Ten Tips for Workplace Bomb Threat Preparedness
By Gideon F. Mukwai, CEM
Tip 1: Keep your exit doors in good working conditions.
When designing exit doors, provide for egress and but no ingress for security reasons. Exit doors must also be in good working conditions and well lighted so that they are visible and operable during emergency exit.
Tip 2: Hire and fire wisely.
The days of reckless hiring and firing are over. Ensure that you conduct thorough background checks before hiring. Also ensure that when you fire, you have done all possible to eliminate the risk of a disgruntled employee who may be having a bone to grind.
Tip 3: Train Personnel on Evacuation Procedures.
Your personnel are the backbone of your plans. Without training, there will be confusion. Training reduces fear of uncertainty and enhances the flow of personnel during a time of mayhem.
Tip 4: Effective Housekeeping.
Ensure that that exit staircases are not stacked with goods or obstacles that can injure or impede the movement of your employees during emergency evacuation.
Tip 5: New Personnel Orientation.
It is critical to provide basic emergency evacuation information as part of new employee orientation. Without a good orientation program that includes emergency evacuation, a new employee might behave in a bizarre way that undermines your evacuation.
Tip 6:Ensure prompt reporting of incident.
When a incident like a bomb threat is reported, it must reach the key decision-maker promptly. Failure to do so may cost your company lives of property if the threat turns out to be an incident.
Tip 7: Evacuate orderly:
During evacuation, all personnel must be trained and advised to evacuate orderly to avoid a pandemonium.
Tip 8: Advise on appropriate evacuation.
Given the fact that one of the exit routes may be inaccessible or inappropriate for a particular evacuation, it is critical that management get the word out on the on the safest route and the assembly area for head count.
Tip 9: Share lessons learned.
After each incident, conduct an After Action Review (AAR) and to find out what was done wrong and right. Use the lessons from the incident to educate employees and not to lay blame on any employee.
Tip 10: Implement new procedures.
If there is a need for new procedures, do not hesitate to implement new procedures to improve the state of your preparedness, in case something else happens in future.
NB: Always get as many employees involved as possible on emergency matters. You are only as good as your weakest link.