Health and safety in emergency management
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Health and Safety in Emergency Management. Why prepare for emergencies. Power blackout of 2003 Peterborough flood of 2004 SARS 2003 Pending pandemic Some health care and community care organizations are more ready than others to respond to emergencies. Emergency Management.

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Health and Safety in Emergency Management

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Health and safety in emergency management

Health and Safety in Emergency Management

Why prepare for emergencies

Why prepare for emergencies

  • Power blackout of 2003

  • Peterborough flood of 2004

  • SARS 2003

  • Pending pandemic

  • Some health care and community care organizations are more ready than others to respond to emergencies.

Emergency management

Emergency Management

  • Emergency Management is a cyclic approach

  • Plan should be dynamic to adapt to change

  • Faster recovery and fewer losses with a plan in place

Natural hazards


Forest fire

Winter/ice storm


Natural hazards

Emergencies caused by Natural hazards

  • Windstorm

  • Flood

  • Tornado

  • Landslide

Man made hazards

Man-made hazards

Emergencies caused by man-made hazards (human acts or omissions)

  • Building fire

  • Explosions

  • Bomb threats

  • Major transportation accident

  • Power failure (black out or other system failure)

  • CBRN disasters (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear)

Injuries to people

Injuries to People

  • Burns, bleeding

  • Injuries to muscles, joints, bones

  • Concussion

  • Emotional trauma

  • Infection

  • Poisoning

  • Death

Property damage

Property Damage

  • Compromised building structure

  • Building collapse

  • Inoperable equipment or loss of equipment

Impact on the environment

Impact on the Environment

  • Air contaminants

  • Soil contamination

  • Water contamination

  • Destruction of wildlife and vegetation

Business interruption

Business Interruption

  • Service disruption

  • Loss of business

  • Loss of customers/patrons

  • Poor public image

  • Financial loss

Health and safety in emergency management

Emergency Management Plan






Health and safety in emergency management

  • Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act, RSO 1990

  • Health Care and Residential Facilities Regulations

  • Ontario Fire Code

  • CSA Z731-03 Emergency Preparedness and Response



  • MoHLTC Emergency Management Unit

  • Health Canada

  • Other (as applicable to the workplace)

Hazard identification risk assessment hira

Hazard Identification Risk Assessment (HIRA)

  • Initial and ongoing risk assessment to refine safe work practices

  • After each drill or incident, review the HIRA for accuracy and continuous quality improvement.

Identify threats to staff health and safety

Identify Threats to Staff Health and Safety

  • Complete a hazard identification and risk assessment. Use it to formulate the emergency management plan.

  • Include:

    • Likelihood and consequence of harm to staff health and safety

    • Threats of both internal and external emergencies

    • A risk rating to prioritize action plans and allocate resources

  • Share the outcome with the JHSC/H&S representative.

Risk management steps

Risk Management Steps


Risk Inventories

Tasks Analysis

Inspections etc.

Identify all loss exposures




Evaluate the risk in each exposure




Train etc.


Develop a Plan






Implement the Plan




Monitor the System


Source: Frank Bird

Practical Loss Control Leadership

Revised Edition.

Identify internal threats

Identify internal threats

  • Floor plans

  • Material Safety Data Sheets

  • Job Safety Analysis

  • Workplace inspection reports

  • Accident investigation reports

  • First Aid incident tracking

  • Unusual occurrence reports

  • Surveillance reports

Identify external hazards

Identify external hazards

  • Aerial view

  • Location of railways, airports/flight paths, water ways, industrial plants, etc

  • Potential risks from local business operations

Risk assessment

Risk Assessment

  • What is the likelihood of an emergency if the hazard is not controlled?

  • What is the severity of the outcome if the emergency occurs?

  • Estimate the number of people or physical assets that are likely to be threatened, as well as probable consequences of the emergency.

Assess resources and capabilities

Assess Resources and Capabilities

  • facilities

  • equipment and supplies

  • capabilities of the workforce (expertise, experience)

  • training

Emergency response equipment and personnel

Emergency response equipment and personnel

  • Appropriate and on-site emergency response equipment

  • Current inventory of emergency equipment and supplies

  • Maintenance and inspection program for equipment including personal protective equipment (PPE)

  • Trained personnel available to provide on-site emergency response

  • Contracted specialists available where required

Medical or first aid

Medical or first aid

  • Medical or first-aid capabilities

  • Agreements with neighboring facilities (mutual aid support)

  • Capabilities of mutual aid partners to provide service



  • Emergency evacuation of staff, clients/residents, family members, and the public, including casualties

  • Staff are trained in evacuation procedures

  • A procedure is in place to account for all personnel and clients/individuals supported



  • Clearly defined internal and external lines of communication

  • Strategies for communicating critical information to employees and their families, the joint health and safety committee, etc.

  • Communication and back-up systems available

  • Staff are educated in communication strategies and trained to use the equipment

  • Fan out system established and tested



  • Community partners(healthcare and other service providers) have been identified and included in developing and testing emergency plans

  • Mutual aid agreements identify available resources

  • Established procedures for site representatives to co-ordinate activities with local government officials

Review plans

Review Plans

  • Review existing policies and procedures

  • Use older plans only as a foundation

  • Liaise with community partners in the development, implementation, review and revision of your emergency management plan

  • After each drill or emergency, review the hazard identification and risk assessment for accuracy

  • Identify any gaps and revise the assessment for continuous improvement

  • Share the outcome of any H&S assessment with the JHSC/H&S representative(s).

Impact of the emergency

Impact of the Emergency

  • Human resources

  • Food and water provisions

  • Shelter provisions

  • Health care/support services

  • Transportation services

  • Psychosocial support (elder care, child care, pet care etc.)



Consider the impact on:

  • People

  • Equipment

  • Materials

  • Environment

  • Process

Hazard control

Hazard Control

  • The development, documentation and implementation of the emergency management plan are critical in controlling risks to staff, clients/individuals supported, other occupants/visitors and the workplace.

  • With a common language and approach to emergency management a more cohesive and efficient response can occur particularly in a community wide or multi-organization response.

Incident management system framework

Incident Management System Framework

  • Occupational Health and Safety

  • All hazards approach

  • IMS assumption

Hazard control1

Hazard Control

  • At the source

  • Along the path

  • At the worker

  • Identify and implement these control strategies for specific hazards identified in the HIRA on which the plan is based.

Emergency management policy

Emergency Management Policy

  • indicates a commitment to establishing an emergency management plan to eliminate or minimize risks

  • includes the responsibilities and accountabilities of all workplace parties

  • is signed by the most senior management level

  • is communicated to all staff on an ongoing basis at orientation, during training, at staff meetings etc.

  • is evaluated for operational expectations

  • is reviewed and revised at least once a year in consultation with the JHSC/H&S representative(s)



  • Each organization should develop procedures for the types of emergencies identified in the hazard identification/risk assessment.

  • Procedures provide details on the application of the policy.

  • General procedures may be applicable to all hazards (“all hazards approach” to emergency management) (i.e. communications)

  • Specific procedures for the type of hazard and resulting emergency (i.e. decontamination)

  • Emergency codes should be supported by specific written procedures

Health and safety in emergency management

Occupational Health and Safety in the Emergency Management Plan

Emergency management plan

Emergency Management Plan

  • Identify threats to staff health and safety based on the hazard identification and risk assessment (HIRA)

  • Use the HIRA in the writing of the plan

  • In the plan, outline safe work practices

  • Communicate your written policy on emergency management to all staff

Emergency management plan1

Emergency Management Plan

  • Determine the roles, responsibilities and accountabilities of all workplace parties in the Incident Management System (IMS)

  • Communicate a written process for your Incident Manager to receive recommendations or directions from an external body

  • Include in the plan a process for evacuating all or part to the workplace

  • Evaluate all occupational health and safety aspects of the emergency management plan at least once per year

Safety function

Safety Function

  • Designate a Safety Officer in the IMS

  • Involve the Safety Officer in an ongoing process of HIRA for occupational health and safety

  • Have a written policy and procedure for workplace accident or incident investigation

  • Have a written policy and procedure to deal with work refusal and work stop orders



  • Clearly define internal and external lines of communication

  • Establish strategies for communicating critical information to staff and their families

  • Make sure that communication equipment is available for use

  • Train staff in communication strategies and the operation of equipment

  • Establish and test a written emergency fan-out system



  • Designate a Liaison Officer in the IMS

  • Identify community partners and include them in the development and testing of the plan

  • Develop written mutual aid agreements with community partners

Administration human resources

Administration-Human Resources

  • Designate a Human Resources Unit Leader to coordinate human resources

  • Determine staffing levels needed to respond safely in an emergency

  • Develop a contingency plan for increasing and relieving your workforce

  • Maintain a data bank of information on available and reserve employees and volunteers

Administration psychosocial support services

Administration- Psychosocial Support Services

  • Set up psychosocial support services for staff or communicate availability of resources in the community

  • Educate staff to recognize psychosocial stress in themselves and others

  • Establish a critical incident stress management program to assist staff or source community service providers for this function

Planning function drills exercises training

Planning Function- Drills, Exercises, Training

  • Designate someone to coordinate training, education and mock drills

  • Assess training needs for staff based on the HIRA and learning needs assessment

  • Develop or access curriculum to meet identified needs

  • Provide different modes of training, education and mock drills

  • Provide general and specific training

  • Clearly define the frequency of drills

  • Conduct drills and training on all shifts

  • Evaluate training needs annually and maintain all records

Logistics security

Logistics- Security

  • Identify and assess all security threats to staff and the workplace

  • Develop written policies and procedures for security measures; test the procedures

  • Write procedures for the proper use, maintenance and operation of security systems

Logistics ppe

Logistics- PPE

  • Assign someone to procure PPE for staff

  • Use the HIRA to aid in the selection of type and quantity of PPE

  • Train staff in the use, care and maintenance of PPE

  • Write policies and procedures for the use of respirators (if required in an emergency)

Continuous quality improvement

Continuous Quality Improvement

The annual evaluation reviews:

  • The scope, functionality, execution and effectiveness of the plan as it affects staff health and safety

  • The responsibilities of the workplace parties (employers, managers, charge person(s), and staff), volunteers and students, etc. In the IMS, and to whom they are accountable

  • The hazard identification and risk assessment upon which the plan was originally developed

    An emergency management plan must be a dynamic tool.

Action plan

Action Plan

  • Review and revise existing emergency management policies and procedures for OHS

  • Identify requirements for training and education to protect staff during an emergency

  • Identify resources and support that staff will need before, during, and after an emergency

  • Develop the plan in consultation with the JHSC

Health and safety in emergency management

  • When the next emergency hits will you be ready?

  • Group exercise: Identifying our strengths and opportunities for improvement.

Health and safety in emergency management



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