OSHA-Compliant Catastrophe Management Plans
Crafting Innovative, Customized Policies for Employers
Any number of tragedies can strike on a job site.
Even when safety measures are in place, workers may fall or become involved in other fatal accidents. Explosions, fires, and cave-ins sometimes occur. In addition, shootings and other acts of workplace violence are a tragic possibility. Employers cannot prepare for every possible scenario that could happen on a job site, but they can create a plan that helps them respond quickly and effectively when problems arise.
At Hendershot, Cowart & Hisey, P.C., our Houston-based law firm has represented businesses for more than 25 years. We help businesses create policies to prevent and respond to accidents. When an incident happens on a work site, clients call us for immediate advice on how to respond to both the emergency and any dealings with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). We serve clients in Houston and throughout Texas.
Preparing an Emergency Action Plan
- Do your employees know what to do if disaster strikes?
- Do your managers know how to comply with investigators without endangering your company?
Some businesses are required to develop OSHA emergency action plans, ensuring clear, safe protocol during chaotic situations. However, businesses that are not required to develop emergency plans can still benefit from them. As OSHA notes: The best way to deal with an emergency is to prepare for it.
What Does a Good Crisis Management Policy Look Like?
Few people can think clearly during a crisis. An emergency action plan ensures employers and workers have the training and procedures to keep employees safe during emergencies, as well as how to protect the interests of the business during an OSHA investigation. Your first priority is the safety of your workers, but you can also protect your rights as an employer at the same time.
The plan can cover issues such as:
- How the emergency will be reported
- Handling emergencies involving hazardous materials
- Evacuation procedures, including route assignments and safe areas
- Information about people in and outside the company who understand the emergency plan
- Procedures for employees who must remain in an emergency to handle critical or essential services
- Whether any workers are assigned rescue or medical responsibilities
- Policies for dealing with media
You may need to plan for specific types of hazards or specific issues. An experienced attorney can create an emergency plan that is right for your business and advise you on communicating the plan to your employees.
When Disaster Strikes
If a disaster or tragedy strikes, employers need to take action regardless of whether they have an emergency plan in place. Focus on safety first: call 911 immediately. Make sure everyone is safe, and make sure any injuries are being taken care of. Once everyone is safe, contact our law office.
At the outset, our firm can help you meet OSHA's reporting requirements for accidents and injuries. We can also begin gathering evidence and conducting interviews to defend you from an OSHA citation. An inspection is inevitable following an accident-you should begin preparing by calling us as soon as possible. With 130+ years' combined experience, our firm can advise you from the time an accident happens through the conclusion of an OSHA case.
For a confidential consultation, call (713) 489-2028 or contact us online. Our main offices are in Houston and we are available by appointment at our offices in Corpus Christi, Austin, Galveston and Sugar Land.