ABSTRACT

Putting to test an emergency plan is often an obstacle that many companies and HSE managers have to deal with. Especially in high risk scenarios these tests can be difficult to organize, are risky, and also quite expensive. Nonetheless, emergency plans have to be tested for efficiency according to international standards and Company policies.

Analysis of many case studies, relevant to emergency and crisis management, shows that poor understanding of emergency procedures is a recurrent root cause of serious injuries and fatal accidents. Indeed, the importance of an effective communication of emergency alarms and procedures to the public, employees, visitors and contractors is often underestimated by Companies, if not simply overlooked.

The use of simulators can help a lot in communicating emergency procedures to a wide range of people, by challenging them in a variety of foreseeable crisis situations without running the risk of exposing them to real risks before they are fully aware and trained, with the further benefit of achieving, through immersive simulation, better retention of information received.

In this paper we present a case study describing how the use of a "simulator" helped the Company in the deployment of crisis management procedures to expatriate employees in order to ensure they are fully aware and prepared in case of a crisis developing in the country. In the simulator the employees had to try out every step of emergency/crisis preparedness, from how to prepare their luggage, what to put in the emergency kits, how to contact relevant Company officers, how to protect and manage their family members during different foreseeable crisis scenarios, as well as a few more life-saving fundamental things.

The availability of the simulator on a web-based secure platform, accessible to eligible employees via authentication (login and password) from any location with an Internet connectivity, allowed the Company to track completion and acknowledgment by all employees, while also ensuring compliance to relevant standards.

Through data analysis, quite interesting indicators show up: above all, employees feel more secure and cared for, while company safety policy and overall commitment are reinforced and made stronger.

This content is only available via PDF.
You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.