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Concerning gap between emergency preparedness and real-world experience in workplaces

A new survey of 200 HR and compliance professionals highlights a critical gap in emergency preparedness in UK workplaces, with nearly half experiencing real-world emergencies.

A new survey* reveals a gap between emergency preparedness and real-world experience in UK workplaces. The survey, conducted among 200 HR and compliance professionals, found that nearly half (49%) of respondents have personally experienced an emergency situation at work.

These findings highlight the critical need for organisations to prioritise emergency preparedness.  From the recent assault and robbery at a London jewellery store to record levels of shoplifting and wildcat protests shutting down city centres,  workplace emergencies are becoming ever more unpredictable. 

While emergencies pose a real and serious threat to workplaces, many organisations lack the necessary preparedness measures. The survey highlights a lack of testing for emergency response plans, with 21% admitting their plans have never been tested and 27% reporting tests conducted more than six months ago. 

“The law is clear on emergency preparedness: employers have a fundamental responsibility to ensure a safe work environment for their staff that can handle any crisis,” says Naomi Grossman, Learning Manager and compliance expert at VinciWorks. “This includes conducting thorough risk assessments and developing actionable emergency response plans that are regularly tested.  Having a plan on paper isn’t enough; it needs to be practised and ingrained so everyone knows how to react effectively in a crisis.”

“Emergencies are inevitable, not improbable. While the nature of these events can vary by industry,” Grossman continues, “all workplaces face some level of risk. By investing in proper training and regularly testing response plans, organisations can ensure everyone is prepared to react effectively in a crisis, minimising harm and safeguarding employee safety.”

*The recent survey polled 202 HR and compliance professionals on emergency planning and response at work.

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