Emergency Response / Preparedness

Emergency ResponseWhat is emergency response or preparedness?

Emergency response / preparedness is the act of being prepared for an unexpected disaster. This can be a natural disaster or a man-made one. Whether it is an earthquake or hurricane, a deadly influenza outbreak, or an employee's estranged spouse entering your workplace with a weapon you must plan for all eventualities.

Having a plan in place to deal with emergency situations can help stabilize your company's operations during a turbulent period. It will also ensure that your workers, premises, equipment and stock are kept safe and the disruption to your business minimized.

What the law says

The Occupational Health and Safety Act gives the Government of Ontario broad powers to make regulations and sets out general principles and duties for the workplace parties. The regulations set out in detail how these duties are to be carried out. Many regulations have been made under the Act. For example, there are four separate safety regulations that apply to industrial establishments, construction sites, mines and health care facilities.

Employers, supervisors, owners and constructors, among others, have an obligation to know and comply with the regulations that apply to their workplaces. For the specifics on the regulations that cover your workplace, contact your health and safety provider.

How having an emergency response / preparedness program can help your business

Injuries to your workers, damage to your premises or stock and business disruptions can all have a devastating impact on your bottom line. Emergencies and disasters can occur any time and without warning. The more you are prepared for them, the better your response will be, ultimately minimizing panic, confusion and damage to your business when an emergency occurs.

What you can do

Start by asking some basic questions, like how well prepared is your business now, what procedures do you already have in place for an emergency situation, and what potential emergency situations could occur?

Once you have answered those questions, start to prepare a plan that will include:

  • An evaluation of the security of your premises; review how much access visitors have to your site
  • Records and data - in the event of damage to your premises would you have access to your data and records
  • Supply chain - evaluate alternate supply sources in the event that your supplier is unable to provide material to you
  • An outline of procedures to keep staff safe in the event of an emergency situation, including:
    • the conditions under which an evacuation would be necessary
    • designating primary and secondary evacuation routes and emergency exits that are clearly marked and well lit
    • posting signs
    • installing emergency lighting in case a power outage occurs during the evacuation
    • ensuring that evacuation routes and emergency exits are wide enough to accommodate the number of evacuating people, clear and unobstructed at all times and unlikely to expose evacuating people to additional hazards
    • designating "evacuation wardens" who will help others during an evacuation and to account for employees

Downloads

Business Pandemic Preparedness Checklist

Business Pandemic Preparedness Checklist

Is your business prepared for a pandemic?  Use this sample checklist to assess your readiness.
335 KB pdf
Ergonomic Handbook for the Clothing Industry

Ergonomic Handbook for the Clothing Industry

Published by the Union of Needletrades, Industrial Textile Employees, the Institute for Work & Health, and the Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers, Inc.

This book looks at conditions in the clothing industry to find out how wrist, shoulder, neck and back injuries can be prevented.
1497 KB pdf
Fire Extinguishers

Fire Extinguishers

This guideline sets out conditions for effective fire extinguisher use, fire extinguishing methods and types.
334 KB pdf
Fire Protection

Fire Protection

This guideline is designed to help you develop a fire protection program, or to identify areas in your existing program that may need improvement.
377 KB pdf
Influenzas and the Pandemic Threat

Influenzas and the Pandemic Threat

FAQ questions-human influenza, predictions, precautions, planning, travel issue.
339 KB pdf

Consulting Services

General Consulting Services

General Consulting Services

Integrating health and safety into your workplace is good business.  WSPS’ consultants employ a results-based approach to health, safety and environment, focused on building self-reliance,  and enabling your organization to implement, manage and continually improve your health and safety programs.

WSPS Safety Group

WSPS Safety Group

WSPS is the largest Safety Group provider and one of the longest running sponsors in the province. With our extensive experience and proven track record, by working with us and other member firms participating firms can achieve better results, and qualify for WSIB rebates.

E-Courses

Dealing with a Hostage Situation (English) (1 hour)

Dealing with a Hostage Situation (English) (1 hour)

Provides management with the knowledge and skills to deal with a short-term hostage event.
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$64.00

Dealing with a Hostage Situation (French) (1 hour)

Dealing with a Hostage Situation (French) (1 hour)

Provides management with the knowledge and skills to deal with a short-term hostage event.
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$64.00

Dealing with Difficult or Hostile Customers (English) (1 hour)

Dealing with Difficult or Hostile Customers (English) (1 hour)

Provides overview of stresses and pressures when dealing with customers who are volatile or hostile.
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$49.00

Dealing with Robbery (English) (1 hour)

Dealing with Robbery (English) (1 hour)

Provides CORE mental and practical skills to deal with a robbery incident.
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$49.00

Dealing with Robbery (French) (1 hour)

Dealing with Robbery (French) (1 hour)

Provides CORE mental and practical skills to deal with a robbery incident.
View Details 
$49.00

Emergency Preparedness for Workers (English) (1 hour)

Emergency Preparedness for Workers (English) (1 hour)

Provides basic understanding of workplace emergencies and what to know about emergency response.
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$49.00

Emergency Preparedness for Workers (French) (1 hour)

Emergency Preparedness for Workers (French) (1 hour)

Provides basic understanding of workplace emergencies and what to know about emergency response.
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$49.00

Emergency Response Planning (English) (1.5 hours)

Emergency Response Planning (English) (1.5 hours)

Develop and implement a response plan for emergencies at--or affecting--your workplace.
View Details 
$64.00

Emergency Response Planning (French) (1.5 hours)

Emergency Response Planning (French) (1.5 hours)

Develop and implement a response plan for emergencies at--or affecting--your workplace.
View Details 
$64.00

Travel Safety for Canadian Business (English) (1 hour)

Travel Safety for Canadian Business (English) (1 hour)

This course is designed to highlight issues people may face while travelling, including situations that may involve violence and other criminal activity, while providing a number of practical solutions for increasing the safety of travellers.
View Details 
$49.00

Travel Safety for Canadian Business (French) (1 hour)

Travel Safety for Canadian Business (French) (1 hour)

This course is designed to highlight issues people may face while travelling, including situations that may involve violence and other criminal activity, while providing a number of practical solutions for increasing the safety of travellers.
View Details 
$49.00

Reference Products

First Aid Report Form

First Aid Report Form

Keep a written record of the first aid treatment given to an employee.
View Details 
$19.80

Articles

Incident investigation: the ultimate due diligence

Incident investigation: the ultimate due diligence

"A robust incident reporting and investigation process supported by a culture committed to continual improvement is the ultimate due diligence," says WSPS' Andrew Harkness. It's a cornerstone of injury and loss prevention.
Oct 12, 2017

"The Effective Investigator" - Hands-on accident training to help keep your company safe

"Many workplace accident investigations miss critical information, says Alain Langlais, WSPS Director, Eastern Region. Even experienced investigators can be fazed by the chaos and pressure of an accident scene. "It's easy to flounder and lose track of priorities. But if you don't get it right, you lose evidence and you may never find out what happened."

Jan 17, 2017
Mental health first aid: how to respond to a mental health emergency

Mental health first aid: how to respond to a mental health emergency

In the first few minutes after an injury, providing first aid can help save limbs and lives. It's an essential act we can all perform with a little training. Now imagine providing mental health first aid. The goal is the same - offering initial support until appropriate professional help is available - and it's just as essential.

Mar 03, 2016
Sunrise Propane: hard lessons for everyone

Sunrise Propane: hard lessons for everyone

The infamous 2008 Sunrise Propane explosions in Toronto's Downsview neighbourhood continue to reverberate as explosions occurred on May 7 at a propane facility in nearby Brampton. Earlier that same day, an Ontario judge began hearing sentencing submissions involving Sunrise Propane directors who had been found guilty of nine offences, including three under the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Sentencing submissions will continue in October.

May 08, 2014