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Budget Conscious Response Plan Testing and the Tabletop Exercise

Posted on Thu, Aug 11, 2016

Why Test Response Plans?

Budget restrictions and staffing limitations are continually on the minds of many corporate leaders. Yet response planning and preparedness continue to be an essential aspect of company operations. In order to be effective, response plans must be interactive, and continually updated and improved upon in order to provide actionable information, processes, and procedures that help manage incidents, infrastructure, and critical business processes. As a result, response plans must be tested.

Periodical response plan testing requires a dedicated budget, even in times of economic strain. Testing responses can identify detrimental training gaps and non-compliance issues that may compromise the effectiveness of a response plan and cripple operational continuity. This critical preparedness level feedback is essential in stabilizing readiness, response competency, and corporate sustainability.

There are various types of emergency response drills and exercises that test response plans. Depending on operations, potential risks, and budgets, these drills and exercises can range from small group discussions to complex, multi-faceted exercises. To fully execute a response plan, synergistic exercises should be developed to assess the following:

  • Communication
  • Training
  • Resource management
  • Command Post effectiveness

Managers should set exercise goals and budget before settling on a particular method. When budgets are restrained, a well-prepared tabletop exercise may be an acceptable method for a response plan assessment.

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The Tabletop Exercise

A tabletop exercise is the simplest form of exercise to conduct in terms of planning, preparation, and coordination. In order to garner a heightened awareness of preparedness, response competency and plan effectiveness, the following tabletop components should be considered when planning exercises:

Scenario Information and Position-Specific Tools: Detailed scenario information, ICS forms, and position specific events should be prepared to guide all participants through the execution of their roles and responsibilities.

Exercise Time Frame: The facilitator should determine how much time is allotted for the exercise in order to test response processes and procedures. Exercise responses are typically accelerated through each phase of the exercise. However, it should be clearly understood that the same events or actions under emergency conditions might require additional time to complete. Participants must be prepared for actual scenarios that can quickly transition from a basic emergency to a full scale crisis within a short time frame, requiring rapid decision making and expeditious responses.

Exercise Notification Communications: In all cases, exercise participants must ensure that all involved parties clearly understand that no actual emergency exists, and no resources or equipment should be mobilized or dispatched. The statement "This is a Drill" should be included on with all verbal communications and written correspondences, including report forms, fax communications, and press releases. It may be helpful to add the date to any written documentation for organizational and regulatory compliance purposes.

Communications with external agencies, contractors, medical responders, or other parties not participating directly in an exercise should also be informed as to not inadvertently initiate responses.

Response Equipment Deployment: Emergency equipment and vehicles should be simulated for tabletop exercises. Staging area locations should be identified.

Injects: An inject describes an additional event or circumstance that requires a response or action from the participant. Injects may be provided to specific participants or as a component of the entire exercise.

Weather Conditions: Adverse weather conditions may be simulated during an exercise. In an actual emergency, weather conditions may hinder response processes and procedures.

Exercise Termination and Debriefing: Following termination of the exercise, a debriefing of all exercise participants should be conducted. All participants should have the opportunity to provide feedback on the exercise and complete an exercise evaluation form. Feedback should be evaluated for potential response plan mitigation opportunities.

Follow-up on Action Items: Exercises may provide insight into the deficiencies in an emergency response plan. In order to take response efforts to the next level, action items resulting from the exercises should be prioritized and completed in a timely manner.

TRP Corp Emergency Response Planning Exercises

Tags: Testing, Tabletop Exercise

Documenting Oil and Gas Emergency Response Drills and Exercises

Posted on Thu, Jun 26, 2014

Amidst the business of sustaining profitable operations, oil and gas companies must ensure that work conditions are safe. Oil and gas operations have innate risks, hazards, and, in the event of a release or spill, potential detrimental impacts. As a result, regulatory agencies require response drills and exercises that adequately reflect the current operations and emergency response capabilities.

The National Preparedness for Response Exercise Program (PREP) is designed to facilitate the periodic testing of oil spill response plans for certain vessels and facilities, and provide companies an economically feasible mechanism for exercise compliance. This unified federal effort provides a consistent set of guidelines that satisfies the exercise requirements of the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Pipeline Hazardous Material Safety Administration (PHMSA), and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSSE). Completion and documentation of the PREP exercises satisfies all OPA 90 mandated federal oil pollution response exercise requirements.

Drill frequency and specific requirements vary depending on operations, vulnerabilities, facility location, and site hazards. However, documentation of oil and gas emergency preparedness drills and exercises is mandated by various regulatory agencies. Thorough documentation also:

  • Identifies deficiencies and mitigation opportunities
  • Provides a historical record of the event
  • Engages management in preparedness efforts
  • Serves as a legal instrument, if necessary
  • Ensures training accountability
  • Accounts for preparedness efforts and plan maintenance cost

In order to satisfy the PREP requirement, oil and gas companies must be able to document all operational and support aspects of a response, and provide detailed records of decisions and actions taken. An exercise tracking system that is integrated into an overall response planning system can minimize the documentation efforts associated with drills and exercises. A tracking system should:

  • Improve regulatory compliance with thorough documentation·
  • Provide a tool for scheduling exercises, and documenting PREP objectives, exercise objectives, lessons learned, scenarios, and action items.
  • Provide a tool for developing exercise final reports and a method of assigning and tracking outstanding action items to improve follow-up.
  • Provide a reporting mechanism to track PREP objectives completed during any 3 year cycle, outstanding action items, and a summary report by facility that indicates progress in meeting PREP exercise requirements.
  • Provide a “snapshot” of exercises completed for the year for every facility via a summary report.

To ensure employees and identified essential response personnel are prepared to respond to an incident in an efficient and effective manner, oil and gas companies should establish minimum exercise guideline requirements. Management should ensure that:

  • All aspects of response plans are exercised at least once per year with the appropriate response, incident management, and support teams taking part.
  • Notification exercises for Qualified Individuals are conducted on a quarterly basis. This exercise should involve unannounced checks of the communication processes, and systems.
  • National and local training and exercise requirements should be used to assess the overall integrated preparedness of a response with the authorities.

If not physically present during a drill and/or exercise, the final documentation from the events can be submitted to local responders or fire marshals for review. If a web-based planning system is utilized, drill and exercise documentation can be securely shared and accessed by approved stakeholders. In the event of an actual incident, the lessons learned from these drills and exercises can minimize impacts and prevent further consequences.

For a free download entitled, "Tips on How to Conduct an Effective Exercise", click the image below:

TRP Corp Emergency Response Planning Exercises

Tags: Testing, Tabletop Exercise, Training and Exercises, Emergency Management Program, HSE Program

Pro Tip: The Role of Templates in Response Plan Compliance

Posted on Thu, Mar 27, 2014

Emergency response plan templates often include the basic fundamentals of response planning. They should be utilized as a general outline for developing emergency response plans and a guide for regulatory compliance. However, response plans must also reflect the unique nature of  every company, facility, and operation. Consideration of site-specific details of each operation is important to ensure regulatory compliance.

In order for emergency response plan templates to be effective, specific facility information and operational hazards, as well as local, state and federal requirements must be addressed and included in plans. Industrial operations are required by law to institute site-specific emergency response plans and train employees in the appropriate level and method of response. Utilizing generic procedures from basic templates may result in  ineffective plans that are not in compliance with regulatory requirements.

By utilizing a template as an outline, companies can begin the process of creating  emergency response plans. A generic plan template may not address every regulatory and/or site specification, so it is essential to evaluate site-specific variables and applicable regulatory requirements. Below are twelve basic template topics that should be evaluated for site-specific applicability and implementation.

  1. Local, State and Federal regulations
  2. Hazard identification and risk assessment
  3. Hazard mitigation procedures
  4. Resource management
  5. Response direction, control, and coordination
  6. Notifications and warning systems
  7. Operations and safety procedures
  8. Logistics and facilities infrastructure specifics
  9. Training
  10. Exercises, evaluations, and corrective actions
  11. Crisis communications
  12. Finance and administrative duties

A plan template should be supplemented, at a minimum, with the following information:

Description of Facility Infrastructure and Summary of Physical Site Attributes:  Emergency response plans should include the following site-specific details:

  • Facility Name
  • Address
  • Latitude/Longitude
  • Contact Numbers
  • Key contacts
  • Site operations and equipment
  • Products handled
  • Number of employees
  • Nearby waterways.
  • Site drainage.
  • Details of tanks, pipelines, utilities, and other major equipment
  • Site security features, including fencing, visitor access, and lighting

Plan distribution list: Include the names and addresses of personnel who have plan copies

Key contacts: Identify all primary and secondary key contacts that may be included in a response. It is crucial to routinely verify contact information for accuracy. Key contacts may include 911, National Response Center, and internal and external response teams. Response equipment  suppliers should be identified

Alarm Identification and Notification Process:  Identification of  alarms that may signal an emergency, evacuation, or shelter in place. It is imperative to perform exercises with alarms to confirm they are in proper working condition and employees react accordingly. Ensure employees are trained in and understand  required notifications.

Key Staff Roles and Responsibilities: Job-specific checklists and procedures detailing responsibilities from initial response actions through demobilization.  It is a good idea to  provide training to at least two people per position in case primary team members are not available. It s helpful to:

  • Create Emergency Response Team organizational chart
  • Develop Emergency Management Team activation procedures
  • Create  Emergency Management Team roles and responsibilities checklists

Response Actions: Response action checklists for  for each potential scenario.  .

  • Perform a detailed hazard and risk analysis
  • Create response procedures for each identified threat
  • Identify hazard control applicability and methods
  • Detail external communications and public relations policies

Response Equipment: Major on-site and external response equipment should be itemized. Equipment availability and applicable contact information should be reviewed and verified. The consequences of a supply chain failure during a response  can severely limit effectiveness. Transportation delays could affect response equipment delivery times. Plan and mitigate accordingly.

Documentation Process: Accurate and detailed records of a response are imperative. Regulatory authorities may require specific response documentation. The burden of proof typically falls on the responsible party  when making insurance claims.

  • Create process for incident documentation
  • Utilize appropriate ICS Forms

Emergency Operations Center Location(s): Include location, address, contact info, available equipment, and any necessary external equipment for effective response operations.

Visual Aids: Include plot plans, evacuation routes, maps, and any other graphic displays that may aid in a response.

  • Identify multiple evacuation routes
  • Identify shelter in place areas
  • Identify the muster point(s)

Demobilization and Post-Incident Review: Specific demobilization guidelines provide organized and agreed-to procedures to help facilitate a more organized and expedited return to normal operating conditions, and help to minimize costs by standing-down response resources in a timely manner.

  • Create a checklist to identify demobilize gudelinesPerform a post incident review and debriefing
  • Document newly identified hazards and vulnerabilities
  • Identify  “lessons learned”  and action items
  • Update response plan accordingly

Templates should be populated with industry-specific, best practice response techniques. Once the initial emergency plan is completed, response plan audits, exercises, and consulting assistance may be required to confirm emergency plan compliance and effectiveness.

Interested in auditing response plans for effectiveness and compliance, download the "Audit Preparedness Guide for Industrial Regulatory Compliance".

Regulatory Compliance with TRP Corp

Tags: Testing, Resiliency, Response Plans, Regulatory Compliance, Emergency Response Planning, Safety

Tips for Up-To-Date and Compliant Response Plans: The Ongoing Challenge

Posted on Thu, Mar 13, 2014

Emergency planning is an ongoing process. Company operations, utilized equipment, and employees are continuously changing.  Modifications, expansions, and adjustments need to be incorporated into the emergency response plan to ensure compliance and an accurate and effective response in the event of an emergency. The ever-changing regulatory requirements and plan submittal processes must be observed and applied in order to eliminate the potential for fines.

Corporate emergency preparedness programs and applicable plans need to be reviewed, at a minimum, on an annual basis. However, plan reviews and potential updates should be conducted under the following situations:

  • Regulations deem changes are mandatory
  • An incident has occurred that highlights new best practices
  • A change in the status of current operations
  • A change in internal/external response capabilities
  • Changes to contact information
  • Company merger or acquisition
  • Site alterations/renovations
  • A vulnerability analysis reveals new risks/threats
  • A change in response resources/equipment

A concerted effort is being made in the emergency preparedness industry for companies to embrace new technologies and apply them to their environmental, health, and safety practices. The ability to streamline updates and share real-time incident information allows for a targeted, faster, and efficient response. It is crucial that first responders, company decision makers, and the emergency services community utilize rapid informational measures for situational assessments. However, if the information is out-of date, responders may be at risk, effective response decisions will not be implemented, and regulatory compliance may be compromised.

With web-based technology and an Internet connection, revised information is immediately available to all approved stakeholders. Both paper-based plans and those housed on a company intranet are often out of date with multiple versions in various locations, potentially misinforming the response team.  Microsoft Word or PDF documents, a traditionally common format used in response plans, are cumbersome to revise for various plan types and locations. Web based software eliminates” version confusion” and allows responders to apply the most up-to-date and tested processes to a response.

A methodological process should be applied to updating response plans. While tracking systems can itemize applicable federal, state, and local regulations, categorical information should be reviewed for accuracy. 

One of the most important aspects of maintaining up-to-date and compliant plans is to update the information in a timely manner. Cyclical response planning checks enable continuous reviews and potential revision opportunities, creating the most efficient and compliant response plan possible. Companies must be aware of the various submission requirements of applicable regulatory agencies regarding revisions and compliance.

Cyclical response plan reviews should include internal response plans and policies, and the following response areas for accuracy and effectiveness:

  • Safety and health procedures
  • Evacuation plan
  • Fire protection plan
  • Environmental policies
  • Security procedures
  • Response procedures
  • Communication Plans
  • Employee manuals
  • Business Continuity plan
  • Risk management plan
  • Hurricane/Tornado/Flood Plans
  • Mutual aid agreements

The review of company emergency response planning documents should include updates from collaborating response groups. Open communications with internal and external responders will ensure plan and response procedures are current, and carried out in accordance with company protocol. Groups to consider in planning reviews include, but are not limited to:

  • Local responders fire, police, emergency medical services)
  • Government agencies (LEPC, emergency management offices, etc)
  • Community organizations (Red Cross, weather services)
  • Utility company(s) (gas, electric, public works, telephone)
  • Contracted emergency responders
  • Neighboring businesses

Establishing readily available up-to-date information has been proven to limit the duration of the emergency.  The faster responders can locate, assess, access, and mitigate the emergency, the sooner an incident can be contained, and operations can be restored to “business as usual”.

For a free Audit Preparedness Guide for Industrial Regulatory Compliance, click the image below:

Regulatory Compliance with TRP Corp

Tags: Testing, Business Continuity, Emergency Preparedness, Response Plans, Regulatory Compliance, Emergency Management Program, Emergency Response Planning

Success, Failure, and the Emergency Response Exercise

Posted on Mon, Nov 18, 2013

“Our greatest glory is NOT in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail." 

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Corporate culture and associated public perceptions do not embrace the ideology of growth through failure. A recent LinkedIn discussion highlighted the issue of exercises being designed entirely for success. The exercises in questions were ones that were specifically designed to match response capabilities, not necessarily challenge participants and established preparedness efforts.

The discussion brings to light the multifaceted purpose of an exercise. While the action of conducting an exercise may validate regulatory requirements, exercises should be designed to test response plans and training effectiveness. The unique paradox of success through failures is the key to overall response plan improvement, especially within exercises.

Real world exercise scenarios can often highlight potential deficiencies (meaning failures) in response plans and procedures, comprehension of individual roles and responsibilities, and partnership coordination. However, it is through identified deficiencies that mitigation opportunities are revealed and valuable response knowledge and experiences can be attained.

The discussion emphasized that designing exercises strictly to create stressful, non-attainable objectives, is counter-productive.  It is imperative to balance current capabilities with realistic scenarios in an effort to strengthen the overall resolve of the emergency preparedness program. An exercise should present challenging situations in an effort to improve capabilities. A demanding exercise can clearly identify deficiencies. However, creating a bottom line, no-win exercise situation can negatively affect the overall preparedness program by diminishing and detracting from the goal of improved response. An exercise should support a positive response team synergy by validating successes, yet create a path to increased response capabilities and improve targeted training efforts.

Conducting a challenging exercise outside the scope of response capabilities can also create a flawed negative reputation and unwarranted fallouts from the failed endeavor. Companies may suppress some negative impressions, feeling that a “failed” attempt at exercises may lead to internal and/or external perception that a company is poorly prepared for responding to an emergency. Pre-emptive crisis management efforts can alleviate possible unfavorable judgments. Companies sometimes promote their exercises results through public relations campaigns that highlight their dedication to overall preparedness advancements and a commitment to safety.

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Whether a full scale or tabletop exercise, participants should understand and demonstrate the following:

1. A proficiency in utilizing the forms, processes, and common terminology to respond to the scenario in association with:

  • National Incident Management System (NIMS)
  • Incident Command System (ICS)

2. A comprehension of the specific roles and responsibilities within the following teams:

  • Emergency Response Team
  • Incident or Emergency Management Team organizations

Gaps in response plans or training should be identified and follow-up action taken to ensure that these gaps are addressed.

3. An understanding of external responding organization(s), and general internal responsibilities and expectations of the company: The following should be identified and confirmed for the applicable scenario:

  • Communication processes
  • Response methods
  • Response times
  • Roles and responsibilities
  • Available equipment

4. The ability to document and communicate actions, management decision, and track resources, using standardized ICS forms and the Emergency response Plan: Participants should record processes and implement procedures per regulatory requirement(s) and company standards. Documentation can be used for:

  • Response assessments
  • Legal inquiries
  • Team reviews
  • Training efforts
  • Identification of action items and lessons learned
  • Improving emergency response plans

Exercises provide a setting for operational response procedures to be tested. In preparation for these exercises, companies should develop exercise-planning documents, including participant and controller’s packages that contain exercise objectives, scenarios, ground rules, and simulation scripts. These guidelines, at a minimum, should be provided to all participants prior to the exercise to allow for an understanding of expectations.

Threats, hazard vulnerabilities, staffing and organizational structure, facilities, and equipment are continually changing. A response exercise should be a tool utilized to identify effective efforts and inefficiencies in response to these changes. Through honest evaluations of response efforts to simulated “real-world” scenarios, emergency preparedness programs can continually improve, strengthen, and succeed... until the next change!

For a free download on "Conducting Effective Exercises", click the image below:TRP Corp Emergency Response Planning Exercises

Tags: Testing, Tabletop Exercise, Resiliency, Emergency Preparedness, Training and Exercises, Emergency Management Program, Emergency Response Planning

Business Continuity: Testing, Training, and Exercises

Posted on Thu, Jun 13, 2013

The overall purpose of business continuity planning is to ensure the continuity of essential functions during an event that causes damage or loss to critical infrastructure. A continually changing threat environment, including severe weather, accidents, fires, technological emergencies, and terrorist-related incidents, coupled with a tightly intertwined supply chain, have increased the need for business continuity efforts.

To ensure long-term viability, companies should develop, maintain, conduct, and document a business continuity testing, training, and exercise (TT&E) program. The business continuity plan should document these training components, processes, and requirements to support the continued performance of critical business functions. Training documentation should include dates, type of event(s), and name(s) of participants. Documentation also includes test results, feedback forms, participant questionnaires, and other documents resulting from the event.

Elements of a viable business continuity program include, but are not limited to:

  1. Program plans and procedures
  2. Budgeting and acquisition of required equipment and alternate sites
  3. Essential functions of each department
  4. Identification of authority, orders of succession, and roles and responsibilities.
  5. Interoperable communications methods
  6. Vital records management
  7. Testing, training, and exercise
  8. Recovery requirements

trp corp tabletop exercises

The 2010 Department of Homeland Security Continuity of Operations plan template identifies business continuity concepts that should be tested, training priorities, and exercise recommendations. While these concepts are directed at government entities, companies should utilize these directives to evaluate their own business continuity program. Unless noted, the specific testing, training, or exercises should occur (at a minimum) on an annual basis, or as required by regulations or company policy.

TRAINING

  • Train continuity personnel on roles and responsibilities
  • Conduct continuity awareness briefings or orientations for the entire workforce
  • Train organization’s leadership on continuity of essential critical business functions
  • Train personnel on all reconstitution plans and procedures
  • Provide opportunities for continuity personnel to demonstrate familiarity with continuity plans and procedures and demonstrate organization’s capability to continue essential functions
  • Conduct exercises that incorporate the deliberate and pre-planned movement of continuity personnel to alternate facilities
  • Conduct assessments of organization’s continuity TT&E programs, and continuity plans and programs
  • Report documented training to regulatory agencies, if applicable
  • Conduct successor training for all personnel who assume the authority and responsibility of the organization’s leadership, if that leadership becomes otherwise unavailable during a continuity situation
  • Train on the identification, protection, and availability of electronic and hardcopy documents, references, records, information systems, and data management software and equipment needed to support essential functions during a continuity situation for all staff involved in the vital records program
  • Train on the organization’s recovery process, addressing how the organization will identify and conduct its essential functions during an increased threat situation or in the aftermath of a catastrophic emergency

TESTING and EXERCISE

  • Test and validate equipment monthly to ensure internal and external interoperability
  • Test the viability of communications systems monthly and mitigate if necessary
  • Test alerts, notifications, and activation procedures quarterly for all continuity personnel
  • Test primary and backup infrastructure systems and services at primary and secondary recovery sites
  • Test capabilities to perform mission essential functions
  • Test plans for recovering vital records, critical information systems, services, and data
  • Test capabilities for protecting classified and unclassified vital records and for providing access to them from the primary and secondary recovery sites
  • Test physical security capabilities at primary and secondary recovery sites
  • Test internal and external interdependencies of critical functions
  • Conduct exercises on continuity plans that involve using or relocating to primary and secondary recovery sites
  • Demonstrate coordinated communications capability
  • Demonstrate the sufficiency of backup data and records required for supporting essential functions
  • Allow opportunity for continuity personnel to demonstrate their familiarity with the recovery and restoration procedures to transition from a continuity environment to normal activities
TRP Corp Emergency Response Planning Exercises

Tags: Testing, Business Continuity key points, Business Continuity, Training and Exercises, Business Continuity Plan, Business Disruption

The Tabletop Exercise and Emergency Response Plan

Posted on Mon, Mar 11, 2013

Tabletop exercises are a cost-effective, discussion-based training method in which response team members collaborate and communicate assigned roles, responsibilities and required actions in response to one or more emergency scenarios. A facilitator guides participants through a discussion of one or more scenarios with the goal of strengthening the overall response plan and review associated response procedures.

Increased personnel responsibilities, reduced staffing, and cost constraints make it challenging to ensure that effective exercises are conducted. The duration of a tabletop exercise depends on the expertise level of participants, the topic being exercised, and the exercise objectives. Many tabletop exercises can be completed in less than two hours, which allows the exercise to be a budget-friendly and a timely approach to validate plans and capabilities.

Tabletop exercises are effective for new or inexperienced team members. It allows managers and responder to assess internal and external competency levels and build team relationships in a low-stress environment. It may be beneficial for inexperienced or new response team members if the exercise focuses on the incident command process, communications protocols, forms, meeting schedules, and other process elements.

A tabletop exercise should include:

  • Practical application of National Incident Management System (NIMS) and the Incident Command System (ICS)
  • Demonstration of a functional understanding of the Emergency Response Team (ERT) and Incident Management Team (IMT) organizations.
  • Effective integration of common organization(s), and general responsibilities and expectation of the company
  • Demonstration of the ability to document and communicate actions, management decisions, and tracking resources using standardized Incident Command System (ICS) forms and the Emergency Response Plan (ERP)
Tabletop exercises may reveal shortcomings in preparedness planning and responder knowledge. Companies should review shortcomings to bolster and improve the effectiveness of the preparedness program. Areas to examine after a tabletop exercise is conducted include, but are not limited to:

1. Corporate Commitment

  • Establish enterprise-wide safety policies and encourage and empower employees to be active participants in sustaining and improving safety procedures.
  • Emphasize safety and regulatory compliance to protect employees and avoid financial losses.

2. Site Analysis

  • Examine unidentified potential work site hazards through employee feedback, thorough audits, and detailed inspections.

3. Task Analysis

  • Determine and possibly realign job specific methods and procedures for each employee’s duty to reduce or eliminate associated hazards.

4. Incident Prevention and Control

  • Schedule deadlines so that safety considerations are not compromised and procedures are followed.
  • Establish procedures for addressing unique circumstances and tasks NOT typically performed, yet could potentially occur.

5. Health, Safety and Environmental Training Program

  • Identify any new or additional training needed to correct or limit unsafe procedures or processes, or reflect new employee responsibilities.
  • Evaluate compliance of applicable government agency mandated safety training.

7. Incident Reporting and Post Incident Review

  • Understand requirements of mandated regulatory forms and assign or reinforce submission responsibilities.
  • Access incident reporting and documentation procedures for effectiveness
  • Review incident investigation methods regarding eyewitnesses, supervisor perspectives, and corporate assistance.

8. Emergency Response Planning

  • Review specific mandated plans, such as Emergency Action Plan, Fire Prevention Plan, Facility Response Plan, Fire Brigade and Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response, etc.
  • Update procedures after exercise if required.

9. Risk Management

  • Review systematic application of management policies, procedures, and practices to be carried out by all management levels.
  • If applicable, establish new risk evaluation criteria, probability of incident, and potential consequences.
  • Monitor and review procedures for continuous improvement, effectiveness, control measures, and changing conditions.

For tips and best practices on designing a crisis management program, download Tips for Effective Exercises.

Exercises - TRP Corp

Tags: Testing, Training and Exercises, Event Preparedness, Workplace Safety

Emergency Exercise Scenario Types for Disaster Management

Posted on Thu, May 10, 2012

To ensure employees and response personnel are prepared to respond to an incident in an efficient and effective manner, companies must perform emergency response exercises. The goal of these exercises is to test and reinforce response plan procedures. Developing accurate and applicable emergency scenarios allows responders to identify potential threats and test their response to specific emergencies.

Exercises programs should:
  • Provide realistic scenarios
  • Validate training comprehension
  • Decipher emergency planning effectiveness
  • Identify necessary action items
  • Define operational response capabilities and preparedness level

emergencyteamworktrp.jpg

Drill and Exercise Scenarios

The Department of Homeland Security addresses four types of exercise or drill scenarios used in risk management and emergency planning:

1. Basic Scenario:  Provides basic information about one specific variable or risk, such as internal or external hazard, attack type, or potential target. Scenarios can be used to establish response parameters and instructions based on a singular applicable variable (Ex: tank 101 fire or leak at a loading dock).

2. Narrative Scenario: Story-like, highly detailed scenarios with many fixed factors. Narrative drills are typically used for planning purposes rather than risk analysis. Narratives identify characteristics of a scenario, detailed background information, and each component of the scenario.

3. Visual Modeling:  Highly structured scenarios that display multiple potential variables of an emergency situation. Depending on the level of detail, visual models can become highly comprehensive and complex. The Department of Homeland Security identifies three methods of visual planning: attack paths, fault trees and event trees.

Attack paths: A systematic method that examines the sequence of events that occurred prior to the incident.

Fault trees: A detailed, deductive tool is used to assess the ill-fated sequence of events that led to the incident. A fault tree highlights potential hazards and ineffective processes.

Event trees: Assess the components it takes to respond and recover from an incident.  Event trees highlight the necessary planning initiatives required to counteract the incident.

4. Future Scenario: Speculative narratives that consider how trends, such as social media usage or global warming, will impact future risks. This scenario can be used to identify “future-state” planning strategies against a range of alternative risk possibilities.

TRP Corp Emergency Response Planning Exercises

Tags: Testing, Emergency Management, Resiliency, Training and Exercises