Safetip #29: Integrate Technology in an Emergency Response Plan

May 18, 2016
By Jean-Grégoire Manoukian

This week’s Safetip is about the use of technology to make an emergency response plan more effective.

There Are Many Types of Emergency Communications

An OH&S article “Is Your Emergency Response Plan a Living System or Just Gathering Dust?” was recently published, and provides practical tips and best practices to create and maintain an effective emergency response plan. The article stresses that technology plays a critical role in emergency response plans today. Mobile devices should be integrated into a company’s emergency response plan because they can be used to help keep track of personnel, communicate areas of danger, and identify where additional help is needed, the OH&S article says. An emergency communication can take many forms, including:

  • Instant messages
  • Email blasts
  • Text message alerts
  • Social Media
  • Website alerts
  • Phone call alerts
  • Automated phone messages

Enterprise Software and Mobile Apps Improve an Emergency Response Plan

Enterprise software and mobile apps can form the pillars of a technology infrastructure that makes an emergency response plan more effective, especially if multiple technologies are incorporated. They can enable a number of applications, such as:

  • Using software to create mass text message lists for emergency response staff, general workforce, and other critical employees.
  • Using a to facilitate real-time communication between emergency response staff and EMT personnel, and provide step-by-step emergency instructions for employees.

In conclusion, remember that technology is only one part of an emergency response plan. People and processes are also part of the plan. As the OH&S article states, an emergency response plan is a living document that should be adapted to the needs of the organization. In addition, regular staff training and drills contribute to protect workers by preparing them for emergencies.