Medical Emergency Response Plans: It’s not just for EMI


More and more organizations are taking a look at Medical Emergency Response Plans: MERPs. Once the domain of energy and mining companies, it is important to include medical emergencies when compiling a site or corporate Emergency Response Plan.  Medical emergencies can occur in office settings, manufacturing sites and in service industry settings.

All companies have the Duty of Care to protect employees from foreseeable threats and risks. An emergency response plan can help ensure that an appropriate timely response in case of an illness or accident at the worksite or at the residence in the case of expatriates and travelers:

According to the IPIECA, the medical component of the emergency response plan should take into account:

  • A list of health hazards unique to the site(environmental hazards such as extreme heat or altitude, infectious diseases such as malaria and occupational health hazards such as chemical exposures);
  • Identify the possible major consequences of each hazard;
  • Determine the mitigation measures;
  • Inventory the fixed resources needed to minimize the disaster;
  • Inventory the resources needed to carry out the planned actions;
  • Based on these considerations, establish the necessary emergency organization, resources and procedures, and document these in an Emergency Response Plan (ERP);
  • A Disaster Recovery and Business Resumption plan should also be developed that identifies issues in recovering from a disaster and resuming business, and the actions needed to recover.
  • A MERP should include trigger points, roles and tasks for personnel for different emergencies, and a sequence of emergency response activities.

We’ll take a look at Medical Emergency Response Plans and more during a webinar next week.

I’ll join John Rendeiro, Vice President, Global Security and Intelligence at International SOS as well as George Nunez, Director, Office of Emergency Management, George Washington University; James Shuppert, M.D., Director, Health Services, Corning Incorporated; and Joan Vincenz, Managing Director, Managed Care Programs, United Airlines. We’ll review the types of emergency response plans that may or may not exist within your organization and guide you through real-world practices, revealing “quick wins” to help ensure Duty of Care compliance.

Step 2: Why All the Drama? How to Script Your Plan Ahead of Time” from 1 to 2 p.m. eastern on Thursday, Oct. 25. The session is the second in the “Start to Finish: Eight Essential Steps for Duty of Care” series.

This program has been approved for 1 (Specified-International) recertification credit hour toward PHR, SPHR and GPHR recertification through the HR Certification Institute. For more information about certification or recertification, please visit the HR Certification Institute website at


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