During National Preparedness Month, many of us take a look at our disaster safety plans, make modifications to the way we house equipment and store supplies, even repair or upgrade our buildings to make them safer.
But what about the employees who keep the business running? This time around, we’d like to urge craft breweries to focus on planning ways to ensure worker safety in the event of an emergency… and how to involve them in the process of ensuring safety for the brewery.
Employers have a duty of care to provide a workplace free from serious recognized hazards. They must also establish and clearly communicate operating procedures and provide safety training. Those responsibilities don’t stop in the face of severe weather or natural disaster. Employers must identify which severe weather events are likely to affect the business. Next, they must develop an Emergency Action Plan, communicate the plan to employees, and conduct drills.
Planning should be comprehensive. For instance, while California has a reputation for earthquakes, the fact is that earthquakes can (and do) happen in every one of the 50 states. Likewise, flood is not restricted simply to coastal areas.
Plan for Worker Safety
- Establish a communications system to issue warnings to workers and help them stay in contact during an incident. Remember that your communications system should be able to reach workers who are not on site, as well as those who are. Ask your team which method they would prefer for such communications–for instance, email, phone tree, or texts.
- Consider utilizing a mobile safety app that would allow workers in need to reach out for assistance.
- Document roles that need to be filled during an emergency, and the responsibilities of those roles.
- Clearly state what constitutes an emergency. Most of the time, your workers will face an incident like a burst pipe, rather than a major natural disaster.
- Provide copies of your disaster safety plan, communications protocols, emergency roles and responsibilities, and other pertinent information to your workers electronically and, if possible, in a hard copy they can quickly reference.
- Hold periodic meetings to review information and field questions. And don’t forget to include regular drills!
For more than 25 years, Beall Financial and Insurance Services, Inc., has been helping corporations and individuals protect their most important assets. The agency’s client base covers a spectrum of niche businesses, such as craft breweries, that require specialized insurance packages and knowledge. With California offices in Redlands and Newport Beach, Beall Financial and Insurance Services serves clients nationwide.