Employers are responsible for the safety and security of their staff. In recent years, tragic events have shown the world how serious a responsibility this is.
Planning for business emergencies
All businesses should have arrangements in place to deal with the impact of a major incident or disaster.
Through good planning, companies survive threats ranging from breaches of security and data corruption or loss to catastrophic events such as natural disasters, building fires and complete system failure.
There are many sources of help for planning to cope with emergencies in business. The UK government website is an excellent starting point to plan for business continuity and to get advice from the local authorities. The London Prepared website also includes a wealth of advice for businesses, with templates to help different sizes of organisation make effective emergency plans and an excellent checklist, which works just as well for business outside the capital!
MI5's website includes advice for businesses to protect against terrorism.
Each business has individual needs, but what all businesses have in common is the need for an effective and rigorously tested emergency plan.
During business emergencies
How businesses react during an emergency will depend on the nature and size of the business, and the type of situation being faced. The most important thing is to have detailed plans in place beforehand and to follow them calmly and professionally.
Staff safety is, of course, paramount. Initially, you will need to check that everyone is accounted for, contact the emergency services and utilities, communicate with staff and follow through your detailed emergency procedures.
After a business emergency
What happens after an emergency should be part of the emergency plan. London Prepared has excellent advice for business continuity after an incident. There will be a lot to think about, so a detailed checklist for your organisation’s needs is essential. Use any incident to improve your plans for the next emergency.