Stand Ready to Respond – National Safety Month 2016

June is National Safety Month, and Stonehouse Signs, as a founding member of the National Safety Council (NSC,) encourages all employers and employees to participate by discussing the weekly safety topics the NSC has chosen to highlight. This week’s topic is Stand Ready to Respond. Businesses and other organizations are welcome to use this article as a conversation tool to spur an important safety discussion with their employees.

Look for weekly articles from Stonehouse Signs highlighting the National Safety Month weekly topics, or follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google + for National Safety Month tips all month long.

Stonehouse Signs Stand Ready To Respond National Safety Month 2016Just like “Eighty percent of success is showing up,” a successful outcome during an emergency situation often means planning and training in advance so you’re ready to “show up” when it’s time. That’s why the focus for the first week of National Safety Month 2016 is Stand Ready to Respond. Safety-focused businesses should be prepared to respond to all types of crisis events, from natural disasters to medical emergencies, as a quick and effective response is often the difference between a favorable and not-so-favorable outcome.

So how can a business get ready for an emergency? Risk assessment is a good first step to preparing for any situation. Evaluating what types of emergencies are likely to occur, while keeping in mind the size and scope of your organization as well as any specific needs, will help you focus your time and resources on planning for the most likely scenarios. However, that doesn’t mean you should ignore other, potentially less likely, emergencies. After your risk assessment, follow these four steps to help develop a comprehensive and effective emergency plan:

1. Select Your People & Plan

Select the people who will be in charge of making and implementing the emergency plan. This should involve stakeholders from all levels of your organization, and especially include any company personnel or departments that may need to keep running after an emergency event takes place, such as payroll, management, or your communications team. Together, come up with an emergency plan that covers a variety of situations and includes who is responsible for each aspect of the emergency response.

2. Have A Plan B

Make sure you consider all aspect of your business, customers and workforce when creating an emergency plan. Often you will need multiple contingencies for the same emergency event. So for instance, consider situations like:

  • What would you do if you couldn’t get back to your business facility for a period of time?
  • How you would shelter or evacuate people with disabilities?
  • What would you do if EMS couldn’t reach you in a medical emergency?

Examining all potential situations is key to creating a truly effective emergency plan.

3. Train And Revise

Often what works well on paper may not work well in the real world. So a very important step is to practice and revise your emergency plan. And, once a plan is tested and implemented, make sure you build in regular reviews and drills, as situations can change and your workforce can evolve. This step should include regular first aid training, an important part of responding to medical emergencies. Remember, the average EMS response time is 9 to 12 minutes – minutes during which quick action and medical attention could save a person’s life.

4. Communicate

Discuss the emergency plan regularly with employees, post it in common areas or an internal website, publish it in the company’s newsletter – keep the plan top of mind for employees so that if a disaster occurs, they’re well informed.

Also keep in mind, while medical emergencies and natural disasters are two of the most common emergency situations, businesses should also keep in mind other types of events that may require a response. Being prepared for power outages/loss of communication, equipment malfunction, hazardous waste spills, acts of violence or terrorism, and more will ensure a business has a well-rounded response to almost any emergency situation.

We hope our tips will help your workplace be prepared in any emergency event. For more information on emergency planning, see our guides on how businesses can create an effective disaster preparedness plan and fully prepare for an emergency situation. And join Stonehouse Signs next week as we discuss National Safety Month’s Week Two Topic, “Be Healthy.”  

Since its founding in 1863, Stonehouse Signs has produced high-quality visual communications solutions for various industries and the government. The company specializes in custom products for safety, information and accident prevention, and manufactures a full line of safety signs and facility signssafety tags, vinyl safety decals, and custom magnetic whiteboards designed for extended outdoor life, harsh environments and demanding applications. For more information call 1-800-533-9914 or visit

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