Is your store prepared for an emergency? “It feels like an intimidating, and not immediately gratifying topic,” admits Mike Feiner – Safety, Security, and Loss Prevention Consultant, ”and that’s precisely why it’s important.” Considering your operation’s safety doesn’t have to be intimidating. “Think of preparation as your fire extinguisher,” Feiner adds, “It’s better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.”
Start with an Emergency Response Binder, an affordable and incredibly effective way to organize your store’s safety response procedures; it’s something that’s always there when and if you need it. Here, Feiner walks us through the basics.
What It Is
An emergency is any serious, unexpected, and often dangerous situation requiring immediate action. These can include severe incidents such as chemical spills or robberies, but more often they’re sudden and unforeseen incidents such as power outages, refrigeration failures, or a lost child.
An Emergency Response Binder (ERB) is simply your store’s go-to guide for how to respond to these types of unexpected incidents. “Any employee can go to this book and quickly access step-by-step instructions on how to respond to an emergency situation,” said Feiner. Typically, ERBs include emergency contact information, an up-to-date list of emergency service providers, response procedures to a host of possible emergency incidents, and essential documentation forms such as incident reports, security follow-up forms, and more.
Besides the obvious advantages of equipping your team with detailed response procedures, an ERB also sends a symbolic message. “The ERB is something really tangible,” Feiner points out, letting your staff, and your board know that you’re ready, you’re prepared, and “you’re invested in their safety.”
Surprising Silver Lining
Investing in an ERB is a foundational building block of your store’s safety and security culture. It’s no-nonsense and entirely necessary if you’re serious about shifting your business’ safety posture from passive, to something significantly more proactive.
Introducing an Emergency Response Binder can also be a surprisingly unifying experience. “The very act of investing in your store’s safety this way, taking intentional steps towards shifting that safety culture, helps bring your staff together around a common goal. It provides a means of action where we are all working to help each other stay safe.”
Where To Begin
ERBs are approachable, affordable, tangible, and foundational, but they’re far from boilerplate. To be truly effective, your ERB should be tailored to the nuances of your specific operation. Every location is unique, and your emergency and safety policies and protocols should reflect that.
Some parts of the ERB are required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), so it’s doubly important that you take the time to build out a comprehensive collection of emergency response procedures that both meet your obligations to your staff and OSHA requirements.
An ERB is only a starting point, best paired with comprehensive trainings and other safety and security systems. When everyone feels confident and prepared, they’re free to fully focus on your customers and your community.
Have more questions?
Get in touch with one of our consultants.