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Emergency Action Plan

Use digital checklists to implement and keep your company emergency action plan up to date.

Go paperless, conduct inspections easily and solve issues quicker with your teammates.

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Emergency Action Plan Template

Use this template for a contingency plan to respond adequately in an emergency situation.

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Workplace Emergency Plan Template

Use this template as a self-assessment tool to evaluate and improve your emerge

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Emergency Action Plan Audit Template

Use this template for an audit of your emergency plan to evaluate and improve it accordingly.

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Create an Emergency Action Plan for your Company

An workplace emergency plan should be developed in every company with more than 10 employees. Its elaboration is based on the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Each emergency action plan should be based on the proven legal model, which provides certain guidelines for its preparation. Accordingly, each plan must contain procedures, rules of conduct, responsibilities and telephone numbers for emergency situations. In addition, general information, such as overview plans, may also be included. Workplace emergencies can include, for example, storms, prolonged power outages, management deaths, epidemics or pandemics such as Covid-19.

Digital checklists for an emergency action plan are tools used by safety and health officers in companies or owners of small and medium-sized businesses to record and implement their guidelines for workplace emergencies.

The following standard elements should be included in any workplace emergency plan:

  1. Procedure for reporting a fire or other emergency

  2. Procedures for emergency evacuation, including the type of evacuation and allocation of escape routes

  3. Procedures to be followed by employees who must continue critical operations in the plant before evacuation

  4. Procedures that all employees must take into account after evacuation

  5. Procedures to be followed by staff performing rescue or medical tasks

  6. Name and job title of the staff to be contacted in case of emergency as they have further information on the plan or explanations of duties under the plan

This article deals with the following topics concerning emergency planning:

1. The significance of an emergency action plan

2. Test the emergency action plan with checklists

3. How a digital application supports emergency planning

The importance of operational emergency planning

A contingency plan according to a standardized model is a must for every company in order to be able to fall back on emergency protocols and procedures in case of emergency. In dangerous situations, it protects against ambiguities, unnecessary injuries and material damage at the workplace.

It is important to keep the emergency action plan for the workplace up to date. This ensures that the correct instructions are available in the event of an operational emergency. In addition, a risk assessment can repeatedly uncover unrecognised hazardous conditions, which can be incorporated into the emergency action plan. Safety and health officers can supplement current, preventive measures on the basis of the analyses carried out analyses.

An outdated emergency action plan poses a threat to every company. It can lead to devastating losses such as multiple casualties and financial imbalance.

Act with foresight: Establish emergency action plan at the workplace

Emergencies can occur at workplaces at any time. Therefore, safety and health officers must ensure that all employees are prepared for such a situation. The use of checklists can help in many ways: In training, preparation, monitoring and regular emergency exercises.

1. Deploy an interdepartmental team

Occupational health and safety authorities, such as the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA) recommend that relevant persons, such as employees with knowledge of the work, employees with experience in investigative procedures and representatives of local government should form a team when emergency workplace procedures are established or reviewed. Working in an interdisciplinary team helps to make the workplace emergency plan more comprehensive, accurate and realistic.

2. Regularly carry out emergency drills

If the company emergency plan is available according to a standardized pattern, the responsible employees should conduct a company-wide emergency exercise to determine how effective the measures from the plan are. A distinction is made here between announced and unannounced emergency exercises. The first scenario serves to consolidate the emergency measures in the employees' minds and to check the emergency action plan. An unannounced exercise, on the other hand, is more realistic and thus provides more precise insight into how employees act in dangerous situations.

3. Analysis of the measures from the emergency action plan

For the analysis of the emergency exercises, checklists can be used to record the events in real-time. Subsequently, safety and health officers can evaluate the data and, if necessary, adjust the measures in the emergency plan.

In the best case, a cross-departmental team is again put together for this purpose. This team determines the root cause of the mismatch between performance and procedure and discusses how a high level of performance can be maintained. To this end, a critical list of questions can be drawn up to check the effectiveness of the emergency action plan.

4. Offer training

Training makes it easier for employees to continue to do the right thing in emergencies. Designated Health and Safety Officers should identify the best practices from the emergency action plan, such as remembering to handle the spill by the instructions described in the safety data-sheet if the emergency exercise was a chemical accident. Any changes to be applied to areas in need of improvement should be accompanied by appropriate training to consolidate the new knowledge.

5. Establish aids in the daily work routine

Additional aids are used in everyday work to point out general procedures in emergencies so that this information is always present:

  • Stickers with the emergency numbers on all phones
  • Notices with the emergency numbers and general rules of conduct
  • Escape and rescue route plans
  • Alerts to the alarm signal in emergencies (e.g. siren, loudspeaker announcement)
  • Fire protection regulations

6. Inform persons outside the company

Every emergency action plan should also include regulations for employees of external companies and visitors. These persons must also know how to behave in emergencies. In many companies, this is done using a safety guide or leaflet, which is explained by the contact person during the instruction at the site of operation.

7. Carry out emergency exercises regularly in practice

At least once a year the company should carry out an emergency exercise. This will test the effectiveness of the emergency plan. In high-risk industries such as construction and manufacturing, it is recommended that exercises be conducted quarterly. In the medium to low-risk industries such as retail and hospitality, an exercise should be carried out every six months. Regular emergency drills are a good way for the company to proactively create and continuously develop a safety culture in the workplace.

Test the emergency action plan with digital checklists

The documentation of emergency measures with pen and paper is a challenge. Tracking developments, making updates and implementing measures is easier with a digital application. Also, training and preventive measures can be implemented more easily by sharing all information digitally with all employees.

With Lumiform's mobile app, a company's emergency plan can be easily reviewed via tablet or smartphone - online or offline. The desktop software creates checklists and evaluates the collected data afterwards. This significantly reduces the risk of information loss and documentation errors. Clean, transparent documentation helps to meet all the requirements of an emergency action plan.

With Lumiform's digital solution, companies can play it safe in their contingency planning by taking advantage of the following benefits, among others:

  • With the flexible form construction kit, you can create an individual emergency action plan within minutes, which can be updated at any time.

  • During the emergency drills, take and upload commented pictures of good practice or areas for improvement.

  • Have the workplace emergency plan at hand at all times - online and offline.

  • Emergency exercises and training courses are carried out in total, depending on their scope, about 30%-50% faster than the standard ones.

To make it easier for health and safety experts to work with digital checklists, we have put together some templates to help get started. All templates can be adapted to internal company and legal requirements at any time - no programming knowledge is required.

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