CoatingsPro Magazine

MAR 2018

CoatingsPro offers an in-depth look at coatings based on case studies, successful business operation, new products, industry news, and the safe and profitable use of coatings and equipment.

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32 MARCH 2018 COATINGSPROMAG.COM an event occurring. is will allow employers to focus on the manda- tory and practical efforts, while still addressing the psychological well-be- ing of their teams. And as in most areas of business, this form of proac- tive approach to planning is likely to produce greater results than any form of reactionary response that might occur in the wake of an incident. Developing a Crisis Response Plan W hile well-prepared contractors will have an active safety plan in place, and justified confidence in the effec- tiveness of that plan, it is still prudent to " hope for the best, and prepare for the worst." Many contractors opt to create informal Response Plans, but we often recommend that all employers maintain a written company policy that may aid in both continuity and proper execution during times of tragedy. e first component of this Crisis Response Plan should be focused on company staff and coworkers. ese are the individuals whom leaders can have the most immediate impact on when a tragedy occurs in the workplace. In Patricia A. Keresztes, Ph.D. and Gail D. Wegner's article "Coping With Workplace Death," it is suggested that, in the event of a serious injury or workplace fatality, the Response Plan should direct management to respond to staff immediately and to commu- nicate the circumstances in an open and transparent way. Special emphasis should be placed on staff members who had a close relationship with the deceased coworker or who witnessed the injury, as these circumstances can cause heightened psychological trauma. Another key focus should be assisting with the grieving process, and allow- ing it to occur, while recognizing that each staff member will process grief in a separate way. e Militar y Leadership Handbook expresses this sentiment succinctly: "[R]especting individual differences is essential in assisting individuals with the process of dealing with grief." A few tips for management from Coping With Workplace Death include: • Communicate details of funeral services, and allow staff to take time off to attend this service, or, where possible, hold a memorial service in the workplace • Publish some form of tribute to the deceased employee, such as in a newsletter or public plaque, highlighting the employee's contri- butions and accomplishments. Pastoral visits to the worksite, periodic moments of silence, and other actions such as these should assist staff members in reaching closure and coping with the loss of their coworker. Ultimately, the workplace should become a place for coworkers to cope with their emotions; it should not be a place from which they feel the need to escape in order to avoid feelings associ- ated with the loss. As may seem obvious, a written Response Plan should also address procedures for responding to the injured or deceased employee's family. We recommend that contractors keep emergency contact information readily accessible, and, typically, that it be included somewhere in the Response Plan. In the event that an injured employee is removed to a treatment facility for care, managers should immediately notify the emergency contact that the employee suffered an injury and provide the contact with an address for the treatment facility. Depending on the severity of the event, The Response Plan should direct managers to be on the lookout for intrusive thoughts, preoccupation with the deceased, anger, or other symptoms of complicated grief. Safety Watch

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