Some companies see a business evacuation plan simply as a means to tick a compliance box. Others, on the other hand, believe that emergency planning is a cost, not a worthwhile investment that will support business growth. If you are one of those who still put an evacuation plan low on your business priority list, here are reasons that will make you think otherwise.
Reasons why every company needs a business evacuation plan
A business evacuation plan prepares your business for the unexpected.
Anything can happen in one day. A fire can suddenly break out due to faulty wiring. An earthquake can occur, causing your building to collapse. Civil unrest can take place right outside your workplace. A terrorist group can launch an attack at a place near your office.
If you, your staff, and your company do not have a plan on how to handle evacuations during these emergencies, all hell will break lose. People will panic, scrambling to find emergency exits. No one will take charge of the evacuation, leaving general building occupants and visitors to figure an escape on their own. If some are lucky to get out of the building alive and unscathed, they would not know where to go for safety. If things go from bad to worse, employees can be injured, while some may even end up dead.
It is a grim scenario, but it is not far from the truth. If you failed to prepare for the unexpected, you are jeopardising the lives of people, who look up to you for safety and protection while they are in the four corners of the workplace.
It gives people a fighting chance at life in times of emergencies.
The primary goal of a business evacuation plan is to ensure that people can safely exit the facility in times of disasters and emergencies. With this in place, people will be guided on their duties and responsibilities during an emergency. Employees and general occupants will know where to go, what to do, and who to turn to for instructions during the heat of the situation. More importantly, they will have a higher chance of surviving the emergency alive and unscathed, compared to a company with no evacuation plan.
A business evacuation plan protects you from reputational damages that come with emergencies.
Damages from emergencies go far beyond the physical structure of the property. They could also spell a bad reputation about your company to stakeholders and customers. More so if the emergency led to fatalities.
The ability to handle emergencies will not only shield your employees and mitigate damages to properties, but will also protect your organisation’s reputation. Remember, it takes years and even decades to build a good name for your company, but it only takes one mishandled emergency to destroy it.
You need to have a business evacuation plan to avoid hefty fines for non-compliance.
In Australia, the government has all eyes on the safety of its workers. Australian Standards and Regulations, which may vary from state to state, are in place to ensure security and protection of all employees of the country. Employers and building managers, who are found to be non-compliant to these Standards and Regulations, are going to face crippling consequences, such as a fine of up to $3 million.
On the other hand, having a business evacuation plan is just one aspect of compliance. To know more how about your compliance obligations, we have put together a brief guide for all our readers here.
A business evacuation plan is a reflection of your safety culture.
An organisation with a predominant focus on safety culture will always ensure a more proactive approach to emergency management. Your business evacuation plan is one of the dimensions of the price you put on workplace safety as a company.
But that’s not the end of it. Having a business evacuation plan alone will not guarantee a strong safety mindset among employees and occupants. As business leaders and managers, safety culture should start from you. You should encourage workplace safety initiatives, may they be training, evacuation exercises, or engagement activities geared towards safety information dissemination.
Always remember: Safety starts with you.
You owe it to your employees.
As a business leader, you oversee two important aspects of your company – 1. The company’s profit and bottom line, and 2. Your employees’ welfare. The challenge is striking a good balance between the two. In the process, some forget that the company’s bottom line depends heavily on the performance of workers. After all, they are the ones putting in the daily grind to achieve the goals as a team. It is then your responsibility to ensure their protection, safety, and welfare while they are in the workplace.
Develop a business evacuation plan not just to meet your compliance obligations, but to protect the people in your care.
Workplace safety can’t wait
Emergencies don’t keep to a timetable. It can take place anytime, anywhere. The more you delay putting up a business evacuation plan, the more you are exposing your employees, properties, and business to risks. There’s no better time than now.
Do you need help in developing a business evacuation plan designed to protect your employees, properties, and business? EvacServices delivers evacuation services that give you confidence and peace of mind in your emergency planning efforts.
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