Emergency Preparedness and Response

Poll Shows Businesses Lacking in Preparedness

Is your workplace prepared for an emergency or disaster? A new poll shows that many employers may not be as well prepared as they should be.

More than a decade after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, only a third of surveyed organizations believe they are well prepared for threats and disasters, even though about three-quarters have preparedness plans.

A new poll from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) found that organizations with more than 2,500 employees were more likely to be prepared than smaller employers.

“The findings reveal an opportunity for organizations to take a closer look at their disaster preparedness plans to ensure these plans are living documents that translate into protecting the safety of their employees and the continuity of their business operations should disasters strike,” says Evren Esen, manager of SHRM’s Survey Research Center.


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When SHRM polled on this subject in 2001, about 54 percent of employers said they had a preparedness plan in place. More than 60 percent of members recently polled said they implemented or updated plans as a result of September 11.

Among the preparedness measures employers polled have taken are:

  • Training (48%)
  • Business continuity planning (47%)
  • Communication plans for emergency situations (42%)
  • Monitoring employee e-mail and Internet use (33%)
  • Developing backup data storage systems (30%)
  • Installing or upgrading video cameras or closed-circuit television surveillance equipment (37%)

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Ready-Made Checklists

If you’re not as well prepared for a workplace disaster as you’d like to be, we can help. BLR’s Safety Audit Checklists provides safety and health checklists on more than 50 essential workplace topics, including emergency preparedness.

Each Safety Audit Checklists section contains:

  • A review of applicable OSHA standards
  • Safety management tips
  • Training requirements
  • At least one comprehensive safety checklist

Many sections also contain a compliance checklist, which highlights key provisions of OSHA standard. All checklists can be copied and circulated to supervisors and posted for employees.

All told, this best-selling program provides you with more than 300 separate safety checklists keyed to three main criteria:

  • OSHA compliance checklists, built right from the government standards in such key areas as HazCom, lockout/tagout, electrical safety, and many more.
  • “Plaintiff attorney” checklists, built around those non-OSHA issues that often attract lawsuits.
  • Safety management checklists that monitor the administrative procedures you need to have for topics such as OSHA 300 Log maintenance, training program scheduling and recording, and OSHA-required employee notifications. 

Make as many copies as you need for all your supervisors and managers, and distribute. What’s more, the entire program is updated annually. And the cost averages only about $1 per checklist.

If this method of ensuring a safer, more OSHA-compliant workplace interests you, we’ll be happy to make Safety Audit Checklists available for a no-cost, no-obligation, 30-day evaluation in your office. Just let us know, and we’ll be pleased to arrange it.

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