Category: Emergency Preparedness and Response

No one wants it to happen, but an emergency, natural or manmade, can strike at anytime, 24/7. What’s more, it need not be a major, nationally-televised incident, such as a hurricane, earthquake, or act of political terror. An event as common as a local building fire can present just as large a challenge to you. These resources will help you create a plan for handling such crises, whatever their scope, and to carry it out in a way that best protects your employees and your company.

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Lessons Learned from a Chemical Release

In yesterday’s Advisor, we discussed a recent Chemical Safety Board (CSB) report concerning a chemical release involving a delivery and inadvertent mixture of incompatible chemicals. Today we will review CSB recommendations for the facility, the delivery company, and the local emergency responders. These recommendations are widely applicable to all chemical facilities, delivery companies, and local […]

Chemical Delivery Truck

Would You Have Avoided This Chemical Release?

A chemical delivery truck drives up to your facility. The driver gets out and inadvertently connects to a tank containing incompatible material. The chemical reaction leads to a shelter-in-place order for thousands of nearby residents in your community. And at least 140 employees and members of the public need medical attention. Does this make you […]

unprepared, prepared

Survey Shows Employees Don’t Feel Prepared for Emergencies in the Workplace

Rave Mobile Safety (Rave) recently released findings from a new survey of 530 respondents that examined employee perceptions of workplace safety. The survey revealed that “workplaces miss the mark in critical communication and planning, and could be unprepared to meet the future needs of employees,” according to a Rave press release.


All the Pieces of the Elephant: The Importance of Speaking Up to Prevent Mass Shooters

Remember the parable of the blind men and the elephant? Each man forms an incorrect conclusion about what the elephant is like, based on limited information. The man touching the elephant’s tail concludes that an elephant is like a rope. The man touching its tusk believed that the elephant was more like a spear. The […]


Listening for Leaks: Tools for Predicting and Preventing Active Shooters

One of the most important tools for preventing workplace injuries, illnesses, and fatalities is a hazard assessment. Situations are analyzed to determine the risks they pose, and then employers decide how best to control those risks. Unfortunately, one increasingly common hazard has thus far defied our ability to predict and prevent it—mass shootings.


When Domestic Violence Enters the Workplace: A Clear and Present Danger

While coworkers can often be the perpetrators of workplace violence, employers also must be aware of external threats from domestic abusers. If an employee reports that he or she is experiencing abuse at home, awareness and sensitivity on the part of the employer goes a long way. It’s a situation all too familiar to Lynn […]


Planning Ahead: The EPA Has a Plan for Disaster Debris—But Is Your State on Board?

Floods get lots of splashy news coverage—but flood cleanup, which can drag on for months, is less immediately dramatic. Many regions have faced the issue of removing millions of cubic yards of debris—much of it demolition debris, with contaminated or potentially hazardous wastes mixed in—in a way that protects public health.


Dealing with Debris: Do You Want It Done Quickly, Cheaply, or Cleanly?

After Hurricane Katrina devastated the Louisiana Gulf coast, the state had to figure out what to do with more than 38 million cubic yards of debris—including a quarter of a million trashed refrigerators full of rotting food and environmentally toxic refrigerant. And that was just refrigerators; debris that must be disposed of in the wake […]


Testing the Waters: Evaluating the Environmental Impact of Disaster

Following the disastrous flooding in Texas that resulted from Hurricane Harvey, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sent 192 people to the state to assist 500 employees of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) in assessing environmental impacts. Quips about “I’m from the government, I’m here to help” aside, what are the roles of […]