Importance of emergency planning and drill for OHSAS 18001 standard implementation

Importance of emergency planning and drill for OHSAS 18001 standard implementation
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Emergency Planning to deal with situations is an important element of OHS Management System.

Emergencies can occur at any time which gives rise to the need of rapid decisions, resources and trained personnel. If there is a lapse in any of these, including time, it can lead to chaos and stress which leads to poor judgment resulting in severe losses.

Preplanning prevents possibility of disaster. It provides the major benefit of providing guidance during an emergency.
By developing an Emergency Response plan, one indentifies the unrecognized hazardous conditions that would aggravate an emergency situation and indentifies and implements ways and means to eliminate them.

The planning process brings to light deficiencies, such as the lack of resources (equipment, trained personnel, supplies), or items that can be rectified before an emergency occurs. It specifies procedures for handling sudden unexpected situations.

Completing a comprehensive plan for handling emergencies is a major step toward preventing disasters. However, it is difficult to predict all of the problems that may happen unless the plan is tested.
Drills have be conducted to practice all or critical portions (such as evacuation, caring of the injured.) of the plan. A review after will point out areas that require improvement.

The Drills may throw light on the shortcomings of the entire response process, which can be reviewed and changes could be made to the existing plan. Need for training to properly respond to emergency situations may also be identified.

In conclusion an emergency plan promotes safety awareness and shows the organization’s commitment to the safety of workers and a properly conducted drill helps maintain a high level of proficiency.

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