chemical spills. The high volume of workers that are typically on the job in many factories or plants can compound the issue. Having an up-to-date emergency response plan is essential for protecting your employees and creating a safer work environment. It can also help you avoid compliance violations that can lead to costly fines and penalties for your company.
Creating a Comprehensive Workplace Emergency Action Plan
If it’s been a while since you’ve updated your organization’s emergency preparedness and response procedure, now would be a good time to conduct a thorough review and evaluation. The steps that should be included in the process follow:
- Conduct a risk assessment: Begin by identifying the threats that are most likely to affect your company. Consider the hazards that exist and how they can make your employees and operation vulnerable. Also, think about the potential business impacts of the emergency.
- Take stock of your response resources: What in-house resources are available to respond to an emergency? Do you have the personnel, equipment and systems in place to manage the situation? For example, if chemical spills pose a significant threat, do you have the appropriate equipment to clean them up quickly and safely?
- Establish an incident management team: Effective leadership is crucial during an emergency. Identify and train members of your team to perform tasks such as implementing emergency response procedures, coordinating with external responders and providing direction to your employees.
- Develop appropriate emergency response procedures: Determine the most applicable process to implement based on the nature of the threat. Depending on the situation, the process could entail evacuation (fires, gas leaks, chemical spills, etc.) sheltering in place (when outside threats such as severe weather events exist) or lockdown (when the danger involves an act of violence inside the facility).
- Reach out to available public resources: Many emergencies will require assistance from outside sources such as police, firefighters, medical first responders and HAZMAT crews. A well-crafted manufacturing emergency preparedness plan should include advanced coordination with these services. You can ensure that these entities will be better prepared to provide the appropriate, timely response needed to stabilize the situation.
- Train your employees: The proper response by your employees in an emergency can save lives. Make sure your workers are familiar with your response plan and understand their roles and responsibilities when a threat occurs. Reinforce the training by conducting regular on-site drills and exercises.
Contact MANTEC to Explore Manufacturing Emergency Preparedness Training Opportunities
At MANTEC, we have the experience and resources to assist you in your efforts to develop effective emergency response plans for your South Central PA manufacturing operation. Our training opportunities include cost-effective OSHA and safety programs that will help you achieve your goal of operational excellence. We can also assist you in meeting your compliance objectives. Call MANTEC at 717-843-5054 or contact us online to learn more.