Emergency Planning

Emergency planning: ready for anything

The Management Regulations expect many organisations to draw up an emergency plan, while COMAH sites will have to go further in preparing for worst case scenarios. Steve Pace outlines the steps employers need to take.

The impacts of an emergency on an organisation, its employees, third parties and the public can be profound: the events of this summer have provided ample evidence of that.

A key focus in organisations’ responses to the risks they face is to implement measures to prevent incidents from occurring. However, in spite of all best efforts, there will remain a risk that an emergency does happen, and all organisations should prepare for such an eventuality. Events at Manchester Arena (pictured above), London’s Borough Market or, indeed, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, demonstrate the need for organisations to be resilient and responsive.

This article looks at what organisations should consider to anticipate and prepare for an emergency and to manage one; to mitigate the effects on people and the environment; and to minimise the affect on the business.

The key pieces of legislation that give duties to employers on emergency preparedness are the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations (the Management Regulations) and the Control of Major Accident Hazards Regulations (COMAH). Also relevant in this area is the Civil Contingencies Act, and associated regulations in the Civil Contingencies Act (Contingency Planning) Regulations. This legislation specifies the roles of parties that will be involved, and their duties as responders in an emergency,  including the emergency services, local authorities, the NHS, the HSE, and transport and utilities companies.

Read more here.