We work in an industry where things sometimes don’t go as planned. Even the best projects have things that can go wrong and in most occurrences, it is how you handle that situation or if the problem persists, or if it impacts the overall project cost and timelines.

There are many components that are in an emergency response plan and as per IHSA (Infrastructure Health and Safety Association) following steps must be considered:

  • Hazard identification/assessment
  • Emergency Resources
  • Communication systems
  • Administration of the plan
  • Emergency response procedure
  • Debriefing and post-traumatic stress procedure

All the above are very important parts of an emergency response plan but there is also a list of items that IHSA feels are far more important:

  • Stay calm.
  • Assess the situation.
  • Take command.
  • Provide protection.
  • Aid and manage.
  • Maintain contact.
  • Guide emergency services.

construction safety

-> Hazard Identification and Assessment
The key to any plan is understanding what gets wrong. One of the mistakes is that everyone is starting to panic. Staying calm is so important as well as difficult, it’s only natural to start thinking. In construction work there are dangerous situations all the time, so identifying what’s wrong and what is the severity of the situation is the first step.

-> Communication System
Effective communication in a time of crisis is just as important as being able to identify the issue. When preparing a communication plan it is important to have the following:

  • Emergency Response Procedure
    After looking at the situation, implementing a proper procedure is important. People are in a stressful situation at these times, having something they have reviewed and written down in the past to help them through the difficult time. There are various steps within the emergency procedure that should be implemented.

Make sure that there is a responsible person for making the decision to contact EMS. If your project site is large and confusing it would be wise to assign someone to meet the response team on the road or at the entrance to the project. Precious moments can be lost trying to find the issue. Make sure all of the above, including information about the closest hospital and the fire department, are outlined in the emergency response plan.

  • Construction Safety Incident
    Post-incident procedures and safety know, there are things that must be settled down and worked on before recovery has begun. One should keep in mind the following items:
  • What was the level of damage? What is going to be replaced?
  • Is it going to be covered under insurance?
  • Are there any agencies that we need to notify?
  • How will it impact the overall project?

Each of the above items is important but the most important is to document and file everything. Photos, details, logs, reports, training records, etc. In the event, a lawsuit is taken out against the firm these pieces of information can be very invaluable.

Information that is reported can be beneficial in performing lessons learned on the incident site. In the end, We learn from our mistakes and more importantly how we improve as a company and society.