Our world is full of uncertainty. The workplace is not exempted from emergencies and unforeseen, bad events. In as much as we want to prevent and avoid unfortunate events and incidents, the reality is that they are now commonplace – even at work.
The workplace can always be a potential site for natural disasters and even man-made acts of terror to occur. Weather-related emergencies can happen. Bomb threats can occur. Even lone gunmen can come to a workplace environment and wreak havoc amongst the workforce.
Although these events are commonplace, very few people think it can happen where they work. As an employer or manager, it is your responsibility to keep yourself safe, as well as all other employees out of harm’s way. To do this, you need to make sure that employees are prepared and that you have systems such as desktop weather alerts and emergency alert systems are put in place.
Here are some of the important points you need to think about to keep yourself and your employees safe:
This does not mean that you should be paranoid. Being realistic means accepting the fact that bad things can happen in the workplace. Living in denial puts you at a greater risk of harm more than accepting the fact that emergencies and unpleasant incidents can occur.
Unsavory characters and criminals utilize the element of surprise. Make sure to promote awareness and vigilance in the workplace. Empower your employees to feel comfortable to report or inquire about suspicious people and events. Let them know that they should not hesitate should they feel that someone is acting unusual or if they feel that they have witnessed a suspicious event.
Prepare and plan.
One of the most important things to do before emergencies occur is to have a plan in place. Invest in systems such as desktop weather alerts and SMS alerts that help you inform your employees of what is going on in their work environment. Don’t put off investing in alarm systems. Invest in them even before you need them. After all, there is no point of putting them off since emergencies and crises occur suddenly and without warning.
Make sure that your plan includes making sure that each employee knows and understands what he or she needs to know when emergencies and crises occur. Plans should be written and included in your procedures and policies manual. Systems such as desktop weather alerts are certainly vital, but employees should know what to do when they receive the notifications from these systems.
Prepare by training your employees and having them practice. Quarterly or at least every six months, make sure to go through a drill with your employees so they know what to do in cases of specific crises and emergencies.
You can also further prepare and plan with your employees by providing a basic safety and self-defense course to your employees. Not only will providing this make your staff members feel valued, it could also save their lives.
Find and appoint leaders within the team.
These chosen individuals will serve as coordinators should emergencies occur. They are responsible for the team, and they are supposed to be well-informed regarding the steps they need to take in order to keep employees out of harm’s way.
Consult with experts.
Aside from having systems in place such as desktop weather alerts and doing the necessary drills, it is important to also consult with experts regarding proper planning and preparation for emergencies. Law enforcement officials and first responders are usually willing and able to give their suggestions and to offer courses which can help keep you and your staff members safe in cases of crises. Find a proven expert in your local community who can help you better prepare and understand emergencies. While keeping safe isn’t always instinctual, experts are knowledgeable and properly trained when it comes to emergency situations.