Emergency Preparedness and Response

Emergency Response Best Practices: One Company’s Success Story

Yesterday, we talked about OSHA requirements and expert recommendations concerning the planning, policies, and people involved in workplace emergencies. Today, we tell you about what one company is doing to make sure it is always ready for any kind of emergency.

The Lubrizol Corporation is a specialty chemical company that makes lubricant additives for engine oils, other transportation-related fluids and industrial lubricants, and fuel additives for gasoline and diesel fuel. The company also produces additives for personal care products and pharmaceuticals.

The commitment to readiness at Lubrizol is part of the company’s overall risk management culture. Says Chuck Bartel, the company’s emergency response supervisor, “All of this planning costs the company money, but they want us to maintain our emergency response capability, and they want us properly trained and equipped.”

At Lubrizol, emergency drills are highly planned affairs using either “tabletop” strategy (performed in a conference room or office) or large-scale simulation of a variety of various disasters, such as an auto accident, chemical release, or tunnel fire. The plant has invited a life-flight service to conduct a mock helicopter rescue, and the Red Cross has participated in victim response.

“The purpose of the exercises,” says Steve Manchook, risk management specialist, “is to keep our teams proficient, especially in interacting with the many agencies we would come in contact with, such as our city fire department, county hazard intervention team, and hospital.” The question during every drill is, “Is our training commensurate with the type of work we are expected to do?”


We have already written ready-to-use emergency policies to supplement your EAP, along with every other safety policy you’re likely to need, in BLR’s Essential Safety Policies. Examine it at no cost and with no obligation to purchase. Get details here.


Right People in Place

At Lubrizol, several groups of employees are critically important in emergency planning.

The first is a team of 55 highly trained emergency responders, including fire-fighter/hazmat technicians and 25 EMTs. The responders, all volunteers, comprise an internal fire brigade that has a very close working relationship with the county fire department.

Another group that plays an equally significant role in preparedness is Lubrizol’s emergency management team. This is a group of about 60 people—30 members and a backup for each—representing each of the facility’s departments. Distinct from the emergency responders who actually answer the calls when something goes wrong, this is a team made up primarily of managers who lead other aspects of the response.

A third important component in Lubrizol’s response capability is the partnership between the response team and the site’s security operation. “If we have to evacuate the building, we can count on security to be monitoring the cameras at their command center to verify, for example, if there is any smoke showing or if there’s anyone who needs rescuing at the top of a building,” says Bartel.


Get the safety policies you need without the work. They’re in BLR’s Essential Safety Policies program. Try it at no cost and no risk. Find out how.


We Have the Policies You Need

It is essential for every company to be prepared for workplace emergencies. Companies such as Lubrizol are leaders in the field of workplace emergency response. And their program is based on well-conceived emergency policies as well as a strong management and employee commitment.

You have to provide the commitment, but we can provide the policies. BLR’s Essential Safety Policies gives you numerous sample policies concerning a broad range of emergency topics from evacuations to fire drills to Unit Emergency Organizations.

You can use these policies “as is” or adapt them to your organization’s particular needs and style. The section on emergencies provides you with strict, standard, and progressive policy options as well as with comprehensive lists of points to cover if you want to adapt one of the policies or draft your own.

And Essential Safety Policies doesn’t stop there—it gives you a detailed list of other important things to consider when you implement these policies, such as interrelation with other policies, employee education, legal considerations, and more.

Take these kinds of materials and multiply them by more than two dozen key safety topics, and you’ll know why Essential Safety Policies is such a valuable tool for busy safety professionals. These policies provide a ready-to-modify or use-as-is safety handbook for all your workers, with minimal effort on your part.

The policies are backed by a tutorial on policy writing and essential materials such as handbook receipts. A CD version is also available.

If your organization could benefit from supplementing (or perhaps having for the first time) a complete set of ready-to-use safety policies, we highly recommend a 30-day, no-cost, no-obligation, look at this program. Go here and we’ll be pleased to send it to you.

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