Emergency Notification Systems and Crisis Communication – Blog

The ROI of Safety - Compliance and Legal Obligations

Juliet Hulse By Juliet Hulse

There’s no way of knowing when and how a crisis will occur, but you can always be prepared for whatever it might be. Your people will be better prepared if they understand what is going on and if they receive instructions on how to proceed. You will also reinforce your people’s appreciation by proving you have their best interest in mind.

 

Your operational communication capability is the single most critical factor in a crisis outcome, and an emergency notification system (ENS) is designed to fulfill that need. It’s a revolutionary addition to employers’ emergency response considering:

 

  •  - Most workplace deaths are preventable.
  •  - A single fatality can cost millions in direct and indirect expenses.
  •  - The percentage of injury-related deaths continues to increase each year.

 

There are several legal and moral reasons for keeping your organization up to date on emergency action and response, but also keeping your people prepared for different types of emergencies. In this blog series “The ROI of Safety”, we will discuss three specific reasons in detail. In this initial blog, we’re going to discuss the Compliance and Legal Obligations of keeping your organization and your people safe.

 

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), employers are required to provide a safe workplace free from recognized hazards. The goal of each organization is to reduce the severity of workplace accidents and injuries by ensuring their systems and procedures are in place to notify employees of workplace emergencies. 

 

OSHA’s General Duty Clause is very clear on the obligations of an employer. As an employer you must address:

 

  •  - Your responsibility to provide a place of employment which is free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause  death or serious physical harm to employees.
  •  - Address the “hazard” of an aggressive intruder or active shooter who means to do harm to people in work settings.

 

These standards are applicable to all employees, contractors, members, and visitors. OSHA also reserves the right to cite employers for neglecting these efforts to provide a safe workspace for their organization.

 

In order to provide a safe environment for your people, you must prepare your people and your emergency notification system for any and every event before an emergency scenario happens. To truly keep your people safe, you must plan for every possible emergency you can think of and add pre-configured and automated notifications and procedures into your ENS for immediate initiation. By doing this preparation step, you’re ensuring that you have your bases covered when an emergency situation does happen.

 

Creating an actionable emergency action and response plan is about more than just sending out an alert to your people. Each recognized crisis, hazard, or exposure should have a predefined series of unique actions, communications, and procedures to implement immediately. This makes your plan actionable through your emergency notification system. No wasted time and no confusion.

 

Not only is it legally necessary to keep the people at your organization safe, but it’s also a moral necessity. Proving that you have a tried and trusted emergency action and response plan that you can actualize proves you care about your people and their safety. Employees look to leaders for guidance and protection, so as an employer, you have an obligation to protect what matters most — your people and their livelihood.

 

Failure in emergency scenario preparation within your organization may have a devastating effect on your people, your property, and your revenue. If an emergency would occur at your organization, an ineffective and unplanned response will shake the confidence of everyone associated with the company.

 

Leaders are tasked with the large and difficult responsibility of keeping an organization and its people safe, but investing in a trusted emergency notification provider can make all the difference. It allows you to manage risk in the most effective way possible, subsequently putting the minds of leaders, as well as your entire organization, at ease.

 

In the next blog in this blog series, we will discuss how ensuring the safety of your people can help you continue business as usual. Preparing your organization ahead of time saves you time and could save you lives if an emergency would happen.

 

Read The ROI of Safety


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