In the unfortunate event that an emergency situation befalls your company, having an emergency response plan (also known as an ERP) is absolutely critical in the successful management of the incident. At a minimum, the plan should include the following information:
It is also important to conduct drills that test the plan that has been created. Drills can be easily scheduled in Outlook or other email system calendars for easy reminders and universal notification for the parties involved. More mature ERP systems will often require that the contact representatives learn the jobs of the response members that are junior and senior to their positions so that in the event that one of the representatives is unavailable, the process can still be seamlessly implemented.
The ERP system is a valuable tool in post-incident management and its complexity will vary depending on the size and nature of your business. For help implementing an emergency response plan for your business, visit the contact us page.
One problem that many businesses face is their employees ignoring the information that is posted on the "Safety Board". In my experience, the safety board is relied on too heavily to communicate detailed company information that could be more effectively reviewed in a toolbox meeting or a brief discussion with workers.
How many people do you know that would willingly stand in front of the board and read though every policy or safe work practice that is posted there? I don't know many Safety Professionals that would want to, let alone workers and supervisors. Having said that, it is still an excellent place to post policy statements that are required by law in most jurisdictions.
So, what can we do to improve how our safety boards communicate to our workers? Below are some improvements that I feel will greatly improve your company's safety board if they are implemented:
1) Review material with workers in a meeting before it gets posted on the board.
Review the key aspects of what you plan to post before you actually post it. During the meeting, call attention to certain sections that may be too detailed or may not apply specifically to your audience and inform meeting participants that the information will be posted for everyone's review.
2) Post the board in a "real" common area.
Place the information where people will actually see it. If you post the information in a hallway where some people will go but rarely stop to read, what good is the information?
3) Use colour.
Using colour rather than black and white or grayscale will usually draw people's attention to the board, regardless of the content. This is especially true when the board is posted in a common, high traffic area like a break room.
4) Use pictures of your workplace on the board.
When workers see familiar places or their co-workers embodying a safety message, it may create an emotional connection to the message that will help with retention. Just make sure that you have the person's permission before taking their picture and posting it.
5) Call attention to updates.
This can be as simple as using a highlighter marker or a coloured border on the page that has been updated. When we call attention to the updates, people will often tend to approach and investigate the update for themselves.
Hopefully these suggestions will help your company to communicate your safety messages to your workers.
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