FEMA and its website Ready.gov have designated September as National Preparedness Month, and September 30th “National Prepareathon! Day.” During this special month, safety professionals can join FEMA in encouraging families, communities, and businesses to review preparedness planning protocols, and to make sure that people know exactly what to do during emergencies. FEMA articulates their official National Preparedness Goal as “A secure and resilient nation with the capabilities required across the whole community to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to and recover from the threats and hazards that pose the greatest risk.”
FEMA clearly intends employers and businesses to play a big role in National Preparedness Month, and with good reason. On the NPM website, FEMA points out that when employers encourage employees to prepare for disasters, employees are 75 percent more likely to take action. Further, FEMA shares that with the U.S. workforce composing 63 percent of the U.S. population, the workplace becomes “one of the most effective environment for educating and encouraging people to take steps to be ready for disasters.”
One of the ways employers and can facilitate emergency preparedness is by working with safety professionals and other employees in the organization to ensure hazardous chemical information is up to date and readily available in the workplace. This assessment should include taking a physical inventory of all hazardous chemicals, and then ensuring that proper MSDS/SDS documentation exists each.
Not only does maintaining an accurate, up-to-date, and OSHA-compliant chemical inventory help prepare employees for emergencies, it also demonstrates your commitment to their safety in a real and tangible way.
Plus, with the right tools, this information can also help protect first responders and the community at large, which is something President Obama’s Executive Order 13650 sets out to do.
By using National Preparedness Month as an opportunity to review your hazardous chemical management, you are investing in the most important resource of all. . . your employees.
Emergency Preparedness Resources
MSDSonline offers a range of products and services to assist you in your emergency planning and preparedness efforts, including Workplace Training courses, compliance education Tool Kits and Hazardous Chemical Inventory management solutions, complete with Tier II Reporting, chemical mapping, and other tools to assist with emergency response and preparedness. To learn more, contact an MSDSonline representative today at: 1.888.362.2007.