Importance of an Emergency Response Plan: Know Your ERP

Brock CampbellOccupational Health and Safety Online0 Comments

Importance of an Emergency Response Plan

Are you down with ERP? If you want to work in health and safety, you had better be. Forgive us for the cheesy rhyme, but planning is everything especially when it comes to reducing health and safety risks, and an Emergency Response Plan (ERP) helps you achieve that.

As your organization’s safety officer, manager, or practitioner, your role will most certainly involve planning for emergency scenarios. Having the proper plan in place prioritizes your organization’s emergency response in order to prevent or mitigate injury or loss.

By law, employers must have a designated Emergency Response Plan. Therefore, ERPs are a mandatory topic of any OHS certificate program.

The objective of any ERP is to limit harmful outcomes of an emergency.

Moreover, the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) says the goal of an ERP is to:

  • Prevent fatalities and injuries
  • Reduce damage to buildings, stock, and equipment
  • Protect the environment and the community
  • Accelerate the resumption of normal operations

Emergency Response Plan Fundamentals

Like every good plan, you have to know what you need.

That is why OHS certificates, or specific ERP courses, examine the basic design elements of an Emergency Response Plan.

Implementing an ERP first requires knowing the basic elements of an emergency response plan, and secondly, knowing how to identify and prepare for potentially hazardous workplace scenarios before they happen. Lastly, you must also determine how your organization will respond in an emergency.

Know Your ERP

Before developing your organization’s emergency plan, you must know three elements.

  • How to identify emergency situations and the appropriate ERP to those situations
  • What and how to develop an emergency response team
  • The different types of emergencies

You should also conduct a Vulnerability Assessment, which should expose two things:

  • Issues that arise prior to, during, and immediately following an emergency
  • Long-range recovery challenges that follow an emergency

You will then be able to begin creating your own ERP and Action Plans that will focus on reducing the effects of disasters. A course in Emergency Preparedness and Response will help you establish the right tools, strategies, procedures, and training necessary to achieve these objectives.

With the online ERP course at UNBC Continuing Studies, you will also study examples of an ERP as it relates to spill response and the transportation of dangerous goods (TDG).

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