Catastrophic workplace incidents impact people in ways that can have lasting negative consequences. Even crisis-prepared companies often overlook these needs. Effective response to a workplace crisis a violent act, a serious injury or fatality or some type of natural or man-made disaster requires an understanding of what people need from management and how to provide it.
Sometimes back it was reported that in Lagos, Ikeja, a construction worker was killed when a 100,000-pound concrete slab tipped over on him in an accident similar to one that killed three construction workers in in another incident in Apapa. Likewise, it was reported that a clerk at a drugstore in Abuja, was stabbed and killed when he confronted a man stealing razors and blades.
A factory worker in Sango Ota was also killed when he was pinned between some equipment in a forklift accident. His coworkers watched as he was freed and transported to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Almost daily, employees are killed or seriously injured in the workplace while coworkers look on. Sometimes a single employee is involved in a life-threatening situation.
At other times, an entire work force might be in jeopardy, such as when an explosion, fire or natural disaster strikes. What do employees need beyond basic survival following a workplace disaster? They need immediate aid and assurance of safety; information and reassurance; understanding and ongoing support; and a rapid return to productivity.
Other constituents, like family members, institutional investors, customers, suppliers and distributors, also have variations on these same needs. There are right ways and wrong ways to provide for these needs. Unfortunately, companies tend to be least prepared in addressing these human-side aspects of crisis. Responsible employers should establish in advance a Humanitarian Response Team, which is trained and poised to address specifically, and only, the human side of workplace tragedies.
To effectively deal with a crisis, companies should be able to react correctly when such situations arise. Being prepared for a crisis is about building the capacity of employees to tackle serious disasters by equipping them with the knowledge on how to make serious but important decisions that will safely steer the organization through the storm. HR teams must ensure that the strategic plan takes into account the health, safety and welfare of employees. Through collaboration with other organizational leaders, HR can assure that the human capital is taken care of in all crisis management and business continuity plans
Completing this course should take you approximately 3 hours. Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:
- Explain what crisis management involves;
- Describe and identify different types of crisis;
- Describe the phases of crisis; and
- Describe problems leading to crisis management