Emergency Response Planning Guide Updated

Develop an emergency response plan to deal with fires, chemical spills, explosions, floods, injuries, illnesses and other crisis situations.

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English | French
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Designed and written as a practical workplace training and reference tool. This 155-page pocket guide is filled with clear-language text including safety tips, charts, diagrams, checklists and illustrations.


This booklet serves as a guide for developing a comprehensive emergency response plan. It will help you to:

  • conduct a risk assessment;
  • evaluate potential losses;
  • identify potential emergencies;
  • develop a comprehensive emergency preparedness policy and response program;
  • develop a business continuity and business recovery plan;
  • design, conduct and evaluate drills and exercises;
  • follow-up on and learn from incidents; and
  • continuously improve the response capability.


This guide provides basic information to assist in the development of workplace emergency preparedness and response programs. All organizations should have an emergency response program in place. Customers and stakeholders expect it as an indication of reliable business operation. The content is presented by program components that apply to a wide range of business sectors.

Guidelines for establishing a comprehensive emergency preparedness program depend on:

  • the potential risk of serious incidents and emergencies at your organization;
  • the size of your organization; and
  • the legal requirements in your jurisdiction.

Target Audience

This guide is written for anyone who wants to implement an emergency response plan and manage comprehensive prevention programs within the organization.

It will also assist:

  • senior managers making decisions about the need for, or improvement to, emergency response plans;
  • individuals assigned the responsibility of developing and implementing emergency response plans; and
  • health and safety committees making informed recommendations regarding an organization's existing response plans.

The contents are organized by response plan elements, which apply to a wide range of business sectors.

Each publication produced by CCOHS undergoes several stages of review. As part of this review, representatives from government, employers, and labour are requested to comment on draft copies of CCOHS documents for technical accuracy and readability.

Although every effort is made to ensure accuracy and completeness of the information, it is understood that CCOHS makes no warranty as to the accuracy or completeness of such information and assumes no liability for any damages or loss suffered as a result of any inaccuracy or incompleteness therein.


The CCOHS Difference

CCOHS publications are unique in that they are developed by subject specialists in the field, and reviewed by representatives from labour, employers and government to ensure the content and approach are unbiased and credible.


Although our publications are protected by copyright, permission for non-commercial reproduction may be provided.

Please use our Copyright Authorization Form to request permission, or contact us for more information.