How to be prepared at work
Whilst the Ministry is not engaged in risk management or business continuity consultancy, there are key messages that all businesses should understand prior to initiating or reviewing continuity planning arrangements:
1. It is not an option to be unprepared. Disasters do happen, but you can 'make the mess less' and hasten a return to normalcy through prior planning and committing to mitigation and preparedness activity.
2. Risk assessment must consider risks posed by external factors; particularly interdependencies or out-sourced services/arrangements.
3. Business continuity must protect business asssets - staff, equipment, facilities, IT systems, reputation, market-share, liquidity, etc.
4. Business continuity must protect both internal and external service capability, particularly in support of CDEM-critical activity (such as emergency services and medical facilities). Forecast and prioritise external demand before the event.
5. Planning can only be effective if developed co-operatively with all business stakeholders so that responsibilities and roles are clearly understood and assumptions validated.
6. Risk, asset, and emergency management or continuity planning processes must develop across an entire organisation, from hazard assessment through to exercising, audit, review and feedback.
Looking after Staff
Evacuation Schemes: Building owners are required by the Fire Safety & Evacuation of Buildings Regulations 1992 to establish and maintain evacuation schemes (related to fire threat). The regulations also enforce tenants responsibility for compliance with a landlord provided evacuation schemes.
Procedures for dealing with (all) workplace emergencies: The Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 also requires tenants/employers to develop procedures (multi-risk preparedness - not just for fire) for preventing harm, identifying workplace hazards and managing them. These regulations and statutes can be located http://www.legislation.govt.nz/
In terms of practical civil defence equipment/cabinets that could be made available for your staff, see the following guide to CD cabinets and food supplies.
How do I develop a business plan?
How do we apply business continuity management organisation-wide?
How do business continuity management and planning relate to risk management?
Whilst the Ministry can offer guidance on these issues, they are answered well in two practical handbooks developed by a joint NZ/Australian Risk Management Committee:
HB 292-2006 (A Practitioners Guide to Business Continuity Management)
HB 293-2006 (Executive Guide to Business Continiuity Management)
Both publications are available from SAI Global.
Another source of guidance is the Good Practice Guidelines series offered as a free download from the Business Continuity Institute.
Corporate Governance: On 16 March 2004, the Securities Commission published a handbook for directors, executives, and advisers on corporate governance principles including risk management. The handbook is a shortened version of the Commission's report Corporate Governance in New Zealand - Principles and Guidelines released on 16 February 2004. The handbook sets out the principles and guidance that the Commission expects companies listed on the NZ Stock Exchange to follow. However, the document also applies to unlisted entities, including public sector entities that should observe the Principles to the fullest extent that they reasonably can and depart only where they are subject to competing statutory or public policy requirements.
Other countries may approach continuity planning in different manners. International examples may be found by following these links: Canada, UK, USA
Time and money spent on emergency preparedness is an investment. Planning and preparation by your business before a disaster will minimize the loss of revenue and more importantly the loss of life. Overseas experience indicates that many businesses are ill prepared for most disasters.
Guidelines and References
Three booklets to improve your planning are available from links within this page. Because each business has both problems and assets, which are unique, the planning process for individual businesses will vary. You will need to work out the best way of incorporating your business emergency plan into your overall corporate/business plan. The checklists provided in each document are designed to show an “ideal” to aim for.
The first guide, Hazard Assessment (pdf 53kB), concentrates on the steps that can be taken by you (through a series of check lists) to identify existing and potential hazards within your businesses, as well as identifying assets/vulnerabilities and your current level of preparedness.
The second guide, Planning and Preparedness (pdf 105kB), concentrates on the steps that can be taken by you (through a series of checklists) to minimize the hazards, which present a risk to your business. Each question represents the outcome of a process. Your task is to set in place the processes and to document them in your plan.
The third guide, Audit for Business (pdf 100kB), is designed to take you through the process of assessing any emergency preparedness measures you may already have.
The following web sites are good reference points for assisting with the development of business resumption plans and offer guidance and best practice.
Wellington City Council: Business Emergency Planning Guide (pdf 647kB)
Other websites providing continuity information
Please note: Inclusion of a website does not necessarily imply endorsement by the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management of the products or services offered.
|The Business Continuity Institute||www.thebci.org|
|Business Continuance Planning Ltd||www.bcpl.co.nz|
|Standby Computing Services||www.standby.co.nz|
|AON New Zealand||www.aon.co.nz|
|Contingency Planning & Management||www.contingencyplanning.com|
|Disaster Recovery Journal||www.drj.com|
|NZ Society for Risk Management|
Risk Management Ltd
Readynet preparedness network
Kestrel Group Ltd
There are also a number of consultancies that specialise in Business Continuity planning. Respected NZ companies include:
Deloitte Touche Tomatsu,
Marsh Risk Consulting
Lifeline Utilities should also refer to the Ministry's Lifelines page