Friday, August 27, 2010

Lessons From Ground Zero Help Businesses Prepare For the Worst

A positive legacy of the World Trade Center bombings has been the lessons learned and applied with regard to safety preparedness and disaster management. The critical security changes that were put into place after the first attack on the Twin Towers expedited the September 11th evacuation and brought more than 18,000 people to safety...four hours faster than in 1993.

Workplace 'Disasters' Are Common

Thankfully, few businesses will ever be targets of deliberate acts of violence that are the focus of this construction safety training video, but the probability that a terrifying accidental workplace 'disaster' will occur is high. Chief among the threats: fire.

According to research by Maine Municipal Association Risk Management Services, there are between 70.000 to 80,000 workplace fires in the United States each year. The cost of workplace fires is more than $2 billion annually. However the more troubling statistic is that 5,000 people are estimated to be injured in these fires and as many as 200 people lose their lives.

This makes disaster management a very 'human' issue in the business world.

Twin Challenges from the Twin Towers

WTC experts point to two key factors that have the greatest influence on successfully managing a disaster. The first is maintaining a state of preparedness.

To meet the demands of unexpected circumstances, workplaces should be prepared in advance with routinely tested radios, flashlights, and properly stocked first aid kits. Employees must be familiar with the proper use of fire extinguishers and should participate regularly in fire drills. Many people associate fire drills with their grade school years, but practicing what to do in an emergency really does save lives.

The second challenge for a disaster-ready business is creating a strategy to get people to safety. The events of September 11th underscore the importance of evacuation plans and how vital it is to have accurate building maps available.

How to Be Ready for Anything

It is not difficult to put together a comprehensive, custom-tailored emergency response plan for a business...but it is essential. An inclusive approach is most effective. On its web site, OSHA (the Occupational Safety and Health Administration) says that businesses "may find it beneficial to include a diverse group of representatives (management and employees) in this planning process and to meet frequently to review progress and allocate development tasks."

By : Mark_Woeppel

No comments: