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Business crises are not forest fires.
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 8-13, 2004, Atlanta, Georgia. Fairfax, VA: American Industrial Hygiene Association, 2004 May; :16
The Incident Command System, originally developed for fighting forest fires, is not an effective tool for managing all phases of a crisis. We will describe how disaster management plans often fail to address many of the issues that must be managed to minimize the impact of crises typically affecting businesses today, such as workplace fires, employee injuries and illnesses, workplace violence, and product recalls. Then we will discuss how to develop a crisis management process that complements the management style of an organization. We will explain how to conduct structured interviews of key personnel within the organization and how to use that information to prepare a short document that someone can pick up and use in the heat of a crisis. Rather than a prescriptive document, the goal of this approach is to focus experienced managers on company specific principles to make effective decisions to minimize the impact of the crisis on people, the environment, and the business. We will show how to provide guidance that directs the crisis manager to avoid common pitfalls for the major decisions that have to be made in four key areas: overall crisis process management, employee issues, operational issues, and communications. An outline of this process will be presented so attendees can apply this method to develop a crisis management process that fits their organization.
Emergency-response; Management-personnel; Public-health; Training; Disaster-planning
Theodore J. Hogan, Ph.D., CIH,Theodore J. Hogan & Associates, Inc., 103 Stephen Street, 2nd Floor, Lemont, Illinois 60439
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 8-13, 2004, Atlanta, Georgia
University of Illinois at Chicago
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division