Workplace Emergency Preparedness and Education Program Project Plan

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Charter

Our project is designed to work up and implement a workplace emergency preparedness plan and educational program. By creating a plan for emergency situations, we will reduce both employee injury and damage to company property caused by panic, provide a framework within which the company can continue to function in the aftermath of an emergency situation and provide the backbone of an educational program to go with it, which could perhaps be integrated into any training materials that we as a company feel are pertinent. As well as fully training our new and incoming staff in all aspects of our company, the training program focusing on behavior-based-safety would help to ensure the safety of everyone in the workplace, as well as protect the company from excess property damage, and, in the long run, provide people with the security of knowing that the company is doing the best to preserve their livelihood, even in the adverse conditions of a disaster situation.

Our project would ideally produce a plan which provided for as many of the disasters that are most likely to befall our company, and also include provision for the continuance of business in the event that a disaster has made the premises unusable. Since, however, it would be impossible to plan for every single emergency situation, it would perhaps be best to focus on the emergency situations that research would tell us are best to prepare for (Henshaw, 2001). For an example, in the case of fire breaking out on a company’s premises, evacuations procedures, assembly points, procedures to ensure that all employees are accounted for could be included in the plan, and the educational training program could include basic fire prevention, just for a start. By forming a program and plan to deal with these techniques and others, our organization faces could find the risks decreasing swiftly.

Devising and implementing these plans in their entirety will cost the business money and time in the immediate future, but for the long run, the preparations should help us improve both our company’s chance of survival in the event of a disaster, and also our relationship with the surrounding community. Designing and implementing the proposed plan now will ultimately save the company both time and money in the future.

This plan will cover all areas to do with the preparedness plan and educational program, including the budget requirements, time constraints, possible equipment needs and staff involvement. Please see the WBS for a full breakdown of the processes this plan has accounted for.

WBS

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Statement of Work

There would need to be a variety of employees from across the company involved in this process for it to be as successful as possible, since employees from different levels of the company will necessarily see and experience their surroundings in a different way. As a start, however, this project would advise the inclusion on an emergency preparedness plan committee of the following staff members:

A manager, to give an idea of budgets, time constraints, and so on,

A member of HR, since they are the ones who deal with training, and also have access to pertinent employee information (for example, the percentage of employees with disabilities in the building)

A member of the Sales and Marketing team, as they would perhaps be in the best situation to deal with the question of off-site data storage and secondary premises for the company to use if their primary building is inaccessible.

At least four employees from varying levels of the company, from new entrants to people who are in the upper levels, to give their own unique viewpoints on what the company needs to include in an emergency preparedness plan.

Creating a workplace emergency preparedness plan is, as noted above, a way of creating a safer environment for the employees and the community surrounding the company premises by putting into place rules and regulations for dealing with various situations, thus hopefully alleviating confusion and panic in such events.

To create an emergency plan from the very start, employees from every level of the company would be called together to form a committee which would then discuss (with due reference to OSHA regulations) (Henshaw, 2001) what would be included in the plan, with reference both to immediate responses to an emergency situation such as evacuation plans for the buildings; the needs of people in the workplace such as employees with disabilities; how to account for all employees in the event that such an evacuation took place and other points in that vein, and also to future responses to an emergency situation such as provisions for a building in which business can be continued in the event of the main building becoming inaccessible, and also a separate storage area for the data used in the running of the business, so that no data is lost from an emergency situation.

Once this was approved, budget constraints (such as the budget for any new equipment required, for any renovations needed (for a full list see the WBS above), and time constraints (constraints on how long it would take to fully implement the plan and train all current employees in both it and the use of any new equipment (once again see the WBS), could be worked out, as well as a plan for completing any renovations and\or additions to company property (by additions we here mean evacuation notices\fire extinguishers\fire blankets and so forth)

The education plan will be formulated by committee after the emergency preparedness plan, since it works directly from it, and will include the basics of the emergency preparedness plan including the evacuation plan and training as well as other elements (such as basic fire prevention).

As above, the time and budget constraints would have to calculated, which would include a budget for training of new employees, and specialised training for any and all evacuation equipment used.

For a more detailed breakdown of the project and deliverables schedule, please see the Gantt chart, but, in short, we would want to complete the plan within four months, if at all possible, with the education program integrated into our main training program within the next two months at the most.

Network Diagram

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Gantt Chart and Schedule

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Risk Assessment

To show why we as the project planners believe that an emergency preparedness program would be a valuable addition to the company process, we have collected below ten of the highest priority risks we can see being a danger to employees and the company as a whole.

Poorly marked evacuation routes to fire escapes.

No policy in place to ensure that employees with disabilities (such as wheelchair users) have either access to a safe assembly point within the building or an accessible fire escape.

No equipment (such as fire extinguishers or blankets) present for putting out fires.

Loose carpeting that represents a tripping hazard.

The stairs can become slippery from wet feet, since there are no non-slip strips on the stairs.

In the event of a power outage, there is no secondary source of power for lights, which represents a serious hazard when someone is in the stairwell or walking next to a door.

The cupboards where we keep cleaning supplies are cramped and dark, representing a serious hazard to cleaners attempting to manoeuvre in them.

In the kitchens, knifes are left in a drawer without anything keeping their blades covered and away from hands, which could mean a very serious injury

Food is allowed to sit in the fridges in the kitchens for weeks on end before being thrown away, which puts people at a definite risk of food poisoning.

There is no established rota for cleaning out the microwave, which could put people at risk of food poisoning as well.

If we accept the given timeline of four months for the implementation of the workplace emergency preparedness plan, then we should accept that it will take at least one year for the expected financial benefits to become visible. This mocked up qualitative analysis shows the expected financial benefits:

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If we take the horizontal axis as financial growth and the vertical axis as accidents in the workplace, then in this instance we can clearly see that as one decreases, the other will increase.

Assuming that employee intake would increase steadily from the time that the company started until the present day, we should assume that the number of people in the building would increase relative to the finite amount of space in said building.

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Therefore, it seems safe to assume that the more people there are in the building, the greater the risk of fire, until the risk simply becomes too great – and reaches one hundred percent. This is why a good emergency preparedness plan is needed.

Configuration Change Control Process/Method

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During this project, we do accept that there is some risk involved at each stage of the process. The most obvious risk, of course, is that one or each stage of the project may take longer than original predictions have shown, thus throwing the rest of the project into confusion. To combat this, in planning the schedule for the project (see the Gantt chart above) I believe that we have planned out sufficient time for each task to be completed with a large enough margin of error that we can allow for unforeseen delays. Also, if a task does run into some unforeseen delays, then as a result of this planning time can be shaved off some other task and used to clear up the delay.

Project Control

This first phase begins with a deliverable, the workplace emergency preparedness and education program project plan (this document), and ends with the first project milestone, which is the formation of a committee to work on the preparedness plan. This milestone is designed to provide an initial preparedness plan which will then guide the rest of the changes. The second phase of the project contains various overlapping branches: among other things the building will be mapped to provide safe and adequate evacuation routes for all employees, and equipment will be bought while renovations on the building start on the building in the middle of the third month from the start of the project, and continue on for a month afterwards.

This second phase of the project is where the budget will come into play, since we will be buying equipment such as fire extinguishers, fire blankets and evacuation chairs as movable equipment, and emergency lighting and evacuation route boards for the walls of the building as immovable objects. It will also involve money being paid out to building inspectors for the mapping of the building, and builders for the renovations being done to the building. It is perhaps the most important phase of the project, since if at any point issues crop up, said issue could derail the entire project.

The third phase of the project will deliver the final project’s end – the integration of the emergency plan and education program into the initial training phase that the company extends to all new employees.

Status Report for Phase One of the Workplace Emergency Preparedness Project.

Phase one of our project, as stated above, will begin with this document – the project plan for the creation and implementation of a workplace emergency preparedness plan. By the end of phase one, the intention will be to have formed a committee for the initial write-up of the preparedness plan.

We have allotted one month for the formation of this committee (see Gantt chart). As mentioned above, the committee this project had planned to involve seven people from all levels of the company; one Managing Director, one person from HR, one person from Sales and Marketing, and four employees taken from varying levels of the company. Bearing the above in mind, the chart below should give an accurate idea of how we expect the allotted month to be divided up, with the end result of a committee that will represent all areas and interests of the company:

The reporting schedule for our project will be as follows: reporting at all levels will be very important during all phases of this project – for the schedule to be kept moving at the pace indicated during this plan, there will need to be clear lines of communication, with everyone involved knowing exactly who to inform of what, and when to do it. To that end, the list below should cover every communication need of this project:

During the first phase, everyone on the committee should pool their responses in the meetings of that committee.

After the committee has planned out and written the emergency plan and their procedures for making the company premises adhere to it, the plan should be given to the Managing Director, who will have to okay the time constraints and budget.

After each phase of the project, reports should be made to the Managing Director and also the committee, so that they can make updates and changes as they see fit.

Reference

Henshaw, J. L. (2001). How to Plan for Workplace Emergencies and Evacuations (OSHA, 3088). Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Retrieved from https://www.osha.gov/Publications/osha3088.html