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Lesson 5 Discussion Question -- Emergency Planning Lesson 5 Discussion Question -- Emergency Planning

Question:

Lesson 5 Discussion Question -- Emergency Planning Lesson 5 Discussion Question -- Emergency Planning
Lesson 5 Discussion Question -- Emergency Planning Lesson 5 Discussion Question -- Emergency Planning

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AnEmergency may be:

  • An event or situation which threatens serious damage to human welfare;
  • An event or situation which threatens serious damage to the environment;
  • War or terrorism, which threatens serious damage to national security

An emergency is typically an incident of major significance with noticeable effects to large number of people and carries the potential risk to life, property and/or environment. It will require a response beyond the everyday resources of the emergency services and those organisations and departments that support them.

An emergency can take the form of:

  • Severe weather
  • Industrial accidents
  • Transport accidents (road, rail or air)
  • Technological incidents (power network failure, utilities etc.)
  • Man-made incidents (for example terrorism)

A definite plan to deal with major emergencies is an important element of OH&S programs.

Besides the major benefit of providing guidance during an emergency, developing the plan has other advantages. You may discover unrecognized hazardous conditions that would aggravate an emergency situation and you can work to eliminate them. The planning process may bring to light deficiencies, such as the lack of resources (equipment, trained personnel, supplies), or items that can be rectified before an emergency occurs. In addition an emergency plan promotes safety awareness and shows the organization's commitment to the safety of workers.

The lack of an emergency plan could lead to severe losses such as multiple casualties and possible financial collapse of the organization.

An attitude of "it can't happen here" may be present.

People may not be willing to take the time and effort to examine the problem. However, emergency planning is an important part of company operation.

Since emergencies will occur, preplanning is necessary. An urgent need for rapid decisions, shortage of time, and lack of resources and trained personnel can lead to chaos during an emergency. Time and circumstances in an emergency mean that normal channels of authority and communication cannot be relied upon to function routinely. The stress of the situation can lead to poor judgment resulting in severe losses.

The objective is to be prepared to:

  • Prevent fatalities and injuries.
  • Reduce damage to buildings, stock, and equipment.
  • Protect the environment and the community.
  • Accelerate the resumption of normal operations.

The emergency plan includes:

  • All possible emergencies, consequences, required actions, written procedures, and the resources available.
  • Detailed lists of personnel including their home telephone numbers, their duties and responsibilities.
  • Floor plans.
  • Large scale maps showing evacuation routes and service conduits (such as gas and water lines).

Specific duties, responsibilities, authority, and resources must be clearly defined.

Among the responsibilities that must be assigned are:

  • Reporting the emergency.
  • Activating the emergency plan.
  • Assuming overall command.
  • Establishing communication.
  • Alerting staff.
  • Ordering evacuation.
  • Alerting external agencies.
  • Confirming evacuation is complete.
  • Alerting outside population of possible risk.
  • Requesting external aid.
  • Coordinating activities of various groups.
  • Advising relatives of casualties.
  • Providing medical aid.
  • Ensuring emergency shut offs are closed.
  • Sounding the all-clear.
  • Advising media.
.

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