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Work Health and Safety Blog

There's so much happening in the world of health & safety. Changes in legislation and requirements, changes in best practice, changes in ... you name it. Here's my take on making it simple. Simply Genius WHS - stop guessing... manage with confidence.

Disaster Recovery Planning

Maralyn Kastel - Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A study by the American Red Cross found that 62% of workers were not confident about their preparedness in the workplace and less than half of employees surveyed knew about a disaster plan at their workplace

What’s even scarier is that only slightly more than half (55%) had ever received specific disaster and emergency plan information from their employer.

Ok, enough with the stats and bearing in mind the myriad of natural disaster that we have seen in past few months, how many of you stopped to think about your disaster plan?  Do you have one?

Apart from panicking, many people wouldn’t know how to react. It’s not just accidents, injuries and near misses – think about these issues and make a plan to minimise the lost production, downtime and distress to your business.

What to plan?

You can’t plan when or what natural disasters will happen, just as you can’t plan when accidents will occur, but you can plan to be as prepared as possible in the event of the unthinkable.

Typically, disasters in a small/medium business include; fire, flood, data loss, key person illness, intellectual property theft, employee fraud and misappropriation, industry disaster (eg insulation industry – tarring every business with the “shonky business” tag, even the well run companies).  Commonly a disaster recovery plan is also call a business continuity plan and as we want your business to continue that’s the phrase that the following question and answers follows.  Consider the consequence of the worst case for:

1.    Loss of computer systems hardware/software (do you have off-site back-up systems, eg for computer records)

2.    Fire/theft - inability to enter premises - If premises are unavailable, new premises may be required either temporary or permanently

3.    Connecting utilities, phone, gas, electricity – who’s in charge of these activities?

4.    Make a short list of “critical recovery activities”

5.    When / how will you contact clients?

6.    What marketing activities will you need?

7.    What will it cost to restore your business premises, equipment etc – do you have business insurance options that cover everything you will need

8.    Where are the details of vital information you will need to re-start the business?

9.    What is your time-frame for recovery?

10. Make a list of priorities – who to contact, when, how

Who has a business continuity plan to action if a disaster occurs?  If you don’t have one, put it on your to do list and make sure you let your workers know who will do what, when and how they will do it – just in case….

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