Preparing your workplace for emergencies 

What can I do to prepare my business for an emergency?

Under workplace health and safety law you must identify risks and develop procedures to deal those risks, and ensure that your employees are well informed about these procedures.

Your employees should have easy access to the following in an emergency:

  • Emergency supplies eg rope, torches, first aid kits
  • Essential phone numbers 
  • Names and contact details of Wardens 
  • Names of first aiders 
  • Contact details for staff emergency contacts
  • Locations of firefighting equipment 
  • Names of the people they should report accidents to, depending on the type of emergency 
  • The evacuation procedure, including help that may be required for employees with disabilities 
  • Where the Civil Defence equipment is, when it was last checked, and who is responsible for maintaining it.

Make sure you hold regular drills so that staff get to practice finding all this information and going through the evacuation procedure.

More information about preparing your workplace for emergencies can be found on: 

The Employment NZ website has information about dealing with damaged premises, and your employees’ pay and leave, following a natural disaster.

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Should I have a business continuity plan?

Yes -  a business continuity plan can help you ensure that your business can keep operating after an emergency. You should consider:

  • Does your business rely on particular people, and how will the business continue if they are not available?
  • If not all of your staff can be available will the business be able to continue?
  • Can you find temporary staff to replace those who are unavailable?
  • How you will support staff affected by a natural disaster or other crisis?
  • Will your business be able to continue if part of the premises, or some of the equipment, is disabled?
  • Do you have sufficient insurance cover for the premises, equipment, and other business losses
  • How you will keep your business information safe (eg through regular backups that are kept off-site)?

The Wellington Regional Emergency Management website has more information about business continuity plans.