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5 Tips for Creating a Manufacturing Emergency Response Plan

4 minute read - Posted by Daniel Wagstaff on Dec 19, 2018 6:00:00 AM

In today’s technology-driven times, most companies, regardless of industry, have found a solution for creating and implementing emergency response plan for their employees and for ensuring business continuity. When it comes to the manufacturing industry, although the situation is similar, with most companies operating in manufacturing having means and methods in place for emergency response plans, very few of them have adapted said plan to industry requirements, thus creating hazardous situations for their employees and activities.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2017 more than 12 million employees were working in the manufacturing industry. The same statistics are talking about an increase in job site accidents, with more than 350 employees losing their life in an accident in 2015, an increase from 312 in 2013. There are also accidents that result in serious injuries, and also job site incidents that lead to an interruption in activity, which can cause problems for the employees as they might have to spend a period of time without a paycheck, if a compensation plan is not in place, but also for the manufacturing company, if its business continuity plans are not functioning. And in the case of the manufacturing industry, emergency situations often lead to severe interruptions, regardless of the existence of a business continuity plan, since we are usually talking about more than a data breach or a network failure, as is the case with IT or back-office companies.

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Creating a Manufacturing Emergency Plan

Having an emergency plan in place means having the assurance that when or if a crisis occurs, your company is prepared, your employees are protected, and your activity does not suffer major interruptions. Regardless of how prepared you are for an emergency situation, there will always be a crisis you did not consider, so image how it would be to not be prepared at all. The activity of manufacturing plans requires that a lot of health and safety measures are taken, and those measures need to come with an emergency response plan. Today we are going to talk about 5 tips for creating a manufacturing emergency response plan for your employees and company.

Draft All Plans and Strategies with Safety in Mind

The health and safety of your employees are the two essential aspects you need to always consider when drafting your plans and strategies, especially an emergency response plan. Manufacturing companies, as well as companies from all industries, have a legal and moral responsibility to take care of their employees and provide them with a safe and secure workplace. Make sure that your emergency plan is in company with healthy and safety guidelines and regulations for the manufacturing industry, and that you are also taking into consideration any particularities your business or workplace might have, such as special conditions, machines and tool that have particular features, and more.

Don’t Forget About Business Continuity

The second step after making sure that your emergency response plan has covered all health and safety aspects of your manufacturing plant is to draft business continuity strategies that you can implement in case of an emergency so that the interruption in activity does not become a major inconvenience for your business. Not being able to recover in time might mean your employees will have to suffer due to a lack of activity, your company might lose money, your brand and reputation might be affected, and even worse, you could be facing bankruptcy, if the disruptions were severe.

Having an Emergency Communication Strategy in Place

An emergency response plan relies on the existence of a modern, in-depth, and highly efficient emergency and crisis communication strategy. Communicating efficiently in times of crisis is of utmost importance for all manufacturing companies, whether small or large, and it should be a top priority during the drafting of an emergency response plan. Make sure that your emergency communication plan has integrated templates for all possible emergencies scenarios, and that you are using a modern solution which gives you access to multi-channel message broadcasting, and real-time metrics analysis.

Think of All Aspects of Your Recovery Process

Your emergency response plan needs to consider how your company will handle the recovery process. Beyond a business continuity strategy, you need to also be in contact with your suppliers and make sure you will have everything you need to conduct your activity, and also with an employment agency, if you will require additional employees for the duration of the recovery process, or personnel specialized in a certain area of activity. Your emergency plans need to have all the information on the teams responsible with everything related to damage control, such fixing of faulty machines, and other related aspects.

The Drafting of Evacuation Procedures

A manufacturing plant’s activity is complex and relies on a wide array of aspects in order to function properly, with employees doing diverse work, sometimes in more than just one workplace. In the case of an emergency, your company needs to have an emergency response plan in place, one that is comprehensive when it comes to evacuation procedures, in order to ensure the health and safety of all employees. Make sure that your health and safety professionals are always trained and up-to-date both with whatever changes you are making to your emergency response plan but also with changes emerging in the legislation or in industry rules and guidelines.

Training Employees

A plan is only functioning as long as its structure is tested, and your employees are trained as to how they need to behave in the case of an emergency, so after drafting your emergency response plan, you need to conduct training sessions with your employees, both with the teams responsible of health, safety, and emergency response, but also with all your employees, as they need to know how to act and how to contact in the case of an emergency.

Following these 5 tips for creating a manufacturing emergency response plan will ensure that your company is prepared in the case of an emergency, your employees are protected, and the damages suffered by the interruption of activities are limited. Regardless of what kind of emergency you are dealing with, or what kind of emergency you have foretold, having an exhaustive emergency response plan you can rely on no matter what can be life-saving, and also keep your company afloat if the worst were to happen. Make sure that all your emergency plans are drafted and executed with the help of modern tools and technologies, and that your crisis communication strategies are comprehensive and known by all your employees.

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