When it comes to industrial facilities, safety and preparedness are paramount. Managing heavy machinery, hazardous materials, and a large workforce on-site requires a robust emergency response plan. Fortunately, Transmission offers powerful tools including a visitor management system (commonly referred to as the “check-in kiosk” and employee facing digital signage FactoryTV, to enhance emergency preparedness and keep everyone safe during critical situations.
Not only is establishing proper preparedness the right thing to do, but industrial companies also face hefty fines for non-compliance if they fail to meet proper standards and regulations designed to protect workers and visitors. For these reasons, industrial companies must make every effort to ensure that safety and security are integral to their culture. In this way, emergency planning is one of the most fundamental aspects of providing a safe work environment.
This article looks closely at some of the most effective ways to ensure proper emergency preparedness at your industrial facility.
To establish an effective emergency plan, you must first understand the different types of emergencies that may arise. One of the best ways to grasp different types of emergencies that can impact industrial facilities is to conduct a three-stage risk assessment:
Stage 1: Identify Hazards – Make a comprehensive list of potential hazards, including natural disasters and man-made threats.
Stage 2: Assess Vulnerabilities – In the vulnerabilities stage, make careful notes about which assets in your organization are at risk of being harmed by each type of hazard from Stage 1. Remember that your assets are not just your buildings and equipment—your employees are the most important asset that you must protect.
Stage 3: Analyze the Impact – Now that you know the types of potential hazards and the assets that are vulnerable to these hazards, you are ready to estimate the potential impact damage these assets could have on your company. For example, if there was an accident with some equipment and a visitor was injured while on-site, what is the estimated damage that would result in terms of money, as well as brand reputation?
Now that you’ve assessed all the potential hazards facing your facility, it’s time to create a response plan for each.
When creating a response plan—also known as an emergency action plan—, you will need to decide which of the following actions are appropriate for each type of hazard:
Evacuation – In an evacuation, everyone inside your facility—both employees and visitors—must be quickly moved to safety in emergencies such as chemical spills, fires, gas leaks, and other similar hazards. An effective evacuation plan requires easy-to-follow, clearly marked routes to the nearest exit in your facility.
Shelter-In-Place – For many external threats, such as a tornado or other natural disaster, the safest option might be to take shelter within designated areas inside the building. All employees and visitors must know precisely how to get to these designated areas in the event of a shelter-in-place emergency.
Lockdown – If there is a threat of violence at your facility, the safest option might be to lock down the building. In a lockdown, employees and visitors are locked inside so that persons on the outside can’t access the building. Moreover, there could be additional instructions to barricade the entrances in these emergencies to provide an extra measure of defense against an external threat.
While these three types of responses form the core of an emergency plan, there are additional aspects of adequate planning that need to be considered:
Clear Communication Protocols - Implement a detailed communications plan to ensure rapid information dissemination during emergencies.
Appointing Responsible Leaders - Designate individuals with the authority to order and coordinate responses, backed up by secondary leaders if needed.
Accounting for Occupants - Develop a system for quickly accounting for all employees and visitors on-site during an emergency.
Utilize Safety Systems - Install and maintain safety equipment, such as alarms and sprinklers, to bolster emergency response capabilities.
Another step safety leaders of industrial facilities can take is to send emergency preparedness plans to local emergency services such as the police and fire departments. Sharing these emergency plans can help safety officials be better prepared to assist your facility in an emergency. The reality is first responders won’t be familiar with the unique safety aspects of your facility unless you provide them with the necessary information in advance. This advanced preparedness can save valuable time if an emergency should arise.
With a comprehensive emergency preparedness plan in place, you are ready to start communicating this plan to your organization and training key staff members. Each team member involved in ensuring the safety of your facility should thoroughly understand their assigned role in each emergency response scenario.
Share the emergency plans with your safety team and make them easily accessible throughout the facility. Regularly train employees to understand their roles during emergencies and conduct routine simulations and testing to ensure preparedness. Practice exercises help identify any potential weaknesses in emergency procedures.
Transmission's Check-In Kiosk is an essential automated safety tool for effective emergency management. This visitor management system allows you to track and manage visitors efficiently. With a cloud-based platform, admins can access real-time information about on-site visitors from their smartphones. In an emergency, the kiosk lets you send text blasts to all on-site visitors and employees using premade emergency templates. This ensures that everyone receives clear instructions on what to do and where to go, enhancing safety and response efficiency. When first responders arrive, you will be able to tell them exactly how many visitors were in the facility thanks to the Transmission visitor management system.
FactoryTV, another cutting-edge tool from Transmission, plays a vital role in emergency communication. In the event of an emergency, the text blast sent from the Check-In Kiosk can simultaneously appear on FactoryTV screens throughout the facility. This ensures redundancy in communication, making emergency instructions visible to all employees and visitors, no matter where they are in the facility.
Industrial facilities can significantly enhance emergency preparedness by combining Transmission's Check-In Kiosk and FactoryTV. Implementing a robust emergency response plan, leveraging next-generation safety technology, and empowering employees with knowledge and training are essential steps toward ensuring a safe and secure work environment. With Transmission's innovative solutions, you can be confident that your facility is well-prepared to handle any emergency that may arise.