Preventative Crisis Management in the Workplace

Sections of this topic

    National Safety Month means opportunities to talk about crisis management

    One of the best ways to strengthen your own reputation is by sharing information your stakeholders can actually use. Events like National Safety Month, every June for those who didn’t know, provide the perfect opportunity, and Staples knows just what to do. Here’s a surprisingly solid list of tips from the office retailer:

    National Safety Month is here, and with so many natural disasters and emergencies impacting our lives and businesses this year, Staples wanted to find a way to help keep businesses safe. A recent Staples survey found that the top safety concern among businesses is natural disasters, but nearly two-thirds say that natural disasters, such as Hurricane Sandy in 2012, have not caused a reassessment of safety plans. Also, nearly 1 out of 3 businesses say their company is not prepared for a natural disaster or storm.

    In an attempt to help businesses, Staples recommends these 4 Steps to a Safer Work Environment:

    1.Stock up on emergency items: In addition to an emergency evacuation plan, business should have enough food, water, flashlights and blankets to help sustain employees for up to three days. Items like masks and crank-powered radios can further help businesses be ready for any emergency.

    2. Help prevent accidents: The second foremost safety concern among survey respondents was trips, slips and falls. Prevent accidents by installing floor matting and placing hazard signs where appropriate.

    3. Be mindful of ergonomics: One-third of respondents experience pain or discomfort at their workstation and a quarter reported “numbness” or “tingling.” Providing ergonomic equipment helps prevent workplace injuries.

    4. Back up data: One quarter of respondents do not have access to a secure server for data back-up. To help protect data and make it accessible, consider using a secure VPN, cloud storage and external hard drives.

    For more information and tips for small businesses, visit To learn more about how Staples can help medium-sized businesses with safety preparation and products, visit

    Is it promotional material? Sure. Are these actually areas where we spot many “crises waiting to happen” when conducting vulnerability audits? Absolutely! (OK, ergonomics might be pushing it…) As far as we’re concerned, the more reminders organizations have to protect themselves, the higher the chances they’ll take, or have success in convincing the C-suite to take, crisis prevention measures.

    Basic safety measures are a core component of any crisis management plan. Take advantage of the various tips you’re bound to find throughout National Safety Month, and put them to work!

    For more resources, see the Free Management Library topic: Crisis Management

    [Jonathan Bernstein is president of Bernstein Crisis Management, Inc., an international crisis management consultancy, and author of Manager’s Guide to Crisis Management and Keeping the Wolves at Bay – Media Training. Erik Bernstein is Social Media Manager for the firm, and also the editor of its newsletter, Crisis Manager]