The Covid 19 pandemic served as another reminder that emergency planning is imperative to a dealership’s business continuity. Ongoing preparation is one way to lessen the impact of a simple fact:
Emergencies can happen without any warning!
Emergency Action Plans (EAP) are an essential part of an organization’s safety policy. The element of surprise in an emergency significantly increases the chances of severe illness or fatal injury. Emergency Action Plans help to preserve and protect the lives of employees and customers during emergencies. The starting components of an EAP include:
- Written Emergency Action Plan that outlines the policies and procedures for the different types of emergencies that can occur and that complies with Occupational Safety and Health Administration Subpart E, Emergency Action Plans: 29 CFR 1910.38
- Communication and Training which includes providing employees with a copy of the written plan and conducting training that covers what employees should do during an infectious disease outbreak, fire, hazardous chemical release, state of emergency, or when faced with violent or armed individuals.
- Emergency Contact Numbers which include, not only 911, but also a Local Emergency Information Line, Local Police Department, Local Fire Department, Local Hospital, Local FBI Field Office, Emergency Safety Personnel, Poison/Pest Control contact, Remediation contacts-chemical, and industrial hazardous waste removal.
- Evacuation Maps and Routes that show employees the exits identified for evacuation in the facility. As a rule, emergency exits must always remain permanent, accessible, and passable.
A good EAP assigns management responsibilities and evolves to meet the emergency response needs of the business. Be sure to periodically review your EAP and update, as needed, paying particular attention to emergency contact numbers and a current employee roster, so you can obtain an accurate headcount of employees after an emergency evacuation.