Well That Escalated Quickly – EPP in the Workplace

In 2015 Bill Gates delivered a TED Talk in which he suggested that the world should be taking steps to prepare for an infectious virus outbreak which could potentially lead to a pandemic. Jump ahead to 2020 in which we have found ourselves facing COVID-19, and in many cases, not nearly as prepared as we should be. Unfortunately for many workplaces, this has meant scrambling to come up with a plan of action on how to best operate during these uncertain times.

How could workplaces have been better prepared? The answer is by having an emergency plan prior to the onset of the outbreak. Emergency preparedness planning involves six steps:

  1. Establish and delegate an emergency preparedness planning team, this should include members from various departments and levels

  2. Determine your workplace’s internal and external risks (e.g. fire, theft, natural disaster, pandemic)

  3. Create an emergency response plan for each of the risks in step 2

  4. Put the plan into action, communicate it to, and train your staff

  5. Test the plan through emergency response drills

  6. Re-evaluate and improve the plan on a continual basis

An important component within an emergency preparedness plan is a business continuity plan. This plan outlines how you will conduct business when your usual operations plan can no longer be followed as is. The steps to creating a business continuity plan are:

  1. Determine the essential tasks and services of your business

  2. Outline the required skills and reallocate staff, for each task and service

  3. Identify possible issues

  4. Develop a plan for each task and service, a checklist is helpful

  5. Re-evaluate and improve the plan on a continual basis

In these unprecedented times, one thing remains certain, this being that COVID-19 will be remembered as one of the largest events of our lifetimes. Although many of us, individuals and businesses alike were not prepared for how quickly it escalated, we can treat this as a learning experience and be better prepared moving forward. Confused on how to get started?

Check out our COVID-19 guide, which includes a pandemic planning checklist and sample pandemic planning control plan.

Watch for our upcoming webinar, “Emergency Response Planning” coming up on May 12th, 2020.

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