As per the recent study by The Zebra, about 6,800 natural disasters happen annually on average worldwide.
However, your business isn’t only prone to natural disasters. Your workplace can also land in a disaster due to fire from electricity or machinery malfunction, chemical spills, or even mistakes from your employees.
As a business owner, you must prepare for these emergencies to lessen their effects and keep your employees safe. And the best way to avoid workplace disasters is to prevent them in the first place.
So, let’s follow these steps to protect your business and employees!
- Make a risk assessment
First, undertake a thorough risk assessment to find possible dangers and weak spots in your workplace.
Examine the chances and effects of different natural and man-made disasters. This will help you decide how to use your resources and set priorities for your business.
You may also ask your employees to report to you if they notice any unique or lesser-noticed risks.
- Develop an emergency response plan
Based on the risk assessment, make a detailed emergency response plan explaining what to do in an emergency.
This should include how to get out in an emergency, where to meet up, how to communicate with each other, and what role each staff member will play in taking care of the situation. You can even set an emergency alarm to reduce the time to inform everyone.
Review and change your plan often to account for changes at work or new threats.
- Backup all data
You might be surprised to learn that one of the main reasons why companies fail after a disaster is because they lose data. Further, it can be a big financial setback.
This is one reason you should make a copy of your computer files and data and store it elsewhere. One way to back up your files is to store them in the cloud. You can opt for an automated daily backup to know all your data is up-to-date whenever needed.
- Implement safety measures
Use safety measures to reduce the risks you found during your assessment. For example, installing fire alarms and extinguishers, putting away dangerous materials, and strengthening buildings.
Also, consider using safety and security software to make your safety management processes run more smoothly.
Such software will walk you through all the steps required to handle the situation effectively. In addition, a common software will keep everyone connected on the same platform and even dispatch the emergency management team ASAP!
- Set up clear communication channels
During a disaster, it is very important to communicate well. Set up clear ways to talk to each other. It can include methods like emergency hotlines, intercom systems, or mass notification systems.
It will help you provide proper information to people in an emergency. Ensure your employees know about these channels and how to use them.
- Practice for an emergency
Hold regular emergency drills to test your action plan and ensure everyone knows what to do. This will help you find any loopholes or flaws in your plan and give you useful feedback on improving it.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) says that businesses that have emergency drills are better prepared to deal with disasters and get back on their feet faster.
- Set a business continuity plan
A business continuity plan will help you prepare to keep running after a troublesome disaster. It focuses on what to do after an event, not what to do during the event.
In this plan, consider how a disaster might affect your business’s finances and how it runs. Then, action items in the plan should help your business get back on track and make money.
- Collaborate with external organizations
Lastly, work with local emergency responders like fire departments and police to share information and ensure everyone does their part during a disaster.
This will help ensure that the response is quick and effective. Engage with people in your industry and professional groups to share best practices and learn from their experiences too.
Over to you
You may also get into legal trouble for endangering your employees without proper workplace safety methods. So, follow the above steps to avoid unnecessary troubles. It may seem to be a pain initially, but it will help you sustain your business in the long run!