This document describes the assignment for the ‘Responding to Emergencies’ Module.
Using the Emergency Plan Review criteria contained within the following five sections of this document, students are asked to critically evaluate the ‘Sentinel Steel Strip Products (UK) On Site Major Emergency Plan 2017’, which is provided separately.
Students should complete their evaluations in the spaces provided following each separate section of the Plan.
Approximate word count and marking values are as follows:
Approx. word count
Value of Marks
Indicators of good practice
Conclusion and recommendations
Emergency Plan Review Criteria
This document has regard to the advice and guidance contained within:
- Emergency Preparedness chapter 5, and Annex 5b
- COMAH Regulations
- Expectations and Indicators of Good Practice Set for Category 1 and 2 Responders
- How to use the criteria
Students are instructed to assess four aspects of the Plan as follows:
1) The administrative elements of the Plan
2) The minimum general contents that the Plan should contain.
3) The extent to which indicators of good practice are reflected in the Plan
4) The usability of the Plan
Each of these aspects is covered in a separate section in this document.
Students are also asked to provide a conclusion and set of recommendations for improvement at Section 5 of this document.
SECTION ONE – ADMINISTRATION OF THE PLAN
This is about reviewing the administrative arrangements which support the Plan. Items 1.1 -1.13 show elements of good practice in emergency plan creation. Please indicate whether these items exist in the plan. If the answer is yes, please reference where you found the item (page, para no). Once completed write approximately 150 words under ‘Section 1 Evaluation’ which evaluates the effectiveness of the supporting administrative arrangements in the Plan.
IF YES REF:
1.1 Is there clear version control of the Plan? No, the version control did not indicate which version the reader is reading.
1.2 Is there a clear review procedure for the plan? No. In the review section, the details available indicate when the review occurs not the procedure.
1.3 Is it clear who is responsible for the review
of the plan? No, the review section mentioned earlier does not indicate who is responsible for the review. In the structure for the preparation of local plans, the review is to be conducted by the person specified during preparation making it unclear who is responsible.
1.4 Is it clear what the review timetable is? No. It is not clear what the review timetable is.
1.5 Is there a regular amendment procedure? No. There is no amendment procedure, but the plan does state that amendments occur.
1.6 Is it clear how plan-holders make suggested
Improvements and/or amendments to the plan? No. There is no amendment procedure, so it is unclear how amendments occur.
1.7 Is there a distribution list for the plan? Yes (pp.2, p.2). There is a list indicating locations where this document is supposed to be distributed.
1.9 Is there a training/exercise programme
contained within the plan or reference to
such a programme? Yes (pp.1, p.37). The validation section shows that training occurs during this process.
1.10 Are there clear instructions on how to use the plan? Yes (pp.1, p.2). In the introduction, the objectives of the plan indicate the purpose of the plan hence how it is going to be used.
1.11 Is there a contents page? Yes (pp.1, p.3). There is a contents list.
1.12 Are there page Numbers? Yes (pp.1, p.3). The list has page numbers.
1.13 Are page numbers on the contents page correct? Yes (pp.1, p.3). The page numbers indicated in the contents table are correct.
Section 1 Evaluation:
A good emergency response plan should portray good administration. To begin with, good administration in this document is indicated by having a contents table and a distribution list. Secondly, the version control should be clear to avoid confusion. For this case, the On-Site Emergency plan did not have a clear version control. In fact, it only stated that the previous copies of the document should be destroyed (Cunningham 2017). Secondly, the review section should include a review procedure. In this plan, the review procedure and the person in charge of the review are not defined. Thirdly, amendment procedure should be outlined. For this plan, amendments can be made after the end of the emergency although the procedure is not outlined. Lastly, the good administration requires a training program, which is indicated. Overall, the plan is well written with explicit instructions on usage, role and has page numbers that are accurate.
SECTION TWO – MINIMUM LEVEL OF INFORMATION
This next section is all about the minimum level of information contained in the Plan, as required by the COMAH Regulations, as detailed in 2.1 to 2.7 below.
Write approximately 500 words under Section 2 Evaluation which critically evaluates how the Plan meets the expectations of items 2.1 -2.7.
2.1 Names or positions of persons authorised to set emergency procedures in motion and of persons authorised to take charge of and co-ordinate the off-site action.
2.2 Arrangements for receiving early warning of incidents, and alert and call-out procedures.
2.3 Arrangements for co-ordinating resources necessary to implement the off-site emergency plan.
2.4 Arrangements for providing assistance with on-site mitigatory action.
2.5 Arrangements for off-site mitigatory action.
2.6 Arrangements for providing the public with specific information relating to the accident and the behaviour which it should adopt.
2.7 Arrangements for the provision of information to the emergency services of other Member States in the event of a major accident with possible transboundary consequences.
Section 2 Evaluation
According to the emergency plan, the Off-Site COMAH plan is activated after an officer of the Local Authority Emergency Services declares an emergency. Afterward, the Duty Inspector in Bridgend who is in the Police control room initiates this plan (Cunningham 2017, pp. 10). The initiation is done after an assessment report is done. Later, the Divisional Inspector from the Bronze sector is put in charge by the Silver Inspector who is on-call (Cunningham 2017, pp. 10).
The emergency plan provides the following procedures for callouts and initial notifications. The Main Control Center Officer is usually in charge of this process, and it is automated. The process entails informing the Energy Control Center, Gate Houses, Civil Fire Service, Ambulance Service, Police, and Duty Senior Manager (Cunningham 2017, pp. 82). Additionally, this officer is tasked with establishing contact with the Emergency Controller. Lastly, the officer sends automatic messages to alert others in the callout list.
The arrangements that have been set in place for coordinating resources needed for the implementation of the off-site emergency plan involve the Silver Control. According to the Off-Site COMAH plan, the Bridgend Police Station would hold the Silver control, which is tasked with determining the allocation of resources (Cunningham 2017, pp. 64). This level is mainly involved with the management of the whole procedure.
The arrangements for the on-site mitigatory action are made at the Bronze level. The Local Control Center is first tasked with protecting the lives of employees, the property of the company and the environment (Cunningham 2017, pp. 8). The center is also given the task carrying out mitigation action while exercising control to reduce the effects of the incident. The actions entail accounting for all employees, initiate the Local emergency plan, the On-site emergency plan if necessary and communicate with Fire Rescue Operatives (Cunningham 2017, pp. 8). The mitigation actions also entail notifying the neighbors of the site.
In case the incident affects those outside the site, the Off-Site COMAH plan is implemented. The plan contains procedures and controls that protect the public and the environment from adverse effects of the emergency (Cunningham 2017, pp. 10). The plan also ensures the public and other relevant authorities are notified of the emergency. It can also be assumed that this plan is involved with the notification of member states in instances where the incident affects them because it qualifies as an off-site location. Additionally, the Business Management Team in Tactical Control identifies the areas where the public may be affected (Cunningham 2017, pp. 8). This identification aids in the preparation of the assessment report provided before the activation of the Off-Site plan.
Apart from the on-site emergency plan, there is a communication plan for addressing the public through the press. The plan governs how information is passed to the media and what kind of information is passed to manage the public (Cunningham 2017, pp. 35). Using this approach, Sentinel Steel can monitor the information being passed by the media through other platforms such as social media. In cases where the public has to be notified to behave in a certain way, the communication plan can be used to communicate without creating panic
SECTION THREE – INDICATORS OF GOOD PRACTICE
This section is about evaluating how well the Plan meets published indicators of good practice.
Write approximately 500 words under Section 3 Evaluation which critically evaluates how the Plan meets the expectations of items 3.1-3.9.
3.1 How activities will be coordinated
3.2 How additional resources may be obtained if required
3.3 Procedures for alerting, placing on standby and activating teams
3.4 Procedure for determining when an emergency has occurred
3.5 Specific actions to be taken and by whom in the form of aide memoires and checklists
3.6 How to communicate with stakeholders
3.7 Crisis management from response through to recovery
3.8 Having regard for activities of voluntary organisations
3.9 Having regard for vulnerable people
Section 3 Evaluation
Sentinel Steel’s On-Site emergency plan provides a detailed outline of how activities will be coordinated. The coordination of activities is defined in the roles and responsibilities of teams and individuals defined in the emergency plan. For example, the activities are the activation of the plan, calling out and initial notifications, allocation of resources, carrying out of rescue operations, end of the emergency, debriefing, and training (Cunningham 2017). If additional resources are needed in the response process, the human resource business partner identifies the additional resources needed (Cunningham 2017, pp. 59). Later, the bronze team adds those resources.
The procedures for alerting and activating teams depends on the roles defined. For instance, the leader of the Business Management Team in the Tactical Control is tasked with activating the external affairs, switchboard and human resource teams (Cunningham 2017, pp.27). The teams are alerted using the callout procedure mentioned earlier via the VIP confirmer system. For the teams on stand-by, there is a holding area where they can wait until they are called upon (Cunningham 2017, pp.67).
The procedure for determining when an emergency has occurred depends on the definition of emergency defined in the emergency plan. For example, a major emergency may occur when an event has resulted in many casualties and the damage of property while an emergency is just a circumstance that threatens the lives of employees and normal operations of the business (Cunningham 2017, pp.12). Therefore, the procedure used will be distinct to those scenarios.
The Sentinel Steel Emergency plan has also incorporated the use of checklists. These checklists provide personnel with a reminder of the roles and responsibilities assigned to them. They are essential to keeping track of assigned roles and avoiding confusion associated with heightened emotions due to the incident. Communication among stakeholders is essential for crisis management, and it occurs in various strategies (Stephens, Malone, & Bailey 2005). For example, the Local Control Center team has a communicator whose role is to pass information with other teams, and there is a communication plan, which was mentioned earlier that is used to manage and address the public.
Additionally, the emergency plan has managed to offer crisis management from the response to recovery. According to Spillan (2017), crisis management should be proactive, which means that organization plan beforehand on how to evade the risk, respond if it occurs and recovers after it has occurred. In this case, crisis management is witnessed when Sentinel Steel plans for the emergency, responds effectively through teamwork and recovers through training and amendments.
It is evident that Sentinel Steel cares about voluntary organizations because it alerts them when there is the probability that there is an offsite emergency (Cunningham 2017, pp.11). The emergency plan also considers vulnerable people because it alerts those who are off-site if the incident extends beyond its borders.
SECTION 4 - GENERAL USABILITY
This section is about evaluating how user-friendly the Plan is.
Write approximately 500 words under Section 4 Evaluation which critically evaluates how the Plan meets the expectations of items 4.1-4.12.
- Are any Action Checklists written in plain English and easy to follow?
- Section 4 Evaluation
The emergency plan has met the requirements of the end user for the following reason. One of the effective ways of writing is knowing one’s audience (Shleyner 2017). This is portrayed in the emergency plan because the language used is formal, and the content is relevant. Therefore, it was it was written for the stakeholders involved.
The order and structure of the emergency plan are correct. This is because it is meant to address the roles of the stakeholders and systematically through three levels of control which are silver, gold, and bronze. However, there are no clear instructions on how to use the plan but the headings aid in understanding.
The emergency plan does include some materials that are not among the main topics. For these materials, definitions have been given at the end of each topic such as Off-Site emergency plan definitions. The rest have been included in the appendices. Additionally, there is no part of the plan that can be trimmed because majority the information found in the appendices is not found in the rest of the plan. For example, even though the checklists are a summary of the stakeholder’s roles, their summarized form is vital for the plan’s execution.
The emergency plan contains diagrams that depict different aspects. Some of the diagrams are easy to understand, but some are difficult such as the organization chart of the fire and rescue service (Cunningham 2017, pp.16). In addition, the diagrams used in the plan have keys, which assist in understanding the elements involved.
In the organization of the emergency plan, short paragraphs are used instead of large ones. The information is also presented in lists and diagrams. According to Nair (2008), using short paragraphs is beneficial because it captures the attention of the reader mainly for this educative content. Therefore, the author of the plan was trying to ensure that the readers do not get bored and lose interest in the content.
The emergency plan provides continuity, which is depicted in the flow of information. For example, the first sections introduce the plan, and its objectives and the rest define the roles of the stakeholders based on their teams. However, some sections of the plan interfere with the continuity such as the inclusion of the off-site emergency plan references.
The material used in the emergency plan is easy to find on the internet. The terminologies used in the document are associated with crisis management and risk assessment hence are easy to locate.
The terminology the emergency paper is correct. For example, the emergency control response refers to the measures taken to mitigate against risk incurred when an emergency occurs. This also terminology is used in crisis management, which is illustrated by the emergency plan. Lastly, the emergency plan consists of action checklists written in English. According to Singer (2014), the checklist can be used to motivate the employees.
Write approximately 350 words here to conclude your report and propose any recommendations for improvement to the Plan.
The emergency plan can be improved by using diagrams that are colored and real-life pictures. For example, some pictures of some of the teams in training can be used as background pictures. The rest can be used to demonstrate some of the activities involving team members to make it engaging. According to Shabiralyani (2015), visual aids assist in enhancing the comprehension of the reader and make the document attractive. Additionally, visual aids make more comfortable for the reader to remember the information in the document (Shabiralyani 2015). For this case, using pictures that the stakeholders are familiar with will appeal to their emotions making the information captivating.
The emergency plan can also be improved by highlighting some of the critical content. Presently, only the headings are written in bold and color is only used to illustrate diagrams. The use of colors to highlight content may be useful in capturing the attention of the reader especially when different colors are used to depict different sections. Wilson (2016) states that the information provided highlighted sections creates emphasizes, which makes comprehension quicker. Additionally, some readers can remember elements that standout so this technique may be useful for them. Moreover, the plan can have different colors for the pages to signify different sections of the report such as the Off-site emergency plan and the on-site emergency plan. Overall, the use of colors makes the content more readable.
In conclusion, the sidebar can be used to improve the design of the document. In the emergency plan, the sidebar can be used to explain terminologies, to remind the reader of a previous terminology that was in the earlier pages or to include a joke. Additionally, sidebars are also used for relief purposes especially when the context is too formal ("Web Design Relief” 2014). Overall, the emergency plan can also be improved by reducing some of the content that is included. For example, the checklists provide summaries of roles that have already been mentioned thus they can be eliminated from this document.
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Shleyner, E 2017. ‘How to write well: 10 timeless rules from legendary Ad Exec David Ogilvy.’ Hubspot. Available from: <https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/how-to-write-well-timeless-rules-david-ogilvy> [14 Apr. 2018].
Singer, A2014. Seven management benefits of using a checklist. Hartford Business Journal. Available at: https://www.hartfordbusiness.com/article/20140623/PRINTEDITION/306199955/seven-management-benefits-of-using-a-checklist [14 Apr. 2018].
Spillan, JE 2017. Strategies for successful crisis management. School of Business, University of North Carolina, Pembroke.
Stephens, KK, Malone, PC and Bailey, CM 2005. ‘Communicating with stakeholders during a crisis: Evaluating message strategies.’ The Journal of Business Communication (1973), Vol.42, no.4, pp.390-419.
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