Importance of Safety and Having an Emergency Plan in the Workplace

The statement, “Safety comes first,” has been a common slogan in many workplaces for a while now. However; due to our current environment, many companies and individuals are really trying to address the importance of having an emergency plan. How do you prepare yourself (individual) or company for an emergency?

“The truth is, there is always the possibility that an emergency can happen at any time”, said Scotty Millstead, Assistant Superintendent of Dive Operations, “these are likelihoods because humans are not immune to making mistakes. Therefore, it is imperative that companies have a well thought out emergency plan in place for the safety of all.”

Without having the right emergency plan in place, safety in workplaces might be a mirage. Emergency situations can come in different forms and from various sources. Workplace disaster could result from spillage of hazardous materials, fires, or chemical explosions. An emergency may also result from natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes, tornadoes, or even the collapse of a factory building. Hence, every company’s management must come up with Emergency Response Plans (ERP) that is specific to its business.

“You can look on every company’s website and it will always make some reference to safety, but how does that translate into your company’s corporate culture, your management team down to the individual”, says Eric Summers CEO.

The Benefits of Having Emergency Response Plans

“At UMX, we set ourselves apart. Having an Emergency planning in place is an essential part of maintaining a safe workplace, especially in the Diving Community. If we don’t plan, have a contingency plan and plan again, then we have planned to fail,” says Tim Erickson, Superintendent of Dive Operations.

The benefits of having workable emergency response plans and effective processes for responding to unexpected incidents include:

  • Provision of safety assurance and peace of mind
  • Shows prominent level of corporate responsibility and legal compliance
  • Improves understanding of roles and responsibilities by employees
  • Increases levels of competency and on-site skills
  • Sustains high standards of health and safety for employees

Tips for Maintaining Workable Emergency Plans

The National Safety Council states that “a successful safety program depends on spotting hazards early, evaluating their risk and removing or controlling them before harm is done.” It was emphasized that workable emergency plans require continuous improvements and adjustments of the processes through regular reviewing of the plans. It is important to always review your emergency plans by looking at the following business aspects:

  • Business operations and procedures
  • Business health and safety policies
  • Employees and personnel responsible in emergency situations
  • Employees’ job roles and personal circumstances definition
  • Site layout
  • Emergency contact details availability and accessibility

“I find many mistakes individuals and businesses make with having an Emergency Plan is they are generic, says Keonnia Adair Chief Operating Officer, “it is imperative that you understand and emergency plan must be adapted, modified, adjusted and evaluated given the job, hazards and employee skill level.” “The continuous assessment of these business aspects is critical to the maintenance of safety procedures in your organization.”

At Underwater Mechanix Services (UMX), a Commercial Dive and Marine Construction Company, we take the issue of workplace safety as one of our cardinal responsibilities to every employee. As experts in our field, we understand the importance of safety and we always assure compliance with industry regulations.