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Definition - What does Emergency mean?

An emergency is an unexpected situation that endangers the safety of one or more individuals. Although emergencies are unexpected events, it is essential for health and safety practitioners to identify possible hazards, minimize risks and have emergency planning in place that allows for a rapid and efficient response in the event of an emergency arising. Emergency plans are formulated by occupational health and safety practitioners and provide workers with a clear framework for dealing with emergencies that will minimize the risk to human life and health.

Safeopedia explains Emergency

A risk or vulnerability assessment is the first step in devising emergency plans. Practical methods for alleviating risks should be instituted in order to avoid emergencies arising, but staff need to know how to react if attempts at averting an emergency situation should fail. The plan should address ways to prevent injury and loss of life. Damage to structures, equipment and materials should be kept to a minimum and the environment and community at large should not be put at risk. An efficient emergency plan will also address the steps that will need to be taken after the emergency in order for operations to be resumed. Specific emergency procedures are formulated and staff are trained in their application.

This definition was written in the context of HSE

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