Industrial plants are as vulnerable (if not more) as other places to the damaging effects of a major disaster. An event like a hurricane, tornado or wildfire can pose a significant danger to employee health, community health, and major business assets.
Industrial Emergency Preparedness Tips
When an event impacts your operation, keeping employees safe while also keeping machines running requires special protocols that businesses should adopt well in advance.
Assess Geographical Risks
Emergency preparedness in the workplace begins by examining the types of risk that a location may face during its anticipated operating life. A facility in California’s earthquake zones likely will need a different plan from the one adopted by an operation located along the Gulf Coast.
Assessing risk requires making some educated guesses about the likelihood and potential severity of an event in the future. Historical data may offer some insights, but predictions also need to build in a conservative allowance for greater extremes than we have seen before, especially in places that are subject to major weather disasters.
Create an Emergency Preparedness Plan for the Workplace
In any disaster, workplace disaster preparedness should prioritize safety. Employees and managers need to have a clear set of guidelines for how to stay safe both during the event itself and afterward.
Clearly defined escape routes, protocols for shutting down vulnerable and dangerous equipment, injury response protocols, and a system for verifying the safety of all employees should be part of every disaster plan. Employees should also have easy access to appropriate safety equipment and supplies, especially if they will be asked to stay at work during the disaster’s period of peak danger.
Preserve Industrial Assets
Once the danger to human health is addressed, a business will also want to take into consideration the preservation of its industrial assets. If a business plans to stay in operation during a natural disaster, it will need to have already examined its systems to verify that they can continue to operate safely despite unusual conditions.
Planners need to examine an operations’ vulnerability to issues like the sudden loss of power or power surges, changes to pressure in water supply lines, and contamination of water supplies and facilities from flooding.
An operation also needs to have a plan for examining its equipment for damage following the disaster event. A hurricane can cause significant damage to heavy equipment. An earthquake may create cracks or loosen bolts. Especially when an operation relies on rotating equipment or fluid processing systems, planning for a thorough post-disaster inspection process is essential for ensuring that machinery is operating as expected and identifying early signs of problems that should be addressed immediately.
Leverage DXP for Improved Industrial Emergency Preparedness
At DXP Enterprises we provide customers with a comprehensive suite of industrial services. During any major disaster, our emergency response team stands by to assist customers with their recovery efforts. Our industrial safety services can help your business get ready for the next big disaster.